Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Family time

    It's been a great week so far. Monday was Peyton's shelf exam for internal medicine which she has been in now for about three months. I'm really happy for her to have it behind her- a big accomplishment for the year! Monday evening we had our parents and Peyton's brother Daniel over for her dad's birthday. Peyton made an awesome Tiger cake for her dad- go Princeton Tigers!

    After work on Tuesday, I picked up my niece, Laura, for some squirrel hunting. I have taken my nephew, Micah hunting a few times now, and she has been wanting to go, so we went.. We had a great time walking through the woods together- she even taught me a few games while we were sitting, waiting for a squirrel. We  saw three deer and two squirrels, one of which we got. She asked me to make her some jerky with it, so hopefully it'll turn out as good as the last batch. I am so lucky to have my family so close here in Richmond. I have really enjoyed getting to spend some time with my awesome niece and nephew the last couple of years. It has been cool getting to explore the outdoors with them and teach them some of the things I have learned about hunting, camping, fishing, and other fun activities that my uncle taught me when I was growing up.

 Hope you all are enjoying your week where ever you may be. Probably going to be a couple days till the next post- hitting the books hard the next couple of days.

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
Mother Teresa

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall weekend

    This past weekend was great. It was one of those weekends that didn't go by too fast, but just at the right pace.
    I got off work a little early on Friday and got my first high water squirt in. For those of you who didn't know, I recently got into squirt boating- a type of kayaking that involves a very low volume, fiberglass boat. See previous blog posts for some pictures and videos of squirt boating. I met up with Ben for a run of the lower at just under 10'. We were both a little nervous, as the low volume boat can be slower to maneuver at times and sits pretty low in the water. I had taken it out at 8' before and did fine, but with another two feet, many features of the river change quite a bit. It was a blast. Can't wait for the water to come back up again!

        Friday evening my nephew, Micah came over to spend the night with us. We went on a walk around the fan when my sister dropped him off. We then went out to Bass Pro to look for some camo for him to wear on our hunt in the morning. We finished off the evening having dinner with Peyton and then taking a quick walk over to Strawberry St. market for some push pops. We rose early Saturday morning to hunt turkeys out at Tuckahoe. Peyton fixed us an awesome breakfast before we went-in the midst of studying for one of her biggest test of the year-she was up at 5:45 fixing us breakfast-she's incredible. Saturday was youth turkey day, a day set aside for youth to hunt before the regular season starts later in the month. We got in the woods around 6:30am and had a great hunt seeing four bucks, a few does, a bunch of squirrels, and a few signs of turkeys.Even though we didn't get ourselves a turkey, we had an awesome time together, in the woods on a beautiful fall morning. In following tradition, we got breakfast at McDonalds after the hunt. Yum. Here are a few pictures of our time together.

The rest of the afternoon on Saturday I studied with Peyton at the library. Saturday evening, we headed over to the folk festival to meet up with Peyton's folks and some friends of ours. We heard some African dance music, Reggae, and some Tibetian drone music. Here are a few pictures from the festival: (Photo credit: Lexi)

Sunday: Caught up with Dr. Crossman for breakfast- great. Church was bitter sweet. Our friends, the Salvants, who run NHHM are moving to Haiti tomorrow and this was their last week at church. As Peyton and I have gotten to know Scott and April over the last couple of months, we have been really humbled by their faith in God during this whole transition in their lives. Just recently, April's mom had some fairly major surgery here in Richmond. Last week both of their grandparents went into the hospital, and most recently, Scott's grandfather passed away on Saturday. I have been in awe of their calm nature and strength through all of the trials they have faced just in the last six months- and they haven't even gotten to Haiti! It is amazing how God has been preparing their way all along. I am really going to miss them and their family, but am excited to partner with New Hope and am excited to see where the new role will take us.

We are heading back to Haiti in December with Peyton's folks, along with Nate, Lexi, and Ian. Really getting excited for the trip. If any of you all are interested in joining us, I would love to share more about what projects we will be doing and about the amazing experience it will be. Sunday afternoon brought an epi study session with Peyton-fun times for sure..Compline service-was great as usual ( I laid on the floor for the first time- it was great until I got kicked in the face by a guy who didn't see me..I guess I can't blame him- I was under the pew, laid out on the floor..)

Until next time- "Take a little time for sunshine, take a whole lot of time for love, take time to praise and thank the heavens up above."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mountain weekend

Friday night, Peyton and I headed off to Smith Mountain Lake for her sister, Scottie's premier of Lake Effects. Since most of the film was shot at the lake, the premier was at a local theater there in town. We both really liked the movie and are hoping to figure out a way to have a viewing of it here in Richmond- possibly at the Byrd. We stayed the night with Scottie and Peyton's folks and had a great breakfast, fixed by her dad on Saturday morning.

   Soon after breakfast, I hit the road headed for West Virginia- round two. With a brand new clutch and a 2012 inspection sticker, I was ready to try again. It took me about 3 hours to get to the New where I was going to meet up with local squirt legend, Steve O'Keefe. Sure enough, I got there a little after noon and parked roadside to the New, just downstream from Halls of Karma.
This epic squirt spot was found by Jim Snyder, one of the founders of the sport. It is located just below the Keeneys which is a set of three class III drops that are siphoned into a channel that forms the Halls. I had only talked to Steve on the phone, but he was just as friendly in person as he was on the phone. Steve has retired to a cabin he helped build himself between the Gauley and New River gorges. Steve climbs and squirt boats close to 300 days a year, and you can definitely tell.
He gave me some great pointers, along with two other squirt boaters at the spot, whom I would later learn were Stephen and Clay Wright, two world-class play boaters who work for Jackson kayak. Clay Wright apparently invented the loop move. That is one of the many things I love about kayaking is having the opportunity to paddle along side some of the best in the sport and not even know it.
I didn't get to take as many pictures of squirt boating, but here are a few:

   After a beautiful afternoon of squirt boating, I drove into Summersville to Ray's where I would camp for the night. I set up my tent and hammock and ended up falling asleep in my hammock for about an hour. I got some dinner in Summersville and then settled in camp for the night.
When I woke on Sunday morning, I knew I had at least a two hour drive to meet Ben and Kyle at the Big Sandy, so I put on the road as soon as I could. We met in Bruceton Mills around 10 and then had a short, but bumpy drive to the takeout of the Big Sandy. I had run this river once before with a few friends from Richmond, but it had been at higher water, so I wasn't quite sure about a lot of the lines. We had an amazing weather for the whole run and a great time lapping Wonder Falls, a 15-20' waterfall, five times.  Here are a few pictures of the run

Here is a short video of me running Wonder Falls

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Do Remember Me- Mississippi John Hurt

Tis the season


 The Sound of the Trees

Robert Frost

I WONDER about the trees.
Why do we wish to bear
Forever the noise of these
More than another noise
So close to our dwelling place?
We suffer them by the day
Till we lose all measure of pace,
And fixity in our joys,
And acquire a listening air.

       In an effort to make this blog a little bit more interactive, I would love it if you would comment on a few of your favorite things about this time of year. Personally, I love the fall. I think if I had to have a favorite time of the year, it would be the Fall. Here are a few reasons I love the fall- Please leave me a comment about what you love about the fall.

Flannel Shirts and Carharrts
Hunting season begins
Pumpkin flavor in my coffee
The changing of leaves
The Richmond marathon/half-marathon (which unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to run this year...)
The Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.
Hot chocolate in a thermos
Throwing a football with my dad
"Fall walks"- this is something Peyton and I started last year- but there is just something about walking around our neighborhood,the Fan, during the fall.
Pumpkin bread
Apple cider in a mason jar
Sweet potatoes
Raking leaves.
Fall festivals
Apple butter

Monday Mushrooms

Ben and I had another successful mushroom hunt. We found chanterelles, old man of the wood's, and a couple of different varieties of puffballs including one giant puffball. All in all, an awesome hunt. We also spotted a really nice size buck when we were walking through a field on our way back into the woods. He probably had at least 8 points and maybe closer to 10. Below are a few pictures of the mushroom bounty.