Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Change In The Air

After my weekend of windsurfing fun,  I was wiped out, lethargic.   I farted around getting stuff done and waiting for my body to recover. Feet bruised from the foot straps and just an all over good body soreness.   A little hour long ride brought me around though.  

I headed out to Bent Creek to spin around, nothing too hard, just a good solid medium paced loop.   I barely broke a sweat.  

It is that time of year when the air temps are changing, foliage color changes and brain patterns start to interrupt daily life.  Memories of days gone by and longing for the innocent childhood days creep in.   It is funny how memories tend to lose the negative and the mind longs for the positive.  I snap my mind back into focus, realizing and fully believing that I made the right choices.  I practice focusing on the positive and the now,  the good life that I have been blessed with,  the good choices (although not always easy) that I have made for myself and my family.  

I am "living the dream"  and am thankful for the life I live,  the friends I have, and my little mountain family.   

It is easy to slip into the old patterns of thought that tend to bring me down,  but just like anything,  consistent practice will bring about positive results!  


Monday, October 10, 2016

Hurricane Winds

And there it was,  the thing that was wreaking havoc across the East Coast of the US,  was the same thing that was keeping me up at night, excited about finally being able to windsurf in some strong winds.

I watched the forecast for 10 days (actually)  I look at the wind forecast daily, sometimes multiple time per day.  The forecast was for strong winds in WNC on Saturday and Sunday. Miraculously,  we had nothing planned, and the wife was not working.  I had both days free to roam. 

Saturday, the winds rolled in and I decided to stay in the area and see what Lake Julian would deliver.  It turned out to be a battle with strong gusts in the 30 mph range.  I watched several sailboats on the brink of capsizing as I scooted around the lake.  The winds picked up mid afternoon, but since I had been out there close to 5 hrs, I decided to head in and save some energy for Sunday.

Sunday morning, I headed down to Lake James.  I had been eyeballing the area at the mouth of the Linville river and was excited to give it a try.  Wind around 10-15 mph with 40 mph gust was going to make sail choice tricky. 
 As I rounded the bend and could see the water, I saw whitecaps all the way across the lake.  I rigged my 5.5 sail and headed out.  The air temps were warm and the water is still warm from the hot summer. 

I'm always excited and nervous when I head out in a new area, and I start off shaky.  It take an hour or so to get settled in and feeling comfortable.  The wind was blowing and I was flying.  I was overpowered though so I headed back in to re-rig the smaller 4.5 sail.  Perfect. 

I sailed back and forth for a couple of hours before the wind let up a little, then I headed in for some lunch.  I decided to drive around the lake to find a better access point with onshore winds.  The Linville river access where I was is good, but with side shore winds, if something happened, it would be a fight to get back to the beach area. 

No luck so I headed back to the same place. The wind had calmed down pretty good with no whitecaps to be seen so I took a chance and rigged the 6.5 square meter sail.

 It was on,  the wind started to pick up again, but now the gusts were long and wide.  Rather than the quick bursts that I had this morning, the wind started to fill in and I could rip back and forth across the lake several times before it let up. 

I was feeling comfortable and was getting used to the area.  Windsurfing on the edge of Pisgah National Forest under the shadow of the mountains that make  the Linville Gorge was new to me.  It made me feel really small, but thankful to be where I was. 

 Windsurfing is a passion,  it is in my blood.  When I was in college, land locked in the N Georgia Mountains,  before my internet access days,   I had no idea where to go to windsurf.  Whenever the wind blew, I would head to Mt Curahee to sit on the edge of the cliff and just feel the wind.  The movement stirs up good childhood memories for me.  Memories of being the underdog and having to find my own way, to figure things out and pursue a passion.   
I stayed out until my turns got sloppy and the wind picked up some more.  I thought about going in to rig a smaller sail, but decided to head in and call it a day.  I was tired and my heart was full. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2016


 I fell, on the first day of fall.  Just a little strawberry for me,  my front wheel and other components are pretty scratched up.   Got to close to a sidewalk, and back,  metal screeching and body thud....
 Got a nice load of poplar,  that stuff is great for fall and spring,  nice quick n bright burn.
AVLCX is in full swing.   This is a photo of the REEB ranch edition.  Fun times seeing friends.  That's Kevin Hessler down in the center of the pic.  Cool peeps doing cool things. 

The wind forecast looks great for this weekend... stay tuned for tales from the lumberviking windsurf safari.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Lake Search

Hermine winds reached into the Piedmont of SC and I had some free time, so I headed down to check out some lakes and possible windsurfing hidden gems. 

I had 3 lakes on the list to check out and with winds forecast to reach 30mph was excited to get on the water. 

I pulled up to Lake Robinson and was stoked to see that conditions were perfect.  Wide stretches of open lake water, small chop with some whitecaps.   I read all the signs and went to check in with the ranger.  He told me that paddle boards are not allowed on the lake.  I told him that this was not a paddle board, but classified as a sailing vessel.  He wasn't buying it, telling me that "they" were really picky about people being in the water, seeing as how it is a reservoir for the city of Greenville.  (odd because outboard motors are permitted on the lake). 

After a bit of friendly discussion, I asked who "they" were and could I call them to clarify the rule?  He said that would be his supervisor, and before we called, we should read through the hand book. 

We went to the office and started reading.  Then my fate was sealed as I read page 8 under section 5, Boating, rule number 4..... "There shall be no use of ........  and any wind surfing craft".  

So much for Lake Robinson.  And lake #2 on the list was run under the same rules.   The ranger was super nice and felt bad.  I asked him about Lake Saluda, he told me that is was a mud hole and to watch out for the shallows that were not marked. 

Desperate for a ride, I headed over to Lake Saluda.  I found the Lake Saluda Boat Ramp, the place was deserted.  It would be tricky getting out into the main channel where the wind was blowing, but I was game.   I paid the parking fee, rigged up and headed out onto the water. 

Once I got out there, it was on.  20mph wind with gusts up around 30mph, I was flying.   The lake is small, so it didn't take me long to cross, about the length of 3 soccer fields.   I sailed back and forth, getting a feel for the area.  After about 30 minutes,  I sailed a little too close to a log that was floating just under water, gently bobbing to the surface every now and then.  That spooked me a little bit.  I definitely did not want to wipe out in epic fashion, on a strange lake with no one else around to see it! 

I stayed out for about an hour total before packing it in. 

Lake Saluda lived up to the reviews and I won't be coming back unless there is nowhere else to go!  

But,  I did get to ride some great wind and I'm thankful for that experience!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Back Into a Rythym

 It is nice to be back into a rhythm.  Drop the kid off, get on the bike for a ride or pull on the shoes for a run.   Get some bikes fixed up, bills paid etc.  And in the vein of taking on too much,  I have accepted the position of asst coach for the Reynolds Middle Boys Soccer team.  The kid is on the team, and I am excited about learning from a coach who has been in the game for a while.  I'm not really adding too much too my plate, because I would be at all the games anyway.   We have a great group of kids this year. 

I finally got to ride again with my bud Kevin.  He is my connection to what is new in the cycling world, what works and what doesn't.  If you need new clothes, parts or a new bike,  go to Liberty Bikes and ask for him! 

My passion for windsurfing has been rekindled big time.  The problem is, in her absence, I found another love: cycling.  I still want to race my awesome Salsa El Mariachi though.   I think I'm going to be multi sport in the fall/winter and focus on racing in the late winter spring when I get ramped up for the Pisgah Stage Race.  That way, I can take advantage or fall hurricane season, when the winds blow strong and steady,  and not have to worry about missing a workout.  When the wind is blowing, windsurfing provides a complete body workout anyway!   

Sail Away

Monday, August 29, 2016

Back to School

The end of summer has come and today we head back to school.  I don't personally, go to school, but since we are pretty involved in helping out at school,  well.... back to school.

Growing up, I never liked school.  Maybe because by the time I went to college I had attended 7 different schools.   I never found a rhythm and was always behind.  I was terrible at math and got yelled at because I didn't understand simple math stuff. 

I learned to get by- by the hair of my chinny chin chin.  Just doing the minimum in order to pass.  That didn't always work.  I think that someone must have pulled some strings to keep me from repeating a grade here and there. 

I carried those habits through college.  I could not find purpose or passion in my classes and so D's and F's were common.   I did a lot of extra credit work to maintain my C average. 

Once I got into the brand new Outdoor/Experiential Ed program, I started to excel.  I got straigth A's in that class and finally had instructors who believed in me.  Having someone who believes in you makes a difference too!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Ocracoke Island

 Summer Vacation 2016.   Back in the dead cold of winter we decided to splurge this year and rent a house for an entire week.  We have never rented a vacation house for an entire week before, so the cost and commitment was a bit daunting at first. We made the reservation and then waited through a very busy spring and summer.

The day finally arrived and we rolled out for an uneventful 2 day drive.    The rest of the story is difficult to put into words.  So,  I'm just gonna say that this trip was good for the soul.  I was able to share some parallels between this island and Bonaire, with the family.  That was good.  Getting the 3 of us to Bonaire is pretty cost prohibitive, and I was glad to be able to share the vibe with them.

The loooong drive proved to be worth it.

Jockey's Ridge

Southern Point, Ocracoke

Low Tide

Sailing across the Pamlico Sound at low tide,  about 20inches deep!

Simply Beautiful
Appalachian Dream in her temporary berth.

Awesome Bakery Trailer

Awesome Tacos

This is the last working Fish House around,  fishermen sell seafood here and locals, tourists and restaurants buy them

Shane,  an example of the friendly locals, was always there and welcomed us with open arms

The long drive home: Full Hearts, Clear Eyes