I wasn’t sure how to start this column off until tonight. Some background is in order, SkiNC and SkiSoutheast.com’s, editor had asked me some time ago to write an occasional column for Ski North Carolina and SkiSoutheast; the content was strictly whatever I wanted it to be. Okay, what should I write about?
Well, after work a couple of weeks ago I was kayaking on the Pigeon River, not an unusual activity for me, and as I was driving home it hit me. Coming home I was treated to a gorgeous sunset in the Pigeon River Gorge, pink, orange, and blue-gray colors pasted upon a backdrop of the Smokies. I had been out on the river for a couple of hours with a good friend of mine, enjoying another workday done. School is now back in session, the commercial rafting season is pretty much over; so we were by ourselves on the river this evening.
So now I come to the whole subject of this column. I am so lucky to live here where I do. As I think back over the last week, I have been mountain biking, checking out the new improvements at Cataloochee, and kayaking all within 100 miles of where I live. I look out from my back porch and see the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and I am generally treated to a gorgeous sunrise across them on my way to work every morning.
But it is more than just this physical location. While all the activities that are at my fingertips are phenomenal… it is also about the people. The people that I have met in the outdoors here are a completely different breed from the people you and I deal with in our everyday lives. They also recognize the wondrousness that surrounds them. Whether cyclists, river rats, skiers or backpackers; we see what the average person does not. We take the time to enjoy a sunset or a sunrise. We feel the power of a rushing river and the lure of a mountain trail.
Like most of you reading this, I am anxious about the upcoming season. I can’t wait for the temperatures to drop and wake up to frost on the ground and a dusting of snow in the mountains. It’s time for preseason waxing, shopping for new gear, planning ski trips, and perusing the first issues of ski magazines. But most of all, this time is for just enjoying the change in the seasons with your friends and family. I’m lucky to have been blessed with some great friends and a wonderful family, and that’s what I’m raving about right now.
See you on the hill.
Editor’s Note: Dave’s Raves is a new feature written by Dave McConnell, who lives in Tennessee and skis the slopes and trails of most all of the Southeast’s ski areas…as well as those out west. We’re looking forward to his column and will give it a nice placement on the middle column as we approach the 2006-2007 season. Welcome aboard Dave!
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