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Articles in Category: Motion

Stone Mountain State Park

on Saturday, 16 March 2013. Posted in My Journeys, Motion

Roaring Gap, NC

Stone Mountain State Park

Stone Mountain is located in Roaring Gap, NC and well worth the trip if you're ever near the area.  My friend Jeff and his son were talking about getting into hiking and mentioned the area so I took them up on the offer for a Sunday trek into the woods.  The map indicated a strenuous hike however I think it depends on how you travel on the loop.  I let Jeff decide how he wanted to travel and I think it was a good decision.

From the parking area you immediately follow a trail that branches left and right.  Left leads up to the summit in a rather quick fashion with a load of stairs and probably where the strenuous portion comes into play.  We chose right and followed a beautiful clear stream.  We had a lot of rain recently but even so the water was crystal clear and the area is well known for trout fishing.  I can see why.  After about a half mile or so of a gently rolling trail, it opens to a vista of the mountain itself at the Hutchinson Homestead.  This place would definitely take you back in time.

More Work in Less Time

on Sunday, 13 January 2013. Posted in Physical Conditioning, Motion

In order to make the most of a change in diet, some physical effort should be utilized. You don't have to become a body builder, go through grueling cross-fit training regimes, or run 5 miles a day. Research into the field will prove that high intensity exercise in short bursts that fatigue the muscles is quite effective in engaging the central nervous system and muscle groups enough to compliment a healthy eating lifestyle.

From my personal experience, I began a very high intensity program, P90X, when I first started Gluten-Free and then engaged in a number of HIIT routines after getting into Paleo full swing. I am a very low-key person for the most part but adding a routine to my daily life really pushed my energy levels through the roof. I was doing the usual of slamming protein drinks and consuming multi-vitamins until I realized that I didn't really have to do all of that. I will say that P90X is a very robust program and anyone sticking with it will definitely show major improvements in strength and agility. It helped me to go from what's called skinny-fat to a ripped skinny individual. Tony Horton can be a drag to listen to over and over and over again (or at least his jokes) but the program itself is worthwhile and even doing the base minimum effort while eating properly will go a long way.

Shining Rock Wilderness

on Sunday, 13 January 2013. Posted in My Journeys, Motion

We got started Friday evening around 8pm at the Big East Fork trailhead destined for Old Butt Knob. This route was my choosing and Friday night looked like it was going to be pretty much a straight up jaunt. After checking all the gear and securing the vehicles I engaged my headlamp and set off. We were a little confused at the trail split but we ended up on the correct path and the ascent began pretty quickly. The first part of the trail was a moderate climb but as we got about a half mile in Old Butt Knob earned it's name. The trail became steep, you could hear roaring water well down in the ravine that my headlamp could not touch and trail was tight. My poles kept me from becoming a victim of sliding down the ravine a couple times. Being a Friday night I had plenty of energy to expend so we moved along quite well until we started coming across some downed trees. This made staying on the trail a bit difficult but someone had been kind enough to place some cairns on the path around the trees to keep everyone on the trail. This part of the Wilderness area does not have trail makings so be sure to keep a map and compass handy or a GPS system. The trail continued unrelenting until we linked up with the Art Loeb trail around midnight that night and settled in for some sleep at Shining Rock Gap. The ascent went up about 2K feet in about 2 miles up to almost 6K at the junction and temps dropped into the low 50's. It is definitely a climb but oddly enough it was a fun trail to conquer. Our camping spot was a little side trail pretty much right at the junction that opened into a little clearing. We more or less fell on it since it was fairly difficult to see.

Middle Prong Wilderness

on Sunday, 06 January 2013. Posted in My Journeys, Motion

Warning:  This trail is not for amateurs and will test your orienteering skills as well as your fortitude.

We met up at the Sunburst Campground area and geared up around 8pm for our usual Friday night jaunt of a few miles in.  After gearing up we discussed that this may be an interesting journey and Peter had setup his iPhone with a suitable GPS app.  So we set forth on the fire trail road which was to be about 3 miles before picking up our trail and heading in.  The hike along the road was easy to moderate in ascent and moved along very quickly chatting away.  We came across a sign (pointing uphill) with just numbers on it someone had carved into it TRAIL.  So we consulted the map and assumed that the cut in the road was actually the trail and set forth on it.  It was more like an old overgrown logging road that quickly turned into a trail.  The sound of rushing water quickly grew near and we found some water spilling out of the mountainside and we descended further down to a river.  I only showed a small blue line on the map but this was a large creek and the trail was on the other side.  So, we stripped off the boots and made our way across in front of some falls into some really chilly water.  We booted back up and got back on our way.  This trip obviously was going to have some surprises in store.  What an understatement that turned out to be.

Mount Rogers NRA

on Sunday, 06 January 2013. Posted in My Journeys, Motion

I lived in Virginia most of my life but somehow I always managed to NOT go to Mount Rogers. I hiked almost the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in VA except for the southern and northern portions. My old High School friend and I reconnected and he mentioned doing the trail and I agreed that I had to do it. I am glad that I made the journey. It was only about 2 hours driving for me to the Grayson Highlands, where a lot of my family originated so it seemed ideal. This would also be my first outing with the ENO Hammock and no bivy.

We met up at the Grindstone Camping area and paid about 3 dollars a night to park the vehicles. It was late July but around 7:30 we were going to be running out of daylight soon so we geared up and hit the trail. As soon as we got to the connector trail we were confronted with a Trail Closed sign. I wouldn't recommend what we did for most people but two former Eagle Scouts could not be deterred and we bypassed the signage and made our way in. Unsure of why the trail was closed we soon found out. A large section of the forest was down and the trail soon disappeared under fallen tree limbs. It wasn't just two or three tree, it was a very large section of the canopy on the ground like a tornado had hit the area. There was a massive derecho in SW VA prior and I can only imagine this was partially the result. Consulting the map we realized the switchbacks extended widely and if we launched straight up we would surely hit the trail. Sure enough, past all the brush we eventually hit the trail as dusk descended.

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