Forest Park Balloon Glow- September 2009

Forest Park, St.Louis- Balloon Glow
The annual balloon glow is very fun and it was a great night, so the whole family went. It was packed with people, but we made a picnic and watched the balloons inflate. The next day is the Forest Park Balloon Race, were they all chase the energizer bunny!

Once the balloons are fully inflated you can wonder around them and every 5 minutes they sound a horn and they all light up at the same time.

Forney Ridge Volunteer Work, GSMNP- September 2009

Trail Work-
How do you think the nice trails you walk on get built. Hard working professionals do it, in all weather. Christine had to go back to work on Wednesday, so I went with her to try and help, but the weather was just terrible. Strong wind and rain all day. Even with the conditions they managed some impressive work.

They do like volunteers, I just collected rock and tried to stay out of the way

I hiked to the end of the trail, Andrew's Bald, for the view... hehehe

A hard days work for everyone, and this is the result... its not pretty, but the trail is

A 360 degree view from Andrew's Bald.. some of the heaviest rain I have hiked in.

Hemphill Bald Loop, GSMNP- September 2009

I had just finished a week long work convention in Atlanta and needed some quiet time. A couple of days in the Smokies seemed just the ticket. Christine had just a couple of days she could spare from work, so it was set. 26 mile loop starting at Polls Gap. We started at dawn and I got to see my first wild boar along the roadside along with a large male and female Elk.

The Morning starting out bright and clear

Immediately it is the small things that catch your attention when you can be still and quiet
Spider web in the morning light (below)

Many small things, full of beauty, if you pay attention

The rushing water and many stream crossings made the morning exciting

Woody Homestead

About half way point for today, Catalooche divide. We had previously seen many Elk here.

Camp #41 (above) and trying out the new Tarptent

Making dinner for 2... Christine where is your spoon and bowl and oh by the way where is breakfast?

Day 2- Moving up toward Hemphil Bald. Been going up hill in the trees all day, but it was well worth the effort. Great view from the top.

More great beauty both looking up and looking down

Finished again. These are all way to short, but I had a great time.

A 180 degree view from the top of Hemphill Bald. A great vantage point.

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