Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another Bald Head Island Adventure - The Bluff Island Hike and Kim's Island Exploration

[caption id="attachment_445" align="alignleft" width="258" caption="After a day of hiking and kayaking, we pulled up into the reeds on Kim's Island and had lunch."][/caption]

There are a few things I miss about living in West Virginia and Virginia and all of them are the mountains. I miss the way the mountains change color in the spring and again in the fall. I miss the breezes down the draws and hollows and coves. I miss hunting and hiking, creeping through the woods as quietly as possible and sitting and listening.

Since I moved to Wilmington in 2002 I've tried to find a way to recreate these things, but the narcotic haze of nostalgia keeps me from ever recreating the past. So I've tried substitutes. The azalea and witch hazel bloom. The ocean breeze. Walks through the flat, characterless pine forests  or along the beach. Nothing has compared to what I remember and long for in the mountains.

[caption id="attachment_446" align="alignnone" width="267" caption="Self-portrait on Bald Head Island."][/caption]

I recently went for a day hike and kayak trip on Bald Head Island that made me rethink things. Harper Peterson, owner of Riverside Adventure Company, invited me along to explore Bluff Island and Kim's Island, which are part of the Smith Island Complex, same as Bald Head Island. I went and I wrote about it for The Island Times, Bald Head Island Limited's blog. Read it and, when you're in my part of the world, go experience it yourself.

[caption id="attachment_443" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="I'm in the green kayak but you can't see me, I'm behind you."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_444" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Brown Pelicans on the remnants of the pier on Kim's Island, Bald Head Island, North Carolina."][/caption]

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Venice is Sinking - Sand & Lines Review

I've been listening to Athens, GA five-piece Venice is Sinking's new release Sand & Lines nonstop this week. Recorded in the historic Georgia Theatre - host to nearly every one of the Athens biggies from the B-52's to REM to The Police to Colonel Bruce Hampton & Aquarium Rescue Unit - shortly before it burned down in 2009. Sand & Lines was recorded live in the empty dance hall and captures the tone and space of the room, giving the sound a depth not found on many albums. I reviewed the album for Deckfight, a blog of southern and independent music and literature. If you're interested in buying Sand & Lines, the album is available at and all proceeds from the album's sale are going to help the Georgia Theater's rebuilding efforts.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sailing with Riverside Adventure Company

[caption id="attachment_417" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Sails and wind."][/caption]

My first summer as a Boy Scout, I took swimming class where I had to do some pretty ridiculous things (like make a flotation device out of blue jeans and retrieve a brick from the bottom of the deep end of the pool), but I learned to swim. To earn that merit badge and know that next year I could come in and pass my swimming test opened a whole world. Canoeing, rowing, powerboating, sailing, kayaking - all these things were waiting for me next year. The next year we went to a different camp and they didn't offer sailing. I missed my chance. If I'd learned to swim better before camp I could've taken sailing in a picturesque pond where a handful of Optis waited patiently, tied to the docks. Sure, the new camp was bigger and offered more classes, but they didn't have sailing and their lake was mosquitoey; I wanted to learn to sail on that little pond in the hills. After Boy Scouts I never really had the opportunity to go sailing, until a couple of weeks ago when I went as part of my Adventure Blog series for Bald Head Island Limited. Harper Peterson and his crew at Riverside Adventure Company took me out for the morning and showed me the ropes. It was fun and I didn't get seasick and I'd like to try it again sometime. Read about the adventure here. Enjoy.

[caption id="attachment_416" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="I'm a sucker for knots and ropes and pulleys and sailing has a lot of all three."][/caption]

Oh, and I gave myself this as a reward for the day since I didn't get one the first time around:

[caption id="attachment_422" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="My sailing merit badge."][/caption]

Monday, August 2, 2010

Panko, Ossabow, Vino

[caption id="attachment_408" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Could we finish this huge slice of Bananas Foster Cheesecake at our dinner at The RIver Pilot Cafe on Bald Head Island? Read the review to find out."][/caption]

What do Panko, Ossabow and Vino have in common?

I ate them all for dinner at The River Pilot Cafe on Bald Head Island. Also included in the meal was the humongous slice of Bananas Foster Cheesecake shown left.

Read the review here, make a reservation and get on the ferry, your meal awaits.

River Pilot Cafe on Urbanspoon

Music Review up at Deckfight has posted my review of Chapel Hill, North Carolina's The Honored Guests' EP Into Nostalgia. It's short, so you can read it in one sitting. Go here for the review and here for the free EP.