Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Air Show - LAFB!

Sunday in Newport News, VA

I know that guy!

He's my brother.

"Rev" pulls onto the base in his Jeep Wrangler for a day at the office, and his first airshow.

Cousin John tries on the USAF's state-of-the-art, $100,000, gold-lined, HUD helmet.

Rev buzzes the British Royal Air Force.

As he flashes before the grandstand the Hassell men leap to their feet.  We scream in unison, "That's my brother!"  "That's my cousin!"  "That's my nephew!"  "That's my son!"

In a four-ship formation, they buzz beneath a skydiver toting a massive American flag.  Whew!  I'm one proud brother.  If you want your daily dose of abundant life, see his blog.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Kayaking Waterfalls!

Paul launches over Bald River Falls.

Amazing photo series shot by Phil Savage.  Check his website.

I'd whitewater kayaked the Smoky Mountain streams each season for 11 years, but for some wild reason I had never launched off a waterfall until Bald River Falls on saturday June 7, 2008. It won't be the last. What a rush! 

That's Chase Nobles giving me the paddle high-five after I emerged from beneath the falls. 

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Moonlight Hike - Myrtle Point!

Stunning sunrise atop Mt. Leconte - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

6:30a.m. on 4 June 2008 from Myrtle Point

It was a beautiful morning. Hunter Bannister and I hit the trail at 3a.m and hiked the five miles up Alum Cave Bluffs Trail by flashlight on a starry moonless night. When we reached the spectacular Sand Mrytle-covered rock outcropping, some threatening storm clouds began to rush in upon us.

The high winds and slow shutter speed made for foreground foliage full of energy and motion. For just enough time to look up in amazement, the storm clouds opened, and the sun sent a rich red glow over the mountain and its Sand Myrtle in full blloom. The moment passed, but it will be remembered here by you and me forever.

Hunter, it was great to hike with you. Whenever you catch up on sleep, let me know, and we'll do it again.