Thursday, June 28, 2007


Carter Lake is located midway between Atlanta and Chattanooga. It is a pristine, non-populated lake, and its gorgeous! Scenery is spectacular! It is here we went in search of the Skua. Janet had heard of the bird through her birding friends. It has been sighted on this lake every day for the past week. We drove there today.
The Skua is a seabird. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long distance migrants. They eat fish, offal and carrion and many chase gulls, terns and other seabirds to steal their catches. They commonly eat lemmings, and the eggs and young of other birds. They are a medium to large bird, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They sport longish bills with hooked tip, and webbed feet with sharp claws. At first glance they appear to be a gull, dark in color. The bird, which is the subject of our search, must have had his natural instinctive geographical road map altered someway. He is certainly far off course. His appearance here in Tennessee is testimony to natures way. The weak and less than adequate are not permitted to breed and pass on their defects. This bird's destiny is to be alone until death. I fear that has happened as we could not find it. Every cove and piece of lake was covered. We could not have missed it. The Skua is out of its element. And in this case; the element will claim victory. And I'm sure it has as it has been seen daily and even hand fed on different areas of the lake by boaters. A picture of it rests in the local marina, taken just a day ago. We searched for hours and nothing. I can only assume the worse. Tragic but necessary to the breed.
I thought it unusual for all these trees to be so thin. Many forests were flooded when the impoundments were created, but the trees were thick. It didn't take long to figure out. The sonar indicated depths of 50 and 60 feet here. These were the tip tops of the flooded trees. Their trunks and larger girth were at the bottom. Floating on the tops of trees----------a novel idea.
A view out from one of the larger coves on Carter Lake
These deer were delightful to watch. They didn't stay long. Note the velvet on the antlers.
They're always there. The clean up crew.
Dinner! Yea!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I like to read the Hellbender Press Newspaper and I saw a comment made by the Senator from Texas about Global Warming. Keep in mind; these are the elected representatives we have put in place to govern our country. These are the men and women who we have placed in extreme power. These are the people who are stewards to our natural wilderness's and wetlands. These are the most educated folks in our land; they got the highest marks in schools. They are our best. He says, "even if all of the scientific shenanigans to promote global warming do not work, and global warming does occur, it is not so bad because it will increase the growing season in cold climates, and the people who live in cold climates will thank us. As for the people who live on islands, well, they can move." got to apply the dollar logic to it. Unfortunately, the senator failed to consider another finding from geologic history: the last time all the glaciers melted, sea level rose 300 feet and at least 30 percent of the current land surface was under water, including most of Texas. I imagine the fishermen will thank us. We have some (real winners) in power in this country! Lucky us!
A couple people asked where the short stories were that I had written a while back. They were buried in the archives. I have placed links to three of them if you might be interested. They are below. Let me know if you like them and I'll put more together when I get a chance.



Outdoor Wanderings: THE LAST RUN

Outdoor Wanderings: THE LAST RUN

Outdoor Wanderings: THE STORM a TWRA story

Outdoor Wanderings: THE STORM a TWRA story

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


The dogs awakened me early yesterday and I thought it would be early enough to head over to Cherokee and get on the Blue Ridge Parkway before all the tourists arrived on the roads. I got to Route 441 in Townsend and there they were. Oh well!. Once on the parkway all sense of worldly care disappeared. I kept the big yellow bike in fourth gear and just cruised slowly up the side of the mountain. The exhaust tone was mellow. I hate loud exhaust pipes. This bike emits a gentle strength that bespeaks power if needed. It has been a long time since I rode on the Parkway and I couldn't wait to get to an overlook and remove my helmet and just drink it all in. The Blue Ridge Parkway is 475 miles long starting in Cherokee, NC and ending in Waynsboro, VA. It is a glorious creation that meanders through some of the most fantastic forest and mountains on this continent. It is as if one is in a dream at times while maneuvering a motorcycle over the twisty, curvy path. The Blue Ridge Parkway has it all. From granite cliffs, and drop strait down valleys, to soft winding country roads that roll up and down and around. It is there for all to enjoy. Yes, it is part of our heritage. A legacy of how the earth used to be. This sign conjures up memories of countless adventures on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Years and years of experiences on this road have made me a better motorcycle operator and has fueled my desire for adventure. I love this road. I love its history and I love how it allows wilderness penetration without actually invading nature's privacy.
Just one of the many beautiful overlooks on the Parkway.
I have taken more pictures of bikes at this sign than I care to think about over the years. A very nice lady from Florida offered to take my picture with the Yellow Wonder. I accepted. I believe it is the first photo of me with a motorcycle in front of the sign ever.
The views are spectacular! The overlooks are neat and clean. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the finest motorcycle road in this country. I've been on them all. It is an adventure that never stops.
The two pictures below were taken just below Fontana Dam. If you read the short story I wrote called "The Storm"; you'll remember the Uniform and the Golden Dog came out of the cove and observed this same apparition and had to react to it. These fog events cover the entire river bank to bank and are dense. Some are stories high and they keep within the confines of the river bank. Not much one can do in a boat with this situation.


I guess everyone knows by now that I like dogs. I don't want to make this blog site a dog rescue site but I owe it to these two friends below to do my best for them. I have been fostering them now for months and can't seem to find anyone who is interested in them. They are not any particular breed, and they don't do fancy tricks, but they are loyal and better company than some humans I know. If any one of you know of someone who would like to adopt a great dog and make him or her your friend; please let me know through email or a message on this blog. Both these dogs are fantastic! They just aren't pure bred nor are they baby puppies. They are sweet, kind and ask only for a gentle touch occasionally. Please keep these two super dogs in mind as you meet and talk to your friends.. Boone is a hound of sorts. He is docile and lays around. He will come immediately to you if you approach. He is great with children and other dogs. He uses the dog door to go outside when necessary. As for cats; he stares at Homer and I have exercised caution with him. He tends to ignore cats on the whole. He is up to date on his shots, vaccinations, is neutered, heart worm is good to go and receives Front Line treatments. He is a very docile. Jazzie is also a super docile dog. She is slow at everything accept running. She takes her hand delivered treats in super slow motion, slowly biting down on it and gently removing the treat from your fingers. She makes eye contact and holds it throughout your involvement with her. This is a smart dog. She runs with grace and finesse. Her lean body stretches out and her feet gently touch the ground in what appears to be slow motion. She is a quiet dog. You never know she is there. Jazzie has had her shots and vaccinations, heart worm treated and is on Front Line. She is spayed. Again; her only problem is that she is not a puppy nor pure bred. She needs a break and a loving, forever home. She deserves it. This is Boone. His only crime is that he was born.
This is Jazzie. A great dog!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007


This is Shade. I found her in the forest at Chilhowie Lake while camping off the boat last week. She was actually in the forest about half mile away from a public camping area. Her body was lean indicating she was starving. Of course, I picked her up after a little coaxing with Douglas's food. This dog is one of the most loving dogs I have ever had the pleasure of being with. She is like Velcro on me. It is said that they know and bond to the one who saves them. Maybe that is true. But Shade is exceptional in that area. She walks over and stands there with her muzzle laying on my knee. All she asks for is a hand to be laid on her head. She follows me everywhere. I am going to put effort to have her sit/stay and lay down. Her virtues are as follows: She is house trained (uses our dog door without prompting,) is super friendly and quiet, gets along well with cats and children, appears to be leash trained and walks calmly at your side on a leash. It seems she is about four years old. She is solid shiny black without a flaw in the paint. Shay has had her shots and vaccinations. She has been spayed only yesterday and was a bit lethargic today for the pictures I just took. She has a $150.00 adoption fee associated with her. The dogs that are saved from terrible fate receive only the best vet and feed from me. If any of you know of a good home for this gorgeous loving animal; please contact me through this blog or email me. My friends at Great Dog Rescue should have her pictures on their site as soon as I can send them. I get attached easily to these babies so I hope someone responds soon as I am tempted to increase my family with another permanent member. And look at those beautiful white teeth! Shade.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I wanted to go back to the Big South Fork today. I left in the morning and just rambled around North West of Oakridge. I found some fine roads and one in particular, route 127, is a real jewell of a motorcycle road. I picked a couple other roads and one lead me to Bill and Mikes Barber Shop in Jellico, Tennessee. Over a hundred years old. I don't know how much a hair cut is. That is big country up there and I need Kevin along as a guide.
So there we are, laying on the deck of the boat enjoying a peaceful evening and ready to fall asleep to the tune of a rambling brook way back in the cove when Douglas growls. He is staring into the thick stuff. Oh no! I immediately thought boars. Douglas stepped off the boat but didn't move toward the woods. He just stood there. Then a movement and a body black as coal came toward the boat cautiously. I gave her Douglas's food, loaded her up and came home and played pick off the tick for an hour. He is beautiful. What am I going to do with her?
What a sweet face. Who could throw her away?
Douglas and Happy are in for an evening swim. What a pair!
This is a little cove on Chillhowee Lake I found. A perfect spot for camping. We saw a pair of Boar here last week and I'm sleeping on the deck of the boat. No way am I going to risk running in to them again especially at night.

Friday, June 8, 2007


The sky is purple and black with yellow and orange around the edges. Thor's hammer strikes an invisible anvil somewhere up there, where it's vertical and dark. Long, sharp spears of light flash toward the earth as though thrown from black clouds that linger just above the tallest trees and gray granite peaks. The hammer strikes are repetitive and grow in volume as the lightning bolts become brighter and occur more immediate after the deafening roar of the thunder. The storm is growing near. Thor's lake in the clouds overflows it's spillway and the cold water pours down to earth as if a gray, wet, solid wall of liquid has descended from the heavens. The storm appears to be impenetrable. The thunder and lightning occur simultaneously, and the water fall intensifies. The purple and black sky appears to be moving toward the only approaching object in the vicinity. A shape vaguely appears on the horizon. It moves with grace, yet with determination. Unafraid it plunges into the depths of black. A halo appears around the front of it as it moves along at a brisk pace through the dark world. It throws out its own beam of light as if to push back the angry storm colors. The outline of it is not crisp as the fall of rain has all but erased the form and shape of it. But it preservers and continues it's forward movement. Water is thrown to the left and right sides of it, resembling aliquots fountains, as the machine increases speed to try to penetrate the wall of wind and water. It can not be stopped. Thor's efforts are in vain. Gradually the lines of it can be seen and its origin determined. It rockets out through the back side of the storm in silence. No loud boasting is needed. It's strength and determination has been tested. And the storm has been bested. This apparition is below.
Motorcycling is great fun but it is particularly enjoyable when one can ride with another experienced veteran. This gentleman below is Perry. He is a friend I made here in Tennessee. I trust him at my back while riding. He uses his head and not the throttle. I don't have to constantly look in my rear view mirror to see if a companion is riding too close or too far away. Perry is a perfect road companion. He like Kevin, whom you met here on the blog before, are road smart. They know what and how to do it and do it right the first time. Perry is one of the most "with it guys" I know. He doesn't care where we go, or how fast, or how long it takes. He doesn't care if it rains, or if it doesn't. He will stop when you do and he's ready to go when you are. He is sensible and knowledgeable. He's my friend. And I his............Proud of it!!!!!!!!!!
Perry is standing proudly behind his 2007 Harley Davidson Ultra Glide. Harley owners are proud of their horses. This Harley is Perry's baby and he'll tell you too. We stopped here to take a breather and to decide weather to put on rain suits. Na, heck with the rain suits. Boy, was that a mistake.....
He says; "yep, I think we're gonna get wet..
Here are two adventure machines. Or could it be trouble looking for a place to happen? This is an overlook on the Cherohalla Sky way somewhere between Tellico Plains and Robbinsville, NC.
This is a closer view of my friend Perry's horse. It's a 2007 Harley Davidson Ultra Glide. This machine is the flag ship for Harley Davidson. Perry bought his bike from me one day when he visited Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson and Buell to get out of the rain. He left on this machine. We were friends ever since.
No it's not Red's replacement. This girl is an evolution to a new day. She is bright with promise of future excitement and adventure. She is proving her worth today. A wonderful horse indeed.
Oh ya! We're driving right into a pretty good rain fall. Doesn't matter. Great Friend along, great machine to ride. What could be better?!
Everything is so green and sweet up here on the Cherohalla. It is a reminder of why I moved here in the first place.