Kayaking to Hooker Falls

Cascade Lake and Hooker Falls-084

I have long dreamed of paddling Cascade Lake in North Carolina. The lake is in a beautiful setting in the mountains of North Carolina in the Dupont State Forest. Unfortunately, the only access I was aware of was the dirt road that ran along the west shore. There was no public access on that side, so it seemed that the lake was off-limits. Then my friends Lisa and Sherry posted photos that their paddling group had taken on a recent trip. They paddled from Cascade Lake Campground on the eastern shore of the lake up to Hooker Falls. I knew I had to give it a try.

For this particular trip I was joined by Brian Goess. When we started out the weather looked iffy, and at one point sporadic rain drops hit the windshield of the truck. As we drove north toward Hendersonville, though, the weather cleared, and it looked like it was going to be a spectacular day.

We found the campground with no trouble. I was pretty familiar with the area, so it was just a matter of watching for the signs. We pulled in and were directed to the camp store to purchase a day pass.

Cascade Lake and Hooker Falls-048
Cascade Lake and Hooker Falls-047

The folks running the place seemed to be very friendly. In fact, everyone we encountered was pleasant – campers and employees alike. The place was jam-packed and every camping slot filled for the holiday weekend, but we were able to get a day pass and were assigned a parking spot near the boat ramp. Continue reading “Kayaking to Hooker Falls”

Flickr’s Trojan Gift

Huge changes at Flickr – some excellent, some not so good, and some downright deceitful. Right now I’m still processing how I feel about all this, but here are some of my initial thoughts…


At first glance I really like it. It looks clean and professional, and highlights the photography in a very flattering way. I especially like that it goes to a full screen view of the photo automatically, with comments, etc, down below.

New Flickr Layout

New Flickr Layout

There are a few drawbacks, though. Collections seem to be missing. This is one of the MAJOR ways that I organize my photos. I have multiple sets, usually one for each outing, and the number of sets can be unwieldy. If I can organize those into broader categories, that helps. The Collections link is tucked away on an obscure link to the right. I think it needs to be up there with Photostream, Sets, and Favorites. Continue reading “Flickr’s Trojan Gift”

Blue Ghost Hunting

Blue Ghost Fireflies Color Corrected

Wednesday night is ghost night in the Taylor-Wright household. That’s the night Laura’s favorite paranormal shows come on TV – Ghost Hunters, Haunted Collector, and the latest, Deep South Paranormal. This particular Wednesday, though, we had something different in mind. We were going ghost hunting ourselves. Specifically, we were going to see the Blue Ghost Fireflies, Phausis reticulata. We had the privilege of seeing the blue ghosts a couple of years ago. Turns out that was another Wednesday night when we would have been watching Ghost Hunters, too. That would not be the last coincidence on this particular trip.

Our friend Joyce McCarrell arranged the outing and sent us the invitation. We met with her and the others that were going at the Cafe at Williams Hardware. Our host for the evening was Ann Tankersly, and we would be following her up to her property near River Falls. In all, there were nine of us heading out to see the Blue Ghosts.

Blue Ghost Fireflies-001 Continue reading “Blue Ghost Hunting”

Perryville Pickin’ and Grinnin’

Perryville Pickin-015
Perryville Pickin’ & Grinnin’

Back in April Stephen and I visited the Pickens Flea Market and stopped by the Musician’s Circle. One of the regulars, Robert Perry, played a homemade tub bass and had a distinct persona.

Pickens Flea Market (20 of 55)
Robert Perry, Mountain Man

Stephen struck up a conversation with Robert’s girlfriend, Sharon, and she told us about a weekly gathering at Robert’s place. This past Monday neither of us had Chorale rehearsal or other engagement, so we decided that we would head up and check it out. Continue reading “Perryville Pickin’ and Grinnin’”

Dark Corner Ramble

Shiloh Methodist Church-005

This was a Second Saturday, and I was supposed to be joining my partners in crime at Lowcountry Unfiltered for a jaunt down to Harris Neck Wildlife Area. However, due to lots of factors I won’t go into now, I wasn’t able to join them. Even though I couldn’t make that trip, I was still in the mood for an exploration, even if it was a short local trip. Houston came up from Georgia, joining Laura, Glydna, and me for an excursion into the Dark Corner.

It was Houston who had proposed the venue. He had looked a map of Upstate South Carolina recently and saw lots of spots that he had never visited. We decided it was time to erase those deficits.

We first took a quick detour by Jungle J’s Hats and Knives. We could have wasted most of the afternoon just trying on hats and looking at knives. As it was, I still came away with a new hat. I tried on several that looked really good, and it was hard to choose just one, but I behaved.

From Jungle J’s our route took us through the back roads north of Taylors and Greer. Eventually we took Milford Church Road to Highway 101. Since we were close, I decided to head down to Gilreath Mill. There we encountered a wonderful surprise. Continue reading “Dark Corner Ramble”