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Spotted Dog Farm Blog

The Other Direction on the Parkway

 You know how you can get in these weird patterns that don't seem to have any logical basis, but have been around so long they seem like fact?  That's how I am with the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I get on it, I head south - towards Mount Pisgah.  Probably because when I was a kid that was our thing - we went to Mount Pisgah, or Graveyard Fields, which is close by, and that was that.  But this week, I was headed out on a long overdue meander and when I pulled on to the parkway I turned the other direction - and realized that while it is kind of bizarre I haven't done this before, it also means I have basically a whole new parkway to discover.  Score. My slightly nonsensical habit has left me with lots of room for new discovery.  Happy accidents are my favorite.

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Coffee and Seeds

If you're ever in Asheville and you like both coffee and rivers I've got the perfect coffee shop for you.  High Five Coffee has a couple of locations near downtown, and also one in a tiny (exceedingly cute) building right on the bank of the French Broad in Woodfin.  So I headed out there on a bizarrely warm and lovely February day to do a little scheming and daydreaming, and then fill my seed list for 2018.

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Follow the River

Last week's post about the Parkway closure snapped me out of my weekly excursion malaise - basically, I decided sulking was unseemly, and it was time to get off my ass and find something interesting to do.  This town is overflowing with fun things, so it was just laziness  - or inertia?- that was keeping me stuck.  

With that in mind, I stuck with one thing that works - Taco Billy - and got my breakfast taco and headed out.  Instead of walking along the Parkway (which I'm still going to do - park at a gate and start meandering), I decided to flow with the seasons and head downhill - to the river.

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Meandering Around the River

This week I wasn't so adventurous with the weekly excursion.  Mainly because I've been doing a lot of work and a lot of yoga, and was a little slack at making the time.  (Well, I did have one previous weekly outing, but that ended up mainly being breakfast and the food co-op, and that didn't seem worth documentation.)  So this week I again was a little on the short end of time, so instead of heading to Max Patch (which is high on my list), I instead just went down to the park at the river and walked around.  Verdict: still fun.  Not exactly full of wonder, but fun.

It was one of those perfect blue North Carolina days, and there's was still just a bit of color in the trees.

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Sunrise from the Top of the World

This morning I made it - I hop scotched up the Blue Ridge Parkway chasing the sunrise from overlook to overlook, and it was glorious.  I may have let out an involuntary laugh when I realized how ridiculously beautiful it was to be watching the sun rise from what feels like the top of the world.   

Here's the progression, starting about an hour before sunrise.  

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Almost Sunrise

I've been wanting to watch the sunrise up at one of the overlooks, but so far haven't made it.  And technically speaking I didn't make it this morning either - I was about 20 minutes too late.  But the views were still amazing, and it made me think I might actually shag my ass out of bed on Friday and see the sunrise for real.  Until that happens - enjoy what almost sunrise looks like from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Loafing Around the French Broad

This week the excursion 'o fun fell to Friday - I wasn't all that organized about it, and I woke up on Friday like a zombie.  Sam played double header baseball games on Thursday night that didn't end until 10 pm (and it was so cold that by the end of the games I was sitting completely inside a sleeping bag and had a hand warmer in my bra.)  So we were going to be low on sleep anyway, and then Steve picked that night to go completely apeshit from about 2-3 am.  I'm guessing he had a legitimate reason when he started - probably coyotes or a bear - but after about a half hour I'm pretty sure he was just practicing his barking.  Despite a few very cranky yells from me, it took him another half hour to settle down.  Good thing we love him.  So Friday was not looking like it was going to be the most productive morning of my life, and then I had a great idea - search out something interesting.  It wasn't like anything all that productive was going to happen that morning anyway.  So I headed off to get some tacos, and then completely aimlessly pointed my car towards the parkway.  

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This Week's Excursion - Mt. Pisgah

This morning Pisgah was absolutely stunning - no clouds, bright blue, and cold but not too cold.  I hung out on the observation deck at the Inn, as per usual, but then decided if these outings are all about getting out of the rut, I should do something new - like go up to the tower.  So... off I went.  Despite owning several fancy hydration packs, and more technical clothing than regular, I wasn't the least prepared. Nope, this was like a pop-up hike, in skinny jeans and a sweater, while carrying my hand bag  - still totally worked.  

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Back to The Artist's Way

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve owned The Artists Way by Julia Cameron & Mark Bryan for quite some time. I’ve been kind of inspired by it, I’ve read the first few pages several times, I’ve implemented the journaling advice to quite good effect.  But that’s it - I’ve never actually read it, or done anything else suggested in the book - until now.

A few weeks ago I decided I was going to really read it this time.  Frankly I was a little sick of all the dude bro business books I’ve been reading.  They’re good - I like Tim Ferriss and Grant Cardone - but I was feeling the need to balance the scale of inputs a bit.  And also kind of feeling like I was in a rut.  I hate ruts.  So… enter The Artists Way.  For real this time.

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