Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive


We are in Virginia this week traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.


From the South just West of Lynchburg, mile marker 65 is the Natural Bridge.


At mile marker 30 is Crabtree Falls, 2 mile hike round trip.

va-brp-14 va-brp-7 va-brp-3

Down the road from Crabtree Falls the Appalachian Trail crosses the Tye River with a suspension bridge.


At the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway the road continues into the Shenandoah National Park and becomes the Skyline Drive. Just before you enter Skyline Drive, standing alone off the side road, an abandon Howard Johnson’s, sad kind-of…va-skd

Around Mile Marker 50 on the Skyline Drive is the Dark Hollow Falls, 4 mile hike round trip…


Fall is coming and the leaves are just starting to turn, one more week and it will be at it’s peak, i’ll try and capture some of that beauty if i can…


This week We are in the Zion National Park, Utah. A beautiful punishing place if you hike Angles Landing, not for the faint of heart…welcome-to-zion-national-park

zion-46Zion Lodge…zion-17

Our mission is to climb this beast… Angles Landing….zion-3

It’s not easy….

Most people stop here and go no further…zion-83



zion-115 zion-117zion-89zion-77

It took us 6 hours up and back, five people have fallen to their death in the past 10 years but if you go slow and steady it’s a piece of “well …. be careful” . A wonderful hike …




Next, westward to Valley of Fire in Nevada …

Charleston South Carolina

They call it the low country, what the demarcation line is i have no idea. I spent the weekend with some old friends in Charleston South Carolina, founded in 1670 this beautiful city on the east coast of the United States has the cultural scene covered along with the some of the best food around.

Arthur Ravenel Bridge leading into the city

Charleston Arthur Ravenel BridgeCharleston-17 Arthur Ravenel Bridge


St Michael’s

Charleston-14 St Michaels

Waterfront Park

rebeca-27Charleston-31 Waterfront Park

St. John…. A lot of churches Charleston-49 St johnSt. Philips

Charleston-65 St philips

Washington Park…. Ha! I’ll be there!!!!rebeca-64

Magnolias on E. Bay St. Upscale Southern food.

Curtsy of the TravelChannel

Courtesy of the TravelChannel



One month wait for this restaurant

Vivian and Ben Howard are James Beard award chefs from NY City. They left the big city and started a restaurant in the little farming town of Kinston, NC.


PBS picked up their story and they have an on-going weekly TV documentary called “A Chef’s Life”. The restaurant is a great success and it’s a one-month wait to get a reservation, we went this weekend and met the owners Vivian and Ben, it was exceptional. Their restaurant is called “Chef & The Farmer” and their web page and menu are here: .

Ben, Lee and Vivian…




Lane Angus Ribeye, asparagus, beef tallow hashbrown, spring onion vinaigrette – Wood Fired Flatbread, asparagus parmesan cream, roasted asparagus, arugula, caramelized onions – Country Ham Seared Mullet, beet vinegar sauce, shaved celery.

Kinston, NC








DIY Live Edge Dining Room Table


This post is a little different from previous but I’ve been working on this project for about a month now and it is finally finished.

We ventured out into the North Carolina countryside to visit Kyle, a one-man lumberyard. Kyle cuts log slabs for a living and does a good business, that’s him on the left. I’m looking for a piece to make a dining room table.



Here is our piece… Ambrosia Maple, just lovely…


The log slab is sawed in-half, glued and book-match together, then cut to size and planed down to about two-inches thick.Table-9-2Table-10-2 Table-11-2

Next i had to repair a small crack with what’s known in the wood-working circles as a dove-tail, dutchman, or bow-tie spline. This took a little practice due to the delicate inlay and chisel. Spline

Sanding – 80 grit, 120, 220, very time consuming but you want it smooth as an egg shell.

Table-25Table-24 Table-27

Building the leg base …LegsTable-35-2

Next, three coats of oil-based polyurethane, no stain, sanding with 320 grit in-between each coat.poly

Up-close view of the Bow-tie inlays.


The finished product… Ready for dancing ;)