Sunday, February 28, 2010

Every Mother's Worst Nightmare...


February, 2010

Thanks to the photographic wizardry of Genesis Studio, my likeness now graces the cover of QUEST magazine's February edition... It seems I have at last "arrived."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Photographic Journey...

February, 2010
Appalachian Trail, NC/TN

Our journey begins at the base of Yellow Mountain in Avery County, North Carolina. After getting Kenny's SUV stuck and unstuck several times (an adventure unto itself), we finally park and unload. Snowflakes are already wafting sideways, and the snow is 2-2 1/2 feet deep.

We hike in snowshoes, a necessity in the deep snow. And not that it is a huge concern in the Appalachians, but we all wear protective eyeglasses to guard against snow-blindness, a more dangerous threat to mountaineers. The ones you see above belong to a friend; they are authentic glacier glasses that eliminate glare and shield the eyes from the elements.

We hike 2 miles to the shelter and drop our backpacks. Then - as the skies clear - we hike higher. Looking back, you can see the Overmountain Shelter, where we'll stay over night. In the far distance, Roan Mountain touches the sky.

The Overmountain Shelter. Look closely and you can see the tracks where Will and Chris did some impromptu sledding on a plastic sheet!

The higher we climb, the more interesting the ice formations! Just one of many up there! In some places, there are "ice globs" the size of grapefruits hanging from branches! (See previous posts for photos of these).

We are running out of daylight but push on, regardless.

Kenneth looking intense, as usual!

As the sun sets, we must turn back. Here, Chris and Will admire the view amidst gently falling snow.

During the night, the temperature drops to 12 degrees, but with winds as powerful as 24 mph, the windchill factor makes the temperature -1 degrees! Snow pours through the wooden slabs and leave their frigid mark on our sleeping bags as we sleep not-so-peacefully. In the morning, we awake to howling wind and swirling snow clouds. We can no longer see the valley and decide to hike back to the car before things get worse. As we trek through the storm, the snow's average depth appears to be 4 1/2 feet. In some places, snow drifts tower above us, reaching close to 7 feet! We are relieved to find the SUV not covered in snow, and we're able to high-tail it outta there with our frost-bitten fingers and toes still intact!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Photo of the Week #18

White Tunnel

(3 1/2 feet of snow)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photo of the Week # 17

"White Sun Setting"

Appalachian Trail
Little Hump Mountain, NC/TN

Chris leads Will, Kenny, and I back to the Overmountain Shelter, where we'll spend a dangerous night amidst howling winds, swirling snow-clones, and temperatures far below freezing.

Photo by Sir Evan with Nikon Coolpix S570