Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ingenuity Fest

A couple of weekends ago, we journeyed up to Cleveland for a wedding. We got up there on Thursday night, and one of Robb's friends told him about an art show thing under a bridge. Vague, yes. I was picturing some guerrilla grunge art scene, but in fact it was a pretty big production; The Ingenuity Fest Cleveland.

It was 'under a bridge' not in the Red Hot Chili Peppers sense, but tucked under the full length of this bridge, where I believe they used to run street cars.


It was lit with colorful lights, and there were vendors and artists on either side, and a river of humanity in the middle.


Performing artists:




A project where artists were challenged to make chairs from recycled materials from the same factory (I think...)


This chair felt amaaaazing to roll around on. Like a massage for your buns. (The trick was to forget about acting cool/normal and just roll, because it was worth it.)


This was a printmaking booth- the selected volunteers from the audience to press the print under this rocking horse. (The cowboy hat was mandatory.)



Very unexpected, I was once again glad to know people much cooler than I. If not for them, I wouldn't hear about such things as the Ingenuity Fest. Hats off :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Life Imitates Art, etc

This here's an update of weekday life.

Projects: I have a screen print from some friend-of-a-friend in college. It's a unique size and requires a custom frame. I always kinda liked this creeper, so I recently bought a custom frame for it. The old one was 1" wide, cherry wood 'look', broken and not quite the right size.

(Here's Snips showing you his creeper claws)

Creeper - old frame, and Snips

The new frame looks good, but it's 2" wide, and I don't think it looks quite so good as the old one. Uh, besides the fact that it's in one piece. Four sides definitely look better than three.

Creeper - New Frame

Like a creepy mustache, I think the thin frame looks better than the thick one.

I've got a lot of pictures of Snips these days, since working from home is Working With Cat.


Snips and Robb

Bella the Dog and Snips are getting along better these days.

Bella and Snips

Bella, Snips and Robb

Sometimes I leave the house during the week. You know, to grocery shop and occasionally ride. I'm getting into the habit of a Tues/Thurs ride with a few members of Team Hoffenchard at Bent Creek. Bent Creek's a lot like Kettles, but only 15 min away or so. Point, Asheville.


Eric and Kelly

Monday, September 12, 2011


Day two of the third weekend down here... how is it all slipping by so quickly?

Having ridden quite a bit the day before, we ate breakfast (oatmeal with blueberries, yum!) and broke down camp at a leisurely pace. Our plan was to split up for the day and meet back at home. Robb and a friend went climbing at Looking Glass (it was pretty easy for them, I hear)...

Casual Day at P2 belay

...and I opted to walk up the less direct way :) I took Bella and started on my hike.

I gathered that it would be quite a little walk, but had no idea what to expect. I'm still not sure how I would rate it. Hike? Walk? It was nearly all climbing, but most of it had clearly been graded recently. In some spots I could see where the trail had been- it looked pretty rough! Some spots would have been difficult with a messenger bag (I had only decided to hike instead of ride for a second day after we had left, so I didn't have a proper bag) and a dog that tugged at her leash the entire way.

(The entire way.)


As it was, the path was about 4' wide and had nicely structured hairpin corners as it climbed higher.


Where water crossed the path, there were rocky dips in the trail, with stepping stones over it.


Toward the top it got a little gnarlier, but I could still get along just fine with one hand full.


About an hour in or so (the best weekends are ones in which you never have to look at a clock) I reached the top. The trail started sloping downward, and I got a little skeptical. There had been a bunch of beaten trails going off this way or that, and now the trail was sloping downward- was this a loop, and had I missed a turn, missing the overlook on top of Looking Glass? I asked someone and they confirmed that the overlook was just a little ways more down the trail.

When I did find it, it was clear. When I stepped out into the sun, the first thing I saw was an expanse of rock that seemed to slide off into nothing, and right at eye level a vulture was soaring on thermals of warm air that breezed past me. Vultures soaring usually happen above your head, and far, far off. I had been hiking through dense cover, and though I obviously knew I had been climbing, I didn't know just how high I had gotten. For lack of a more original thought, it was cool!

I gave Bella some water and tied her up in the shade. I saw the drop off and wanted to explore, and the thought of Bella tugging or tangling her leash had me tying her up immediately.


Then I went and crept to the edge. But it wasn't the edge. As soon as you stood where you had thought the edge was, you could see more smooth rock dropping off.

For instance, here's me standing at the top and aiming the camera to the left.


Walk down a little, and this is your view to the left.


Likewise, this water channel looks like it drops off:


But when you get to the 'edge' you find this.


This is looking back up (yes, I'm trying to give you vertigo).


I think that's about as far as I went! It was steep. And scary. I took this photo of myself (let's not dignify it with 'self portrait') looking down the rock.

Looking down Looking Glass

Recently some friends of mine were making jokes about someone who had taken photos of himself on his bike tour using a timer... I did not join in. Yeah, it's goofy. But as someone who loves to take [bad] photos of just about everything and everyone, I get bummed that I have all these photos of the people around me doing these fun activities, or funtivities, but very few of ME doing them, other than the icky at-arm's-length riding-my-bike-along photos.

Goofy: yes. Punishable: no. I support taking photos of oneself.

Also in conclusion: It's as I suspected. North Carolina's got a lot of great things to see and experience.


Third Saturday, now! (Not a whole lot has been happening during the week, besides working and the odd bit of exploring.)

Robb and I were planning to do a ride and maybe a hike or something when he idly commented, "We should have planned on going camping." To which I replied, "It's only 11am. Let's just... go camping." And so we did.

We (Robb) got everything packed up for some good wholesome car camping, drove about 30 min and set up camp in the Mills River area, on 1206/Yellow Gap Rd, in a free camping spot. (FREE CAMPING!)



After we staked out a spot, we went out for a long ride. Well, it was long enough for me, at least, at about four hours. The ride had all sorts of the great kind of stuff I moved down here for.

River crossings



Some adventurous terrain (though still not quite as wild as Laurel Mountain/Pilot Rock when I last saw it.)




Suspension bridges


Pretty scenery


Neat wildlife


(+ an owl and a big nasty millipede that squirmed every which way when I picked it up)

At the end of the day, we ate chips and salsa and spaghetti squash, and drank beer and Blackberry Sparks (I couldn't help myself, ok?!) Relaxing around (and messing with) the fire was the order of the evening.


Tomorrow, the Sunday activities!

Labor Day Weekend

The first week here, I chilled. I'm still working for Hayes, but moving from salaried to 30 hrs/week part time. They informed me that it would work best if they could have a week to get things set up, as it's kind of a unique situation for them. It was fine by me! I spent most of the week unpacking (though I did sneak out for a ride) and was glad for the time off.

That brings us up to my second weekend in town. Robb's parents visited and we toured the area, scouring shops and restaurants for Asheville's best. So much shopping! SO much eating!

We briefly visited the downtown area to check out the Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival, aka a great excuse to dress up in costume outside of Halloween. There were some pretty cool vendors there, too.

Reminded me of my friend Asia and her deep yearning for a VW Van. (I know it's still there, honey.)


The Silver Drummer Girl. Robb said a friend of his recognized her outside of her silver paint and tried to date her. What tactics he used, or how aggressively he tried, I didn't ask.


There was bicycle jousting. (I did not participate. It seemed involved.)


On to some of the vendors!

These were part cool, part really badly sewn.


Um, and then a third part badly sewn.

Pretty cool paintings that remind me of an artist in Chicago. A little too distressed for my tastes, but I like the illustrations and the colors used.


Earrings made from scraps of paper left over from prints.


Cool earrings from - these were probably my favorite all day. There were different things like honeycombs, bees, lichen, coral and leaves sealed in resin. It reminded me of my grandma and her penchant for amber.


That was only a small part of our three day weekend, but my computer would probably freeze if I tried to cram it all in here.

Soft Indoor Cat?

The cat very much enjoys it here in Asheville. He's never been an outdoors cat, but here not only does he have all sorts of windows to look out over bushes teeming with birds, he's got a small fenced in yard to prowl around. He's been outside in 'the wild', too, but seems to prefer the safety of the fenced in area. There's plenty do to, like stalk the shrews that live all over the place. Bella, Robb's dog, has been hunting them for months but never caught one.

Imagine my surprise when the soft indoor cat caught his first shrew. (And three others since then, too!)

Bella was keenly interested.


I call this one The Killer.


At night, though, he turns into The Thriller.


First Weekend in NC

I've got some catching up to do! As always.

My first Sunday in town, I hiked and rode on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Robb and his friend went climbing nearby, so we split up and adventures were had. I got to hike in and see what they were going to climb, then I headed back out to grab my bike for the ride.


I rode over the Linn Cove Viaduct, and also stopped in the little information center to learn more about it, and the surrounding area.


(Don't judge my helmet, I had to borrow one! I don't usually do pink and baby blue.)


Back at the car I napped and relaxed for a while before getting my shoes on for a hike. I met an 85 year old WWII veteran, and we hiked to the top of what i think was Pilot Knob with him. He moved pretty well for an old dude.


He told stories aaalllll along the way :) Here we're hanging out at the top. He showed me a way to do a loop instead of descending the way we came, which would have been very steep and rocky.


Back at the parking lot, he rejoined his wife and I moseyed on back to the climbing area and rejoined the guys.


All in all, not a bad day :)