Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for the 'Vacation' Category

Labor Day weekend camping trip

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Sarah and I tried an experiment this weekend. We did a camping trip, with a twist. I rode to the campsite, and she met me there with the car. And the next day we went further, me on my bicycle and her driving. It was almost like a supported tour.

We had mixed results. I didn’t plan well enough, and we both had poor to nonexistent cell phone reception, so we had a little trouble connecting in Brownstown, IN. Also, what I intended to be a way for me to get some riding in while allowing us to spend a lot of time together became a little more complicated and bike-centric than I intended. Sarah was very patient and we had a great time together, but in the end it felt a little selfish. If we do something like this again, I’ll need to plan things out a lot better. It was also really hot, which effectively meant that by the time we got anywhere, it was too hot to want to do very much.

I plan to write about this trip in three parts:

  1. Riding from Bloomington to Brownstown and Jackson-Washington State Forest
  2. Hiking at Jackson-Washington State Forest
  3. Riding from Jackson-Washington State Forest to Clark State Forest and Henryville

Mountains in Hendersonville, NC and Roanoke, VA

Monday, June 30th, 2008

I figure it’s time to post some good things about our trip to the mountains — and while we had very little opportunity for recreation and my enjoyment of it was tempered by my injuries, we still took in some incredible scenery. First up is Jump Off Rock, in Laurel Park (near Hendersonville), North Carolina. It was a slow, steep, twisty drive to the top of the mountain.

View from Jump Off Rock

Sarah at Jump Off Rock

Mountain layers

Neighboring mountain

There were a couple of hiking trails, but I was in too much pain to hike. As you can see, though, there were some truly incredible views. Later that night we saw some other mountains on the other side of town.

House in the mountains


On our way to Roanoke, VA from Hendersonville, we got caught in a couple of intense storms. We stopped at an overlook alongside the incredibly scenic Interstate 81. It was still raining and there was thick fog nestled in the mountains. My photos don’t do justice to the sheer size of some of these mountains or the atmospheric beauty we witnessed.

Fog rises from the mountains during a thunderstorm

One of many climbs on the interstate

Panoramic shot of the mountains and the interstate

In Roanoke, we made a trip up to the top of Mill Mountain, where the Roanoke Star sits. It’s a 100-foot lighted star on the mountain overlooking the city. This spot also offers panoramic views of the Roanoke Valley. Once again there had been strong storms and the whole region was enveloped in a thick fog.

Roanoke Valley

Roanoke Star

roanoke panorama
Roanoke Valley panorama

I also took a few infrared shots. It’s interesting how well the IR shots cut through the haze

Part of Roanoke Valley, in infrared

Infrared mountains

Steps on the short hiking trail

Trail leading back to the parking lot

We also took in part of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke. It was absolutely stunning.

Houses and power lines

Hazy mountains as darkness falls

blue ridge panorama 1
Blue ridge panorama 1


The Blue Ridge Parkway — maybe someday I’ll get to ride part of this


blue ridge panorama2
Blue Ridge Panorama 2

Sun setting over the mountains

As you can see, our trip was not exactly a bust in terms of scenery. And while we experienced the mountains from a more passive perspective than I prefer (driving, rather than hiking or biking), I feel lucky we got to go at all.

It’s true what they say. Virginia is for lovers. I sure was glad to be there with mine.

Accident injuries

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Here are some photos and x-rays of my injuries from my accident in North Carolina. You need to click on the link below to see them, in case anyone is squeamish.


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