Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Happy New Year, y'all. The Food Guy and I closed out 2010 in style today. Sam and Rebecca came up from Chattavegas to hang out last night, and we got lucky with some sunny weather for a little New Year's Eve trip to the Dump.

We got this morning to clear skies, and strong coffee brewing. After a leisurely breakfast at Mountain Bagels, we headed up to the Dump to meet Greg for a little climbing. Alabama stayed home, so I didn't have my doggie crag partner to hang out with. We still had a good time though. Check out some pics from today's adventure.

Rebecca did a great job on Son of White Trash. And she got a little lead climbing in too.

I was happy to get out and enjoy some sunshine while the people got some winter time climbing in.

The Food Guy seemed pretty happy to get out climbing after a couple of weeks of snow.

I'm sure the Food Guy and I will head out for a good run or hike to ring in 2011. Stay tuned, y'all.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Roan Mountain in the Snow

The Food Guy and I have been making the most of our vacation so far. Yesterday the Food Guy's sister, brother-in-law, and niece came up to Camp Z to spend the night on their way back to Mobtown. We had a good time hanging out. Haley and I played with all of my toys until I was ready to go to bed.

It was great having those guys up here for a visit. Today, Food Guy, Gregg, and Karen loaded up the mobile dog house to go hiking up at Roan Mountain. It was super-cool. That place got pounded with snow last week, so the Food Guy thought it would be a good time for me to try out my new winter hiking boots. He's always worrying that I'll get my feet cut up by the ice under the snow, so he brought some boots with us today for me to try out.

I wasn't so sure about them at first. I don't know if you have ever seen that cartoon dog Goofy, but that's what I felt like when I first put them on. I was running around lifting my paws over my head trying to figure out what in the world had happened to my dog-feet.

But, it didn't last too long. That Food Guy is pretty sneaky. He waited until I was having a lot of fun playing in the snow before he stopped and pulled them out of his pack. I was having so much fun that the boots were really just a momentary distraction. Before long, I was up to my normal tricks: rolling in the snow, snorkeling with my dog-nose, and racing up and down the trail making sure all the people were staying together.

Roan Mountain is a really cool state park. We hiked along the AT up past Jane Bald (5807 Ft.) for a couple of hours.

The wind was crazy up there, and the snow was so deep in places that I kept getting stuck. I have some pretty long dog-legs, and I still kept getting stuck in snow that was over my chest. The Food Guy had to come help me back onto the trail at one point. It was so much fun.

We should have some more good adventures this week. Sam and Rebecca are coming up from Chattavegas, so I think we're going climbing tomorrow if the weather cooperates. Y'all take care now.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Adventures in the Snow

Merry Christmas, everyone. The Food Guy and I have been hard at it on the adventuring front since the semester ended. We've had lots of help from the weather when it comes to finding things to do. We've been getting pounded here with snow, and as y'all know: Camp Z is a winter adventure destination not to be trifled with. As more snow rolled in, we upped the ante on ways to have fun. Last week, the Food Guy decided that sleds and snowboards were not enough; he decided it was time to break the kayak out.

I don't know what possessed him to decide it was time to carry that beast up the hill, but he sure looked like he had a good time sliding down towards the creek in that thing.

After he finished all of his grading, the Food Guy and I jumped in the mobile dog house for a trip up to see the folks in PA. The drive was epic with a capital E. It was ridiculous, really. It snowed the whole way up there, and we got stuck in traffic for hours. It was so cold out that I even talked the Food Guy into letting me ride up front when we stopped for gas. The trip up there took 10 hours. You know we're not good at sitting still that long, but we managed. Once we got there, we went for a couple of good runs in the snow and saw some cool stuff.

I had fun hanging out with my northern grandparents.

I liked hanging out up there.

My grandma spoiled me and bought me a really cool toy shark to play with. After a couple of days up north, our visas expired and it was time get back down south of the ol'l Mason Dixon line. Being a couple of Georgia crackers, we can't stay up in those parts too long, so we jumped back in the mobile dog house and headed for Camp Z. I got to ride up front again because the Food Guy's Mom loaded up the back of the truck with a bunch of stuff. Big ups to her for hooking me up with a cush, warm ride home.

We spent the next few days chillin' at Camp Z. We went for a couple of good runs while the snow had mostly melted away, and I hung out while the Food Guy chopped up a bunch of firewood to keep us warm. Thursday, we got another huge load of firewood, and I watched while the Food Guy split wood and stacked all the wood. I think he was pretty tired by the time he got finished. I mean, heck I was tired from just watching him.

We headed down to the Lake to hangout with my southern grandparents and the Food Guy's sister, bro-in-law, and niece for Christmas day. We had a good time down there. I put in some serious time sleeping on the couch with the Food Guy's dad. That couch is so comfortable, I can't imagine why I can't always sleep on couches. Someone should talk to the Food Guy about that. It's unjust, I think. My dog-cousin- Gracie- was there, and we had lots of fun running around. She's a pretty cool dog, but you have to get one of the people to watch her when it's time to eat. That dog has a serious Napoleon Complex, and she is always trying to steal my food. All in all, it was a great holiday. The Food Guy and Dennis sat around playing the guitar and the banjo (I think they might have also drank a little Jameson), and I caught up on my sleep. We did get one good run in while we were down there, and it was nice to run when the temperature was above freezing. That didn't last too long though, it was snowing by the time we finished our run yesterday morning.

Today, we braved the blizzard and trekked back up to Camp Z. We came home to a foot of fresh snow.

If I were a better dog (and I am), I'd put all of my dog bones on me and the Food Guy getting into something cool tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Camp Z sledding and Trout Lake

It's been a pretty fun-filled weekend in the snow up here in Boone. The Food Guy and I woke up to a pile of snow this am, and we figured it was time to test out the hill in the pasture.

Greg, Lem, and Alabama came over this morning with a full compliment of sledding devices: a sled, saucers, and a snowboard.

I'm happy to report that no hospital trips were required. I was a little worried when the Food Guy strapped on the snowboard since he has no idea at all how to ride one. It worked out OK though:

It was a pretty sweet morning, which we followed up with an afternoon hike up at Trout Lake. It was snowing like crazy, but my mobile dog house is a 4 wheel drive palace. The hike was so much fun. I had a blast running around in the snow. There wasn't much in the way of long range views, but there were so many cool things to see. The trees up on the bald at the top of the mountain are so cool.

Check out this cool rhodie cave we walked through.

The whole hike was pretty amazing. The Food Guy has a ton of grading to do this week, so we'll be pretty much on lockdown all week. Plus Bob nominated the Food Guy for a dissertation award, so he'll need to spend some time writing up some stuff for the submission. It'd be pretty cool if he won. Keep your paws crossed for us- there's a small cash prize that will buy me some dog food.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holidays, Snow, and Heat

Hey, everybody. The Food Guy finally got us a real heat source. Check it out:

I'm pretty happy about this because it's ridiculously cold up here.
Y'all know I'm a Georgia boy, and I'm just not used to all this cold weather.
Have to say that I'm a pretty big fan of it though. Now we don't have to drive anywhere to go hiking in the snow. Check out our first good snow of the season.

It's still coming down, so we oughta have more in the morning. I hope we do, 'cause the Food Guy promised to take me on a cool hike tomorrow afternoon once the roads thaw out a little.

It's been a pretty busy couple of weeks around here. The Food Guy and I went down to the Lake for Thanksgiving. It was a great trip. We went for a few good runs down at Lake Norman State park, and he a lot of Turkey. I got a pretty good supply of dog bones while I was there, so I was happy. Then, his sister and brother in law came to visit Camp Z on their way home.

Dennis talked the Food Guy into finally buying a guitar. I don't mind because that means I get to spend more time laying on the floor inside with the Food Guy after we finish our outside activities every day. It's a pretty sweet guitar. Check it out.

I just hope he learns to actually play a song on it before too long. I got to spend most of last week hanging out with Alabama Star. The Food Guy had to go to Texas for a conference. They don't let dogs go to these conferences, which I think is pretty weak. But, that's OK, hanging with Alabama is always a good time. She's so much fun to play with. She let me play with all of her toys.

The Food Guy said he had a pretty good trip. The conference kept him busy, but he got a few urban runs in. I'm not sad I missed them. I don't really like running in the city. I'm a trail dog, you know.

I spent most of the day today sleeping inside while the Food Guy went to the App State playoff game. A buddy of his played at App back in the day, so he got them passes to watch the game from a VIP skybox. It sounds pretty swanky. They even got to go into the locker room after the game to hear the post-game coaches speech and all of that jazz. Sounds pretty cool. It ain't SEC football, but it's still pretty cool. Mostly, I think he was happy to see some of his Athens friends. They stayed with us last night, and it's always good to have some company out here at Camp Z.

Well, I'm gonna run. The Food Guy wants to go outside and move some firewood around, and I have snow to play in. See ya later. Keep warm, y'all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another High Country Monday

You gotta stay on your toes up here in Boone because the days of the week really don't matter all that much when you've got a Food Guy with a flexible schedule. I spent last weekend kicking it at my lake house while the Food Guy was at a conference in Florida. From what I hear, I didn't miss anything at all by not going on this trip. Food Guy said it was flat, filled with people who never actually do anything, and boring. He did say he had a lot of fun catching up with his UGA peeps. I think he misses them a lot, but he sure seemed happy to see me when he got home, which is good. We rolled back into Boone late Sunday night, and some of his friends from Athens were staying at the house. Steven and Allison had been up here watching our house while we were gone, and they had planned to stay over on Monday. Being the gracious hosts that we are, we figured we'd better take them climbing.

Food Guy gave Greg a call and told him to forget about working during the day since it was going to be so nice outside. We met up at the hallowed halls of Edwin Duncan Monday morning, and took off for one of our favorite climbing spots: the Dump.

We rolled up there later than our usual 9 am arrival and the people tied in around 11, which is a respectable southern alpine start. It was a great day. I hung out with my doggie friend Alabama and rolled around in the leaves for a couple of hours.

Greg, Steven, and the Food Guy got some good climbing in before we had to leave. Son of White Trash and Homegrown were first on tap. Everyone got a chance to tie into the sharp end of the rope and get some lead climbing done.

Then, Greg decided to give Vodoo Child, a 5.11 with a desperate start, a try. He styled it while Alabama and I nervously watch Steven and the Food Guy spot him to the first bolt. He made it look smooth and then Steven and the Food Guy got in some extreme top-rope action in got to the top without any major problems. We got all of this done in time for Food Guy and Greg to stop back by the office, say hello to their work people, and make it appear that it was just business as usual in the Reich College of Education. I had to wonder if any of the other profs wondered why their hands were covered in chalk residue. Wait a minute, I guess that wouldn't seem weird since some of the classrooms still have actual chalk boards. Man, those guys have it figured out don't they?

Well, it's time for the Food Guy and me to go for a run before we head to the lake for Turkey Day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Time Well Spent

I'm a pretty tired doggie right about now, but I'll try to tap out a few lines to tell y'all about our weekend before I go back to sleep. The weekend started off right on Friday morning with a trip to The Dump for a little climbing. The Food Guy woke me up at 7 and said, "Let's go, lazy dog." I looked at him like he had about 7 heads. I mean, it was COLD outside, and I couldn't think of a good reason to drag myself off the down comforter to head outside. Once he picked up the climbing pack, I changed my tune since I knew that I'd probably get to hang out with my doggie friend Alabama at the crag. Alabama and I played for a few hours while Greg and the Food Guy got some climbing in. Then, we headed down to town to meet up with Reeve and O Dog to head over to Elk Knob for a run. I was pretty tired by the time we got home Friday night, but I was psyched when I saw the Food Guy and Reeve put away their coffee cups and pick up their running shoes.

In true highland fashion we got a nice "southern alpine start" and headed over towards Linville for a run on the Profile Trail. Check out the views from this place.

It's pretty sweet, eh?

The Profile Trail isn't the greatest place to run. It's straight up for 3 miles and there are some boulder garden sections that are just plain un-runnable. But, the view is totally worth the effort.

We cruised back into town after Reeve and the Food Guy ate some killer cuban sandwiches in Foscoe. I only got dog bones, by the way. Someone should talk to the Food Guy about that. Just sayin'. Then we headed over to "The Rock" to watch App State kick the crap out of Wofford on the football field for a while. Luckily the Mountaineers got the game in hand quickly, so the Food Guy could head on home to watch the Georgia game. Auburn ended up winning, which is pretty lame, but that's OK. Bama won, so at least one of my SEC teams managed to pull out a W.

I was pretty worn out by the time the Bama game ended, which is pretty reasonable since we'd already had a pretty full weekend already. I called it a day and climbed onto the down comforter to get some sleep while the Food Guy got all of our stuff ready for the next adventure. He woke me up early again this morning, so we could head up the the Boone Fork trail for a little run. I always enjoy running up there. The trail has so much diversity. Smooth single track, Rhodi caves, boulder gardens... it's got it all. After we finished our run, we drove a little further up the Parkway to check out the view from the Linn Cove Viaduct. Not too shabby, huh?

Now, it's time for some sleep. Hope y'all have a good week.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Elk Knob Hike

Hey, everybody. The Food Guy and I have been pretty busy lately. He went to Greece and then we moved into our new house. In between we've been doing a little climbing and running. This week I helped the Food Guy build a hearth for our wood stove.

We finished just in time because it's getting cold up here in the high country. We had some snow this week. Check out this view of Snake and Rich mountains from our front porch:

Today we went up to Elk Knob with some friends and had a great hike in the snow. I love running around and playing in the snow.

The trail up to the top is really sweet. It winds its way up the mountain for just under two miles. The Food Guy are going to have to head up there to run the trail this week when the snow melts off.

The view up there is amazing. You can see peaks all the way up in Virginia from here. There are so many good hikes up here. Stay tuned for more adventures.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Table Rock Adventures: Or Why Climbing is Safer Than Mountain Biking

Hey, y'all. Sorry it's been a while since I've gotten my paws on the keyboard. The Food Guy has actually started working again, so that means that whenever we are not out on adventures he's hogging the computer getting his work done.

I'm happy to report that he likes his new job a lot, and App State seems like a good place for him to work. He's teaching his classes, writing his papers, and enjoying his new colleagues. We even have some money to buy dog bones now that he's actually getting paid once a while. Good stuff.

We have had some good adventures lately. Food Guy and Greg have a weekly "research meeting" every Friday morning at the local climbing area called "The Dump" and it's nice to get out during the week. But, this post is mostly about our best adventure in Boone yet: Climbing at Table Rock. The views there are out of this world. Check out this picture from one of the belay ledges.

A couple of weeks ago Steven, The Sams, Rebecca, and Lisa descended on Boone, so we could head out to Table Rock at Linville Gorge for some multi-pitch climbing action. The Food Guy is pretty much terrified of heights (don't ask me why he likes climbing), so Table Rock was a real head game for him. Four pitches of exposure made for a long, exciting day of climbing on Saturday. He told me that he really started to settle down and enjoy things about 3 pitches into the climb. Check out this pic of him and Sam relaxing at the final belay stance:

I think he was pretty happy when they finally topped out on Saturday.

Sunday, the crew headed back out for some top-rope action, which meant I got to come along. I had a lot of fun hiking around, and then I took some good naps while the people did some laid back climbing.

This weekend, was the start of college football season (I don't want to talk about what happened to my Dawgs), so we stayed in Boone and watched football on Saturday. On Sunday, Gregg, Karen, Jefe, and the Food Guy headed down to Wilkesboro to do some mountain biking at Dark Mountain. And, I think the Food Guy might have put his fear of heights into perspective. See, he didn't get hurt at all climbing multi-pitch at Table Rock. Mountain Biking? Well, that's different story. For all the time that dude spends on a bike, you'd think he'd have no problem right? Wrong. He came home with a broken helmet, a gash on his quad, and a dent in his shoulder. He was riding through a rock garden and decided to test his flying skills. You know what? Food Guys can't fly. He ended up meeting a rock head first on the side of the trail. There's a moral to this story: Climbing is safer than mountain biking.

Well, it's late and I'm tired. The Food Guy came home from teaching today and took me for a good run. We've been getting a good run in most every night. But, we picked up the pace today and I need to get some rest. I'll try to keep y'all posted on our travels a little more regularly now.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another day at "The Dumps

I wasn't really sure what was going on when the Food Guy woke me up at 7 am this morning, but once he started rummaging around in his climbing pack I knew something fun was about to happen. After I finished eating my breakfast, the Food Guy and I loaded up the mobile dog house and drove up to Blowing Rock to meet Greg, his kids, and Alabama (my doggie friend) so we could get in a little climbing at "The Dumps."

I think the Food Guy really likes that place. He seems to always have a silly grin on his face while we are there.

That Alabama is one goofy dog. We have a lot of fun playing around. Check her out:

The weather was great this morning. It was nice and cool and I was loving the deep, rich smell of the earth up in Blowing Rock when I was digging around for an even cooler spot to nap while the people were climbing.

We got there before anyone else showed up, which was great because there are not a lot of easy climbs around here. Greg and the Food Guy wanted to get Greg's kids on the rope, so we needed to beat the crowd and get to the easier routes. Once we got there, the Food Guy jumped on the sharp end of the rope and got to get a little more lead practice in.

After he got the route set up for top-roping, Greg's kids all did a fantastic job of scampering up the rock while Alabama and I goofed around. The Food Guy and Greg took turns belaying the kids while they climbed.

I think all the people had lots and lots of fun. I know I was loving being outside all morning. We spent a few hours at the easy routes, and then the Food Guy and Greg walked over to another route called "Son of White Trash" to give it a go. But, it wasn't to be. There was another group there, so we'll have to go back next week.

After we finished climbing, the Food Guy and I started making the trek down the mountain to Hickory. I'm out of dog food, and nobody sells my brand of food up here. I know. Ridiculous right?! But, the Food Guy was willing to drive down to Hickory to find a place that has it. Luckily, we found a store about halfway there where the Food Guy could pick up a giant bag of my favorite food. I think we'll have to go hit up the Boone Fork trail for a run later since we saved all that driving time.

Well, y'all have a great rest of the weekend. Hope you got into something fun. We sure did.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back in Boone

The Food Guy made it back from Denver last weekend, and we managed to make our way back up to Boone. It's been a pretty quiet week around here for me. The Food Guy finally got all moved into his office on campus, so he's been spending some time working. When we lived in Athens, he worked from home all the time, but he's decided that he should probably work in his office now that he actually has a job that will pay him--eventually. Oh, and I should mention that the Food Guy scored us a brand new MacBook Pro this week. His boss twisted some arms and got ASU to kick out with a new computer for him. I really like the new computer. The keyboard is a little bigger than our old one, so it's a lot easier for my paws to hit all of the keys.

It hasn't been all work and no play for us though. We managed to get a few laps in on our favorite running trail- the Boone Fork Trail, and the Food Guy went to a couple of yoga classes. We also got some climbing in this week. The Food Guy and Greg decided to play hooky from work on Thursday to spend the day climbing at a place called "The Dumps." It's a pretty cool spot. It's one of the very few bolted "sport climbing" areas in NC. Since Greg and the Food Guy both lack all the gear needed to climb most of the "trad" routes here in NC, they have to stick to bolted routes or routes they can top rope right now. Plus, the Food Guy hasn't really done much trad climbing, so it'll be a while before he learns how to do it safely anyway. The Dumps is a pretty cool area. It's really close to the road, so I have to stay on the leash while we are there.

I don't mind that too much. I mostly just lay around and nap while the people climb anyway. I just like being outside and adventuring with people. We're laying low this weekend. The Food Guy's a little worn out on traveling at the moment, so we decided to just chill here this weekend. I'm sure we'll head out for a short hike this afternoon and we'll probably head up the boulders in Blowing Rock tomorrow. Then, it'll be back to work. The Food Guy needs to get his classes planned for the fall. He'd better do a good job because we really need the dog food money that he makes by teaching. He also needs to get his act in gear and write a couple of papers. Somehow, I doubt next week will be all work though. I'm sure we'll manage a good adventure or three. I'll be sure to keep y'all posted on the life of an adventurous Yellow Dog.