As part of getting ready to move to Denver, I have taken it upon myself to re-take my favorite hikes here in north Georgia. Yesterday it was Neil's gap to the top of Blood Mountain on the Appalachian trail. It is only two and a half miles one way, but you climb about 1500 feet from the base of the approach trail to the very top. Parts of it are steep and quite rocky, which is unusual for Georgia.
Parts of this trek are less of a trail and more of a collection of white rectangular blazes randomly scattered on trees and rocks. That makes it one of the toughest and most fun hikes here in Georgia. At the end you get this beautiful view.
I sent a pic from the top to a friend of mine in Denver. (Cell coverage at the top, not many empty places left in Georgia.) She though it was cute that I called it a mountain. At it is true that Colorado's mountains are bigger. Blood mountain is less than 4,500 feet in elevation and is less than 2,000 from base to summit. In a month I'll be living at a higher elevation than the top of Blood Mountain.
New Hiking Pack!
Over the years I've had various backpacks I've used for hiking. Most of them were repurposed from my kids or simply cheap to purchase. As spring approached I decided to actually get a couple of packs that are actually designed for hiking. Both are day packs, one for shorter hikes, one for longer ones.
My short hike pack is really an oversized fanny pack with two water bottles. While a bit eighties, it works very well for a few hour hike, or as a second pack when hiking with a group.
My long hike pack comes from No Limits. I choose it for the amount of space it had and how it felt on my back. I don't know how long it will last or how well it is made, but it feels sturdy. Loaded with lunch, first aid kit, camera, phone and two genuine Science Getaways water bottles I was able to carry it for hours without my shoulders wearing out. I'm very happy with it.
As a kid all the way to now I have loved the work of painter Bob Ross (aka Fuzz Head). I can watch his shows (which ran on PBS for eons) simply to listen to his quiet voice and watch him create something beautiful in a short time. He inspired me to take up painting in college and for a while it was an obsession. I was even kind of good for a while, had a few pieces in a gallery show.
The 538 blog ran a statistical analysis of Bob Ross' paintings, and I thought it was a fun read. Here is a link to it.