GSMNP 5 mile trail ride (there and back)

This is a short description of a 5 mile trail ride in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I’m skipping the map I put in previous posts as this one is simple and it’s not a loop, but rather a ride up a trail and back down the same trail so unless you suffer from amnesia then you should be able to find your way back to your truck and trailer.
For this ride I suggest the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map #316 Cades Cove – Elkmont Map which in addition to the GSMNP map has contour lines and it’s much easier to distinguish between hiker only and horse and hiker trails. Continue reading “GSMNP 5 mile trail ride (there and back)”

GSMNP 9 mile trail ride (loop)

This is a description for a 9 mile loop in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. This ride does have a few tricky spots, but I would rate this much easier than the 8.6 mile ride I described yesterday.  The elevation gain on this ride is also not as severe even though it makes a loop and has two climbs and two descents.
This ride starts at the first truck and trailer accessible parking spot when you enter the park from Townsend and are heading towards Cades Cove.  The parking spot is about a mile past the tunnel and is indicated as a black half circle on the Trails Illustrated Map.
I’ve included a map below with some arrows and numbers (you can click the map to expand it to full size).  I used black arrows and red numbers (there are already black arrows, but with a little bit of studying you’ll see the trails I’m recommending in this ride). Continue reading “GSMNP 9 mile trail ride (loop)”

GSMNP 8.6 mile trail ride (loop)

This is a description of an 8.6 mile loop for horses (or people) in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  I will be posting trail rides and horse information for the National Park occasionally so please check back. Also, please leave a comment if you know of other online resources for trail riding in and around the GSMNP.
This ride starts at the Cades Cove Riding Stable parking lot.  We parked our truck and trailer just outside their gates on a large gravel turn-around area.  I asked at the stable offices if it was OK, and was also given plenty of information for future trail rides as the receptionist seemed to be a horse person herself and gave us some great pointers for the near future.
For this ride I suggest the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map #316 Cades Cove – Elkmont Map which in addition to the GSMNP map has contour lines and it’s much easier to distinguish between hiker only and horse and hiker trails. Continue reading “GSMNP 8.6 mile trail ride (loop)”

Trail riding in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

I’m going to document our trail rides in and around the Great Smoky Mountain National Park because I’ve found very little useful or helpful information online.  Hopefully, someone who is interested may search for information like this and come across my descriptions and find them helpful for their own planning or to get ideas.  If you come across this and know of other sites, please let me know and I will link to them so as a group we can improve the knowledge of horse access in and around the GSMNP. Likewise, if you would like to post your own trail rides, I can take your information and write it up or I can allow you to create your own.  If there is enough interest, I can even get a new domain and create a trail riding forum/blog with additional features. I’ve added a category and a some tags for Trail Riding (and GSMNP), which you can see at the bottom of this post.  I’ll try to post our trail rides at least monthly as we tend to go once or twice per month.
We recently moved to Tennessee and now live within 20 minutes of the Tremont area of the GSMNP.  We have our own horses and trailer and these ride descriptions will be geared towards similar people.   Continue reading “Trail riding in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park”

New safe guidelines for pork doneness #USDA

Apparently, I’m a month or two slow on the uptake, but last night as I was prepping the grill to gill a pork tenderloin my wife, Stacie, mentioned that the USDA had recently updated their minimum safe temperature for pork down from 160°F to 145°F.  I can’t explain just how happy this makes me.
For years, ever since a spectular dinner at The Pink House in Savannah, GA, I’ve been “underdoing” my pork.  The dish I had at The Pink House was a medium rare pork loin dish with a disclaimer on the menu that the USDA does not recommending pork cooked to a medium-rare doneness.  I ate it, I didn’t get sick, and I’ve been doing it that way since then.
My dinner guests often scoff and ask for the “done” pieces of a loin and I have gotten away with hogging (pun intended) all the pink pieces.

Goodbye AT&T … Goodbye iPhone, it's been fun while it lasted

With a heavy heart and an empty wallet, I’ve decided that I am finally fed up with crappy AT&T service, enough so that I’m letting go of my iPhone!  I was an early adopter. I waited in line for my first iPhone the day it came out.  I had a Verizon Wireless Blackberry 7200 prior to the iPhone and was amazed that I couldn’t actually use my new snazzy phone in my house for the first several months.  However, the phone was a cool enough novelty that I put up with the network and dropped calls figuring it HAD to get better.
I upgraded to the 3G iPhone the week it came out (even though there was no 3G where I lived (yet)) and I’ve still got my eye on a WiFi iPad.  I just can’t wait until Christmas to see if Apple and Verizon can come to terms (and if Apple will build a CDMA version or if they will wait for LTE). Continue reading “Goodbye AT&T … Goodbye iPhone, it's been fun while it lasted”

Old school veterinary medicine and web2.0?

veterinary-symbolSomeone I am very close to was recently writing an article for a professional journal for veterinarian medicine. She asked me to proof read the article, but was unhappy with my recommendations and suggestions. The topic of the article was the Internet and veterinarian medicine. She presented a couple of angles on the potential uses and misuses of the Internet by veterinarians but failed to mention web2.0, social networking, social media, and viral marketing.
She asked that I help her with some changes, but when I started making suggestions she was reluctant to include my changes in her article because the audience had never heard of “web2.0” and were more concerned with the loss of prescriptions as a profit center to 1800petmeds.com.
Continue reading “Old school veterinary medicine and web2.0?”

Slumdog Millionaire

poster_slumdogmasterI was walking down College Street in Blacksburg recently and noticed that Slumdog Millionaire was playing at the Lyric Theater.  I had never been to the Lyric and I have been wanting to see Slumdog for a while so I knocked out both birds with a single stone.
Last night, Stacie and I went to see the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. Stacie didn’t have any idea what the movie was about and was afraid that I was taking her to see a political movie based on the name and the fact that she had never heard of it before. I also am guilty of taking her to political movies in the past.
As I said, I had not been to the Lyric before and was very surprised when we walked around the corner to see how long the line was.  I was afraid we were going to have to go the the big theater, but we made it in just before they quit selling tickets to the early show.  While in that long line Stacie saw the poster (my thumbnail) and thought that was a wierd poster for a left wing political movie.
Continue reading “Slumdog Millionaire”

First Entry … Welcome to my blog

Stacie napping
Stacie napping

Stacie thinks I have too much time on my hands if I’m actually considering a blog.  I’m not so sure.  We’ll see how it progresses.
The picture above is another from our summer 2006 vacation to Alaska.  We had a nice long hike on a glacial bar somewhere in the vicinity of Polychrome Pass in Denali National Park.  We came across lots of wildlife including a herd of caribou shortly before this picture was taken.
We stopped for a hot lunch of some sort of soup or other, then Stacie settled down for an afternoon nap.
I walked around and took pictures of some flowers which I will eventually get posted to the photo albums.