Category Archives: Uncategorized

Whiteside / sol’s creek

These are two short hikes we did the same day, starting with the Whiteside Mountain loop trail just outside of Cashiers, NC. This is a popular day hike, it’s only about a 2 mile loop in total. Might be more exciting if you’re nervous around heights or maybe don’t expect a few steel cables will keep you from falling over the 700 foot cliff alongside the trail.   The views are awesome though.

Florence Preserve

Next up was a totally different kind of hike.   We went to Sol’s Creek just east of the town of Argula, NC.  Calling it a town is way beyond a stretch but it shows up as such on USGS maps as well as (shockingly) Google maps.    No trailhead for this one, just a guard rail to jump over.  Best way to find this one is to find Sol’s Creek and then find where it crosses 281.  You want to go a half mile upstream which can be accomplished by a combination of deer paths on both sides of the river and walking up the river itself.   We found this extremely small salamander on one of our river crossings.

Please note, the west side of the creek is private property where it meets 281.  A half mile or so from the road you’re notice the river is getting a bit wilder and steeper and then you’ll come around a bend and see this lovely view:

At these water levels it’s easy to get up to that middle level below the higher falls.   It’s kind of a fun slide too.   We didn’t try to go higher than that and wouldn’t recommend it.   If you’re experienced at orienteering and bushwhacking you can manage this hike just by following the river upstream.   A map and compass isn’t a bad idea though.

Div III Men’s Basketball Final Four

We went up to Salem, Virginia for the Div III Final Four since Williams College was once again involved.

Salem Civic Center
Salem Civic Center

Williams won their Friday semifinal against Guilford College in a relatively tense affair, but at least that meant Friday night was more festive.

Williams vs Wisconsin Stevens Point
Williams vs Wisconsin Stevens Point

Unfortunately, Wisconsin Stevens Point was victorious in the final on Saturday in another exciting back and forth game. The Div III Final Four is pretty low-key. It’s nothing like a sell out (at least not this year) and there isn’t a whole lot of pomp and circumstance surrounding it.

We also made a side trip to nearby Blue Collar Joe’s Donuts which is just north of Roanoke.

Blue Collar Joe's Donuts
Blue Collar Joe's Donuts

This is definately a worthwhile detour if you’re passing by on I-81 (which we do a couple times a year).   They have some very creative concoctions including:  Blueberry pancake with maple and bacon, PB&J, Turtle, Blueberry Cheesecake, Coconut Creme Pie and Lemon Drop.

Washington Cherry Festival

Since we were in the neighborhood anyway, we dropped by Washington during the week-long Cherry Festival.   There’s not really much of a specific festival per se, more a series of unassociated events with the name “Cherry Festival” attached – as in the Cherry Festival Croquet Tournament.

 

Cherry trees along the Potomac
Cherry trees along the Potomac

The trees are thickest in the lagoon area between the Jefferson and Lincoln monuments.   We intended to visit at least one Smithsonian as well (American Indian) which required circling the National Mall about 5 times until a parking space opened up.    

 

Washington Monument
Washington Monument

WNC Nature Center

We actually go to the WNC Nature Center fairly often since it’s located right here in Asheville, but we never post pictures from it, so here are a couple.

jumping wolf

In late afternoon before the nature center closes everything tends to be particularly active (it’s feeding time!). This wolf was doing laps, apparently to build up his appetite.

melanie_sheep

We also tend to skip the petting zoo portion but since we were with our 3 year old niece we stopped by. Now, Melanie has a new friend.