Friday, October 30, 2009

Cadillac Mountain - Acadia National Park - First Sunrise

Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is unique in that guest there are the first people within the continental United States to see the sunrise.  

“We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness” - Unknown

Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine is the oldest park east of the Mississippi River and has been drawing guest to the beautiful rugged long before it was designated a park because of its diversity and beautiful rugged coast.   Acadia National Park is home to more than 2 million visitors each year and offers  The park features a 27 mile loop and more than 40 miles of carriage roads making it a ideal destination for cyclist.   If you would like more information on Acadia National Forest, please visit their website at

Humor for the day - The politician was sitting at his campaign headquarters when the phone rang. He listened intently, and after a moment his face brightened. When he hung up, he immediately phoned his mother to tell her the good news.

"Ma!!!," he shouted, "the results are in. I won the election!!!"

"Honestly?", his mother replied.

The politician's smiled faded. "Aw well, ma, why bring that up at a time like this?"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in Portland Maine

“A fallen lighthouse is more dangerous than a reef”
Marking the the entrance into the Portland Harbor, the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse was first constructed to mark a dangerous ledge. Numerous ships had struck the ledge and local ship owners had petitioned the Lighthouse Board for many years before funds were made available for construction by congress in 1895.  The lighthouse was completed in March 1987 and the lens was lit if May of 1897 where it has serves as a nautical aid every since.  

Humor of the day - A man walking along a road in the countryside comes across a shepherd and a huge flock of sheep.

Stopping to rest, he tells the shepherd, "I will bet you $100 against one of your sheep that I can tell you the exact number in this flock."

The shepherd thinks it over.

It's a big flock, so he takes the bet.The man looks around and answers, "869."

The shepherd is astonished, because that is exactly right.The shepherd says, "Okay, I'm a man of my word, take an animal."

The man picks one up and begins to walk away."

Wait," cries the shepherd, "let me have a chance to get even.

Double or nothing that I can guess your exact occupation."

The man agrees."

You are an accountant for the government," says the shepherd."


responds the man.

"You are exactly right"

But tell me, how did you deduce that?"

"Well," says the shepherd, "put down my dog and I will tell you."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Colors in Maine on Appalachian Trail

Fall Colors on the Appalachian Trail in Maine.

“But I remember more dearly autumn afternoons in bottoms that lay intensely silent under old great trees” - C.S. Lewis

Fall colors and crystal clear lakes.  The only thing that could have made it better is warmer weather so we could enjoy swimming in a few of the many lakes that line the Appalachian Trail in Maine.   The fall colors, the clear water, the clean air, the sound of loons in the morning, the signs of moose all around, all led to this being the most enjoyable section of the Appalachian Trail for me.

Humor of the day - Two men were digging a ditch on a very hot day. One said to the other, "Why are we down in this hole digging a ditch when our boss is standing up there in the shade of a tree?" "I don't know," responded the other. "I'll ask him."

So he climbed out of the hole and went to his boss. "Why are we digging in the hot sun and you're standing in the shade?" "Intelligence," the boss said. "What do you mean, ‘intelligence'?"
The boss said, "Well, I'll show you. I'll put my hand on this tree and I want you to hit it with your fist as hard as you can." The ditch digger took a mighty swing and tried to hit the boss' hand. The boss removed his hand and the ditch digger hit the tree. The boss said, "That's intelligence!"
The ditch digger went back to his hole. His friend asked, "What did he say?" "He said we are down here because of intelligence." "What's intelligence?" said the friend. The ditch digger put his hand on his face and said, "Take your shovel and hit my hand."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Colors in Maine, Appalachian Trail

"For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.

For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad."
- Edwin Way Teale

Usually when hiking we would wake up, eat, and take our time packing up and try to get on the trail by around 7:30-8:00.   This time it was different, I am not sure if it was the colors or just that I was so excited to be in Maine, but I was usually up right after daybreak and on the trail within 20 minutes.   I would hike to the first water source or overlook and usually have breakfast.  It made for some long days, but I was able to experience some of the most amazing landscape on the trail and the best time of the year.   One day I will go back to the 100 mile wilderness, but next time I am going to have a fly rod with me. 

Humor for the day - A traffic cop on patrol one night, watching a 35mph zone on the edge of town, suddenly saw a car come blazing by his hideout. Quickly grabbing at his radar gun, he clocked the fast moving vehicle at 87mph!

The officer took off after the speeder and soon had the car pulled over on the side of the road. Expecting trouble with such a reckless driver, the patrolman approached cautiously.
To his surprise the driver of the offending vehicle was a little old lady, barely tall enough to see over the steering wheel.
“Ma’am,” the officer began. “Do you know how fast you were going?”
“I was just getting her up around 90, I believe, officer,” the old lady answered calmly, peering up at him through her bifocals. “Why, what seems to be the problem?”
Shocked, the officer returned her comment, “What seems to be the problem? Why, this is a 35mph zone! That’s the problem. Didn’t you see the sign?”
“Oh sure,” the old lady returned, “That’s why I’m driving so fast. I’m just trying to follow it’s instruction.”
Dumbfounded, the officer was momentarily speechless.
“Just what sign are you talking about, Ma’am?” he asked, when he finally recovered.
Smiling up at the officer, the old lady placed a gentle hand on his wrist and said, “Why, the one that said ‘Speed Zone Ahead’, of course!”

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Appalachian Trail in Maine

How strange that Nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude! ~Emily Dickinson

I don't think I would ever grow tired of the beauty of Maine.   The Appalachian Trail does a good job of taking you by most of the lakes and overlooks in the area.   It was pretty windy and chilly on the mountain  tops and you always wanted to spend some time there, but at the same time you always knew you had something else to look forward to coming up.   I had camped on the shores of the lake, but had an early start so arrived at this spot fairly early in the morning.  

Humor for the day - Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner and a bottle of wine, they retire for the night, and go to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

“I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes” replies Watson.

“And what do you deduce from that?”

Watson ponders for a minute. “Well,

Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.

Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.

Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.

Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.

Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe.

But what does it tell you, Holmes?”

Holmes is silent for a moment.
“Watson, you idiot!” he says. “Someone has stolen our tent!”

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Appalachian Trail - Maine

While the Appalachian Trail in Maine is challenging, you are constantly rewarded with mountain top views and crystal clear lakes and rivers.   I would often sleep near these lakes and fall asleep to the sounds of loons during the night.   It was cool enough to keep mosquitoes away, which meant it was also to cold for me to swim, but I can only imagine how bad it must have been for some of my friends who finished their journey earlier in the summer.

“The clearest way to the Universe is through a forest wilderness” -John Muir

Humor for the day - These bear hunters were sitting around the cabin the night before the hunt bragging about their pass hunts.

The cabin boy was listening and went over and said "you guys make it seam pretty hard on capturing a bear".

They all laughed and said "it is hard; do you think you could bag one"?

"I can go out and bag you 2 if you will skin them, and I will bet each of you $100.00.

They agreed and off he went out into the night.

Soon he spotted a big grizzly; he waved his arm and started hollering the big bear started after him and he started running for the shack. When he got close to the shack he started yelling. "Open the door he yelled".

They looked out and saw the bear chasing the boy. Just as he got to the door they opened it and he stepped aside and the bear went in. He slammed the door and locked it and shouted. "OK skin him I'll go and get the other one".

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall in North Carolina

I was able to get back to Boone, North Carolina the last couple of days and was able to enjoy the brisk temperatures and the fall colors.   We had a busy schedule, so while I did not get to spend alot of time doing photography, I had a blast catching up with old friends and making new ones.  

“A sly rabbit will have three openings to its den” - Chinese Proverb

Humor for the day - A doctor and a lawyer were talking at a party.

Their conversation was constantly interrupted by people describing their ailments and asking the doctor for free medical advice.
After an hour of this, the exasperated doctor asked the lawyer, "What do you do to stop people from asking you for legal advice when you're out of the office?"
"I give it to them," replied the lawyer, "and then I send them a bill."
The doctor was shocked, but agreed to give it a try.
The next day, still feeling slightly guilty, the doctor prepared the bills.
When he went to place them in his mailbox, he found a bill from the lawyer.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

White Blazes

The long trails in the United States are marked by "White Blazes"   The white blazes are typically 2 inches wide and 6 inches long.  The way the system works is pretty simple, a single blaze is used along the trail to mark the location of the trail and are usually marked every 100 feet or closer.   A double blaze (as shown above) are two blazes with one directly on top of the other and represents an intersection.  It can be a road crossing, the intersection of another trail, a river, etc.   A left turn or right turn is also marked by a double blaze with the top blaze offset either to the right or left.  A blaze to the right of the lower blaze means a right turn and vice versa. 

In addition to white blazes, most trail systems have side trails that are usually marked with a blue blaze.  These can be to water, overlooks, side trails into towns, etc. 

“I find the great thing in this world is, not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Humor for the day - One day there was a rabbit and a snake who were both growing old and could not remember what animal they were.
"OK I'll describe you and then see if you can guess what you are." said the snake.
"That's a good idea." said the rabbit.
"You are white, fluffy, and you have big ears and feet." said the snake.
"Oh good, I'm a rabbit! So the rabbit says, "You are long, slim, and have a forked tongue."
"Oh NO, I'm a lawyer!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kennebec River

The Kennebec River in Maine is the larges and most formidable unbridged river along the Appalachian Trail.  The river is approximately 210 feet wide and the water levels are controlled by a hydro facility upstream.   Water levels and currents rise faster than a hiker can ford the river which resulted in a thru hiker drowning in 1985.   As a result, a canoe ferry system was created and operates from late May to early October.   

"The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it." - Chinese Philosopher

Humor for the day - Who Reads Newspapers?

The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

–The New York Times is read by people who think they run the country.

–The Washington Post is read by people who think they ought to run the country.

–USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t understand The Washington Post.

–The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they could spare the time.

–The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.

–The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country.

–The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who’s running the country, as long as they do something scandalous.

–The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure there is a country, or that a country is a good idea in the first place.

–The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country.

–The Chicago Tribune is read by people who live in the Midwest, which readers of the other newspapers don’t think is part of the country.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Eastern Chipmunks

Chipmunks were probably the most seen animal on the trail this year.  They are very timid and would run away at first site, but occasionally you would run into a brave soul near a shelter or campsite. 

Chipmunks belong to the genus Tamias which means "storer" and refers to the animals' habit of collecting and storing food for winter.   The Eastern Chipmunk raises 2 litters a year with each consisting of 4 or 5 babies.  They have a expansive burrows of 12-15 feet and usually with several well concealed entrances.   They keep their sleeping quarters very clean and store their feces and shells from nuts in refuse tunnels.   Their habit of hoarding and hiding seeds and nuts is beneficial in seeding of new trees and plants.

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." Lou Holtz

Humor for the day - Funny one liners.
I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
Honk if you love peace and quiet.
42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
There are 3 kinds of people: those who can count & those who can't.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Appalachian Trail Boreal Forest

"“Some men go through a forest and see no firewood” - English Proverb

One of my favorite parts of the Appalachian Trail are the Boreal Forest in the Northeastern United States.  They are located in formerly glaciated areas with severe winters with up to six months of temperatures averaging below freezing and relatively short summers.   Vegetation consist mainly of needleleaf, coniferous, trees consisting mainly of species of fur and spruce. 

Humor for the day - Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were walking along the beach. Suddenly, Justin says, "Aww, Britney, look at the dead birdie."

Britney looks up at the sky and says, "Where?!"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Grouse on Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire

This grouse was sitting in the middle of the Appalachian Trail just before I reached Franconia Ridge.   I had seen several grouse while hiking on the trail, but within the last mile I saw two that did not seem to mind the hikers.

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fontana Dam on the Appalachian Trail in the Smoky Mountain National Park

This photo was taken standing on Fontana Dam.  The mountains in the background are part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Monday, October 5, 2009

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sheer Determination

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

Amazing.... Take a closer look at this photo.  There is a large boulder underneath this tree.  And I mean all the way under the tree.  The roots grew around the rock to penetrate the ground below.  I sat here and pondered how this tree grew. Did it start on top of the rock, did it start beside it and overtime roots grew over the rock, etc.  To make it more interesting, this tree was near the top of a ridge where it is not protected from winds and the harsh climate.   I am still in awwe of this tree.

Humor for the day - This is the true story of George Phillips of Meridian, Mississippi, who was going to bed when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the shed. George opened the door to go turn off the light but saw there were people in the shed in the process of stealing things.

He immediately phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?" and George said no and explained the situation. Then they explained that all patrols were busy, and that he should simply lock his door and an officer would be there when available.

George said, "Okay," hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again.

"Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I've just shot them all."

Then he hung up. Within five minutes three squad cars, an Armed Response unit, and an ambulance showed up. Of course, the police caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the policemen said to George: "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"

George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sunset in the Great Smoky Mountains

NOTE: Headed to Maine to finish my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. I have prepared a number of blogs and scheduled them to post while I am on the trail. Thanks for following and I will be back soon.

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”- Crowfoot

It was a cold afternoon on the top of the mountain and I was heading down to camp in the valley below.   This photo was taken near Newfound Gap in the Smoky Mountains.

Humor for the day - A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss his use of the family car.

His father said to him,

"I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little, and get your hair cut, we will talk about it."

A month later the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car.

His father said, "Son, I'm real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied your bible diligently, but you didn't get a hair cut!"

The young man waited a moment and replied, "You know dad, I've been thinking about that. You know Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair."

His father replied, "Yes son, and they walked everywhere they went!"