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Black Mountains Tour

No foray into Appalachia should overlook the opportunity to scale the highest peak east of the Mississippi.  Here we have Mt. Mitchell, situated in the Black Mountain range in Western North Carolina.  Known for the Spruce trees which grow in the last couple of thousand feet nearing the summits of the multiple peaks in this range, the spruce give the mountains a rather blackish color as compared to surrounding mountains.  The color, from which the range is named, can be seen in satellite maps and even by driving by from a distance. 


Appalachian Trail:  Bluemont, VA (Snickers Gap) > Linden, VA

4 day 3 night solo winter expedition on the Appalachian Trail in Northern Virginia

Pickens Nose
Pickens Nose is a place that is often heard about, but yet a place that somehow I've personally managed to avoid for quite a number of years despite its apparent fame. On a recent excuse to find an outdoor adventure, I decided to make this place happen. Now I'm wondering why I've never visited this place before...
Albert Mountain
Much like the Pickens Nose trail, the Mt Albert area is high altitude, and directly on the AT. It's certainly one of the most extraordinary views in the region south of the Black mountains. On an extraordinary morning, the front page image was captured as the sun broke through the morning clouds.
Arabia & Bradley Mountain

I've been looking for Arabia mountain for quite a long time.  When I started my flying career back at 15 years old, I happened to fly across a dome of rock that looked curiously like the famous Stone Mountain in east Atlanta.  This rock, looked rather large and I managed to spot it now and again from the air, usually from the passenger seat of a Delta airliner. While I knew more or less where it was, as it was relatively under final approach for the westerly runways for Atlanta Hartsfield, I struggled to find this place until a couple of years ago.

Panama City Beach

First open water dive

Well I have to start with a little back ground seeing as I did not go about learning to dive the normal way.

It started when I was working at a marina on lake allatoona in Acworth, GA. I worked for Boat US as a tow boat operator on the weekends. There was always a boat that needed gas or just broke down in general. Then there were the calls of boats being grounded. Then sometimes, well they would just sink. Any salvage had been done by the guys from another marina on another lake. Well me and a friend that already had been diving for a number of years decided why can't we do this.

Espey Cave

Espey cave is a cave, particularly near to my heart as it was the first wild cave I ever had the privilege of exploring.  It was also geographically close to my home, which made it the spot for weekend caving, and I've probably logged hundreds of trips to this one in particular.  

I was first introduced to Espey in 1996, rappelling down the cliff face, and completely unaware that I would be descending right over the mouth of the cave.  The rappel was thrilling, in military style with nothing but a D ring and some webbing between you and the ground.  Also, being my first rappel, it was indeed a bit terrifying.  Then right in the middle of the rappel, the cliff face fell away and there stood before me, an enormous gaping hole in the side of the mountain with a heavy stream emerging from it.

My trepidation was quickly replaced with wonder and insatiable curiosity as I descended to the stream, soaking my shoes and became nearly instantly obsessed with the adventure of exploring what would be found inside.

Altamaha Gordonia

In all honestly this really doesn't deserve to be on bnoutdoors as there was nothing extreme about it, nor is there any lick of hiking short of walking around a lake, but it was interesting enough in terms of biodiversity to throw up here, as we collectively share interest in nature.  Altamaha Gordonia receives its name from the swampy Altamaha river adjacent, and the rare Gordonia tree, either once previously or currently located near here.  I stopped over here on the weekend to have a quick place to stay on the way to visit my sister over in Hinesville, GA at Ft. Stewart.  My son and I went and decided to spend the night here in the tent, and it was notable in my memory, as the first spanish moss filled,  swamp camping I've ever done, though, guaranteed not to be my last as I deeply desire to have the Altamaha River basin actual, and the Okeefenokee swamp on the list.  Big nuts tilt will definitely get raised sleeping with wild gators in the area.

Worley's Cave (Morrill Cave)

Morrill (or Worley) Cave is a very large and well-known cavern which opens in a huge sink 3 or 4 acres in area. It is the longest known cave in East Tennessee. There are two entrances, an upper dry mouth and ...

Panther Creek Trail (Section 2)

No list of north Georgia hiking would be complete without Panther Creek Trail at the top of the list.  Personally there are relatively two sites that I have personally experienced in Georgia that, have both extraordinary beauty, and have that feeling that you are no longer hiking in Georgia.  Those two are the Raven Cliff wilderness and Panther Creek as a whole.  While this review will cover the second, and less traveled section of Panther Creek, the first section is not to be missed despite it's popularity...

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