“The first time I experienced it.. It was February and 15 degrees. I was standing on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, next to a tree that had caught my attention. A tree that I had discovered was also a man’s final resting place. A man that I had never met, yet just happen to share my birthday. He was exactly one year older than me, but his life had ended the fall before my visit. I stood there in the place where his ashes had been scattered, with tears freezing on my face. I looked out at the view and immediately knew exactly why this place had been chosen. This place on the Appalachian Trail, this place with breathtaking views, this place with wild ponies roaming the hills… This place – Grayson Highlands.”... Those were the words that I used to begin an article that I wrote for @rockcreekgear back in September of 2016.. In December of 2016, I received a Facebook message from the mother of the man mentioned above.. The article had somehow popped up on her timeline. From my very first conversation with her, I knew that my being there in that moment, my writing the words that I had written and my article popping up on her timeline - were not coincidental moments. Last June, on the week of my birthday, I missed meeting her at Grayson by just a day.. This June, we’ll make a point to meet by that tree at the same time to pay our respects to the same man, on mine and his birthday. Why am I sharing this now? Because I want to encourage someone else.. If you feel a tug on your heart, a spark of curiosity, a desire to share.. Do.
This winter, #bigivy offers peace and solitude for those that venture beyond the gates. In these stressful times, there’s no better medicine than the quiet wilderness, undisturbed. #dontcutbigivy
Summer camp is coming back and we can't wait to see you! The @onsightrockgym summer camp is creatively designed to introduce children to the sport of rock climbing by engaging minds and exhausting muscles. Through supervised climbing and instruction, weekly themed activities, and engaging lessons on a variety of subjects, discover true potential and reach new heights! Day by day, grow and develop as individuals, learn valuable lessons on and off the walls, build self confidence, and cultivate a self-driven love for staying physically active and healthy. Leave with stories from a summer camp you can't stop talking about and experiences you will never forget!
Space is limited, so register early! If you register by March 31, you will receive a discounted rate and a free T-shirt!
Visit our website at www.onsightrockgym.com/camps/ to sign-up!
Did you know? The Great Smoky Mountains is still accessible this weekend, even with the government shutdown. However, no backcountry permits are being issued, campsites aren’t promised to be ready, visitor centers will not be opened, trash will not be collected, etc.. Park law enforcement will be on the job, but that’s it.. So.. What does that mean? The National Park is still accessible to those that it belongs to, us.. The people.. However, it’s our responsibility to treat it like the treasure it is.. Be cautious, pack out ALL of your trash from the park - not just the trail, clean your campsite, know where you’re going and have a plan in place because this isn’t the weekend to be lost or stranded and hurt. Happy Hiking! 💚
“I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Playing on the trail on my way up to Hightop Mountain & making an effort to love the trail just as much as the overlook ⛰ (it wasn’t too hard with these fun rocks!)
“For years, Devils Bathtub in #Virginia was one of those special places where you could slip off and be alone in the woods, even on a summer weekend. Then, the internet happened.” Find out how this hiker is coming to terms with increasingly crowded trailheads by clicking the link in our bio. #myblueridge#gooutsideandplay
We were supposed to be in Potrero Chico this week and last, but Zika fears and carpal tunnel syndrome kept us at home. At least I’m now halfway fixed and starting to heal
Join us for @legacyparks night at @balterbeerworks next Thursday, January 25, at 5 PM. @onsightrockgym will join Balter and @highlandbrewing for a benefit for Legacy Parks Foundation!
Highlands Brewing Company will introduce six new seasonal brews called the "Southern Sixers", referring to this area's group of 6,000-feet or higher mountains. These medium bodied brews offer assertive citrus and tropical fruit notes to West Coast-inspired IPAs, along with hints of pine and green pepper with a dank hop presence.
Balter Beer Works will offer its "Hoppy Holler" brew, a double IPA brewed with rye for a touch more malt complexity, a blend of Simcoe and Centennial hops in the kettle, and fermenter add citrus peel, pine, and resin aromas to this 7.8% abv, 70 IBU beer.
Onsight Rock Gym will be on hand to test your climbing endurance, give climbing knot tying demonstrations, showcase climbing gear, and answer questions you might have about rock climbing. At 7:30, there will be a raffle drawing for great prizes!"
Western North Carolina photographer Halley Burleson of @appexposures documents North Carolina Mountain Rescue, Alpine Specialist Awareness Training. The training took place over the weekend on Roan and Grandfather Mountains during single digit temperatures and near white out conditions. #myblueridge#gooutsideandplay#wnc
There is still something magical about waking up to fresh snow. Even though I know my day will likely proceed as normal, there’s always a burst of energy and childlike excitement at just the sight of it. #gooutsideandplay#trailrunning#embracethespace
A friend took this photo of me on the morning of birthday in 2015... We were spending the day walking the Cades Cove Loop and hiking to celebrate.. I didn’t own a camera, but had just started taking photos with my phone to document the beauty I was finding in the hills of the Smokies.. She insisted that I try using her camera, though reluctant - for whatever reason, I did.. I laugh now looking at this photo, because I wasn’t even sure how to hold the camera. This photo was taken just as I was piecing my life back together after years of heartbreak and loss.. I had no clue of the journey that was ahead of me, as I handed her camera back after just one snap of the flowers in the field. I had no idea of the blessings that were waiting along the path that I was on.. All I knew was, I had given up control and decided to just let life flow.. Like a mountain stream.. Like a stream in the same mountains that had healed me, saved me, gave me hope, filled me with joy and had absolutely turned into passion and true love.. On June 17th of this year, it will be 3 years since this photo was taken.. Since my journey began. And I’m more determined now than ever to let life flow and to grow.. All while sharing the beauty I find along the way with others - in hopes of them finding hope and healing in the hills too. 💚