This Thanksgiving holiday was a very nice respite. No travels, other than to Durham and Raleigh. I did drive to Asheville Tuesday to pick up Jeff from UNCA; Jason drove from Raleigh to Blacksburg on Friday night after dinner so he could be back for the VT-UVA football game. That game came out the right way, with VT winning and now going to the ACC championship. Carolina redeemed itself after the NCSU debacle by beating Duke and should be in a bowl game. I didn’t have to drive Jeff back to Asheville, as the carpool took him back this morning. Slept in until almost 8AM today; rain on the roof, the dogs and cat even seeming to be finally on holiday schedule. Three lattes with the newspapers (N&O and NYTimes). Bought a Christmas tree this afternoon — very nice Fraser Fir for only $65; seems that prices are down this year. Headed to the Carolina basketball game this evening.
Now, that ol’ alarm clock will be ringing at 5:15AM Monday. Three weeks until winter break, then two weeks off! Woohoo!
As I mentioned yesterday, we took a short trip to Asheville, NC for my son to go to freshman orientation at UNC Asheville. This was his day, so as to not be “helicopter parents” Jan and I dropped him off at the University, checking to see that we truly weren’t needed until mid-afternoon, and then we drove a short ways south of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a bit of hiking, reading (by Jan) and fishing (by me).
The morning was cool and pretty, and as we drove up the mountains toward Mt. Pisgah, the temperature dropped a bit more. We arrived a our destination, a large overgrown meadow with a stream running through it. At 5000 feet, it stayed in the 60’s, through our hike. Perfect shirtsleeve weather. Jan took this picture of me trying to coax trout from the clear, shallow water, using a rod Dave Lewis made for me from a Sage TXL 00 blank (great for this fishing!). The brook trout in this stream are small, but can be very pretty, as you’ll see in a bit. They weren’t feeding actively, so while I could see them and get some good drifts, it was more “fishing” than catching. Then, I connected with this nice fish.
Spent lots of time trying to avoid the vegetation around the stream. This is a fairly open section, but getting the fly under the brush on the left was tougher than it may look. I caught a handful and LDR’d a few others in a couple of hours.
Met up with Jan again when the stream headed up hill to the falls (and got too small to be fished), and we finished our hike. Walked about 4 miles on a nice day, caught some fish, and made it back to Asheville in time for some registration paperwork.
Long drive home, but fun!
A quick visit to Asheville NC. Youngest son, Jeff, will be starting UNC Asheville in the fall, and he has freshman orientation tomorrow. Jan and will not be helicopter parents, as this is #2 son going to college, and we’re now “old hands.” We’ll drop him off, and after a few minutes, head up to hike and catch a trout in the Shining Rock Wilderness.
Downtown Asheville is a great place. Fine pizza, al fresco, at the Mellow Mushroom, along with a few pints of microbrews. Afterwards, sat in rocking chairs on the porch of the Thomas Wolfe house and enjoyed the breeze (and called my dad for Father’s Day).
Hope to have some pictures to post tomorrow of hiking and fishing…
Off today on some college visits. My youngest son, Jeff, is considering Guilford College and UNC-Asheville. Visited Guilford this morning. I was very impressed. A small school, but beautiful, spacious campus (over 300 acres). Things got off to a good start when we drove up in front of the admissions building and they had a parking space reserved with a sign with Jeff’s name on it. Nice touch! I was very impressed with the programs and the facilities. They have about 1400 traditional students and 1000 “non-traditional” older part-time students. Spent about two hours there. Jan and Jeff did an open house at Guilford in June, but I’d never been there, though I work not 5 miles away at UNCG.
I’m writing this from Asheville, NC, where we’re staying for the night. The UNCA open house starts first thing in the morning. We decided to splurge and stay in downtown Asheville in the Mariott Renaissance hotel. It’s just across the street from the Thomas Wolfe memorial, and just a block from the Asheville downtown area. Asheville seems to have a very vibrant downtown, lots of restaurants, theaters, bars, etc. Had some great pizza at Mellow Mushroom. They must have had 50 or 60 beers on tap, including about 20 from local microbreweries. I had a couple (or 3) from the Highland Brewing company, their Oatmeal Porter and the Gaelic Ale. Two of the Gaelic Ales, in fact ;-). Looking forward to visiting the UNCA campus in the morning. That’s all for now!