Last hike of the summer, an old place with new (dog) eyes

Today is the equinox; it’s hard to believe summer is over! Hard to believe for a couple of reasons–one, of course, is that in North Carolina the weather has just recently shifted from so sticky you sweat when you twitch to pleasantly warm.


“Fall, at last!” says Sasso. “Now it’s time to RUN!”

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The mountains are calling

The beach is great.  I’ve been to some beautiful beaches, and I am always happy to see more of the ocean.  But my longing to go to the mountains is deeper, longer-lasting, more constant.  (And me saying this has nothing to do with the recent spate of shark attacks on North Carolina beaches.) Last week, I read a New York Times travel article about Asheville, and since then I’ve been reminiscing about how much I loved our trip to Asheville and Pisgah National Forest last August. And also playing, like the total novice I am, with the photographs I took on the trip in Photoshop.


View from the Blue Ridge Parkway. This picture used to be very, very blue.

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Sasso’s adventures on Ocracoke

When I meet people who have lived in North Carolina longer than I have (not hard to do!), I often ask them what their favorite place to go on vacation in the state is.  I’ve gotten a shocked “What? You haven’t been to the Outer Banks yet?” several times, and when I was trying to figure out where exactly in the Outer Banks to go, a new friend suggested Ocracoke Island.  I immediately made a reservation at the National Park Service campground on Ocracoke Island for Memorial Day weekend.


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A spring (really! officially! spring) hike at Umstead State Park

I’ve been trying to sample as many of the hiking trails in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area as I can, and for a while now–probably at least since December, so pretty much forever–I’ve had my sights set on checking out Umstead State Park. On Saturday morning, more social plans were postponed, and the garden looked just fine (no weeds yet!), so Sasso and I finally had our chance for a good long hike in a new park.


Loblolly pines at Umstead State Park.

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Journey to a winter wonderland

We got somewhere between 4.5 and 6 inches of snow on Wednesday night. Until Thursday morning, the snow this winter has been like the sugar on mini-wheats–a pretty coating adding a certain glamour to a fundamentally recognizable breakfast cereal.  

On Thursday morning I woke up in a whole different world.


We didn’t used to have an archway at the end of our driveway. For that matter, we used to have a driveway.

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