Friday, October 31, 2014

Hunt October Deer in Fishouflage

Seven-Pointer from last week in October 2014
Just happened to be fishing for a buck in late October wearing my redfish camo performance shirt from Fishouflage when a good buck came to my stand. The buck was harvested about 7 p.m. at a very manageable 50-yard range. The big buck was the third buck I saw and when you consider the four does that were also in the mix I had a very entertaining hunt. Feeling very fortunate!

To view past blog entries about hunting gear click here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ACE Basin celebrates 25th Anniversary


The Lowcountry blends a unique diversity of saltwater marine environs, classic uplands and freshwater rivers filtered by swamps of hardwood bottomland. Wildlife Habitat 101 teaches that having these ecosystems adjacent to each other creates an edge effect where nature can flourish. While the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Rivers have been flowing through the Lowcountry for eons, the formation of the ACE Basin conservation project (see video) helps to raise awareness about why it’s worthy of protection.
            
It’s always good to mark the passage of time, as in most things only get better over time. The year 1989 saw the Lowcountry devastated by Hurricane Hugo, especially the Francis Marion National Forest just north of Charleston. Vast areas of natural resources were laid flat during that hurricane, and it was just the most recent reminder that coastal S.C. is vulnerable to the fury of Mother Nature’s winds.
            
Also credited in 1989 is the formation of the ACE Basin, a meeting of the minds among conservationists, landowners and duck hunters. A Chicago businessman named Gaylord Donnelley owned plantation lands along the Ashepoo River below Highway 17 South in Colleton County, and he honored his family’s love for the area by acting to preserve it. By chance, I was recently in Chicago and saw the skyscraper downtown where the Donnelley company is located. 

ACE Basin 25th Anniversary section in Colletonian
No one man can represent the true group effort that fuels the ACE Basin. Of course, leaders will emerge over time to hold the reigns and instill the charge to continue on a course towards future preservation. It’s a similar story with national conservation groups, state agencies and county leaders. They all have a role to play in forming the tapestry of partners that is being patched together like a grand quilt of conservation. 

More than 150 private landowners placed a conservation easement on their properties to limit development in these natural areas. A celebration for the 20th Anniversary of the ACE Basin was held in Nov. 2009 at Willtown Bluff Plantation on the Edisto River. Rainy and cold weather did not dampen the celebration that day since those that love and support the ACE Basin are outdoor enthusiasts, the same types that don’t cancel a day in the field due to poor weather.

For some, stewardship of Lowcountry lands has been going on for generations. Many families in Colleton County are small private landowners who have acted responsibly for 100 years or more to protect their rural heritage. The success of the ACE Basin conservation project is the involvement of public partners working together to advance the quality of life for both humans and nature. The passage of time is non-negotiable, but protecting an environment for all-time takes a continuous message of education and outreach for those who would listen and lead.

To read the entire article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about the ACE Basin click on 2012 Update / John  Frampton or 2013 Waterfowl Warrior Hunt or ACE Basin QDMA or Friends of Nemours or Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt or Colleton Plantation Tour or Mottled Duck Study or Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers or National Estuarine Research Reserve.

For public hunting in the ACE Basin click on ducks or deer or alligator.

To view the latest Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Report click here.

To view past Birding Journal Observations click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Report - 10/28/2014

Fishing Report for the Coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina:
Capt. Jack Bracewell (left) with an October king mackerel
Inshore Report: Scott Hammond at Haddrell's Point West shares that while It has been said many times before, if you can’t find something to do outdoors in the lowcountry this time of year you need to wake up! A stellar inshore bite is going on with fantastic reports of Sheepshead around the bridges using fiddler crabs, an awesome flounder bite around our inlets and rock piles using live minnows or a Zman PaddlerZ, and the bull reds are still crushing cut baits and live baits around the jetties! Further up the rivers we are seeing a solid trout bite on artificial shrimp fished under a popping float, and good numbers of schooling redfish can be found on the shallow low tide flats that will willingly take a chunk of finger mullet or a Gulp! Bait. For all the latest seminar information visit the Internet at Haddrell's Point.

Offshore Report: Flat calm seas and some stellar fishing has led many boats back out on the big pond recently. Closer to shore, Jack Bracewell of Eren’s Addiction Too fishing team reports an awesome king bite in 50 to 70-feet of water live baiting over good live bottom, and even came back with a monster cobia in addition to great numbers of BIG kings. Further out, numerous boats did some high-speed trolling along the ledge this past weekend producing some solid wahoo action with fish in excess of 70-pounds being brought to the scales. Bottom fishing continues to be strong during fall months, with great reports of vermillions and triggers coming in from 75 to 90-feet and some nice grouper coming in from 100 to 140-feet of water.

To view past Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Reports click here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Chicago - Scenic Vistas

To view past blog entries from Chicago click on Ralph Lauren Restaurant or Shedd Aquarium.
Or to view scenic vistas from Western North Carolina click here.
Chicago at Night as seen from top of the Hancock Building


Chicago by Day as seen from top of the Willis Building

Chicago Canal in October Spendor

Spectacular Sunrise over Lake Michigan as seen from 42nd floor of Four Seasons Hotel

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Chicago - Ralph Lauren Restaurant

RL Cafe classic - Bread and Butter
Elegant Fireplace Seating for Lunch 
Walking along Michigan Avenue and shopping the Miracle Mile includes seeing plenty of flagship stores for virtually every well-known brand name. Disney, Apple, Garmin and the like are a part of the equation but apparel stores rule this town and Chicago shopping is tailor made for any clothes horse. Even an outdoors enthusiast was able to hit pay dirt with stores by Barbour, Orvis and Timberland present, plus those stores like Ralph Lauren that cross over from haute couture to outdoor RRL style.
The Polo Store is next door

Portraits of Style on the wall in the RL store
With two recommendations from trusted sources we located the Ralph Lauren flagship store, but not so we could go shopping for the Polo label clothing that I have worn for three decades, but rather for some lunch. Say what? A full restaurant with grill room and bar with fireplace and outside seating is adjacent to the retail store, and the story goes that Ralph Lauren chose Chicago as the place to open his only restaurant in the United States. The only other RL restaurant in the world is located in Paris, France.

Iconic Books for Sale at RL including Hinckley Yachts
Our hotel concierge handled the reservation process for us and were offered a small fireplace front table with padded leather chair seating. The October weather outside was cloudy and cool and residents of the Windy City were dressed in winter coats, and the RL waitress said that the gas fireplace had just been lit for the winter season. Lots of well-dressed locals were entering the RL for lunch, but we were able to strike up conversation with some other first-time visitors to the RL restaurant.

Our meal started with an assortment of breads with butter and we sampled the calamari starter. The Polo Club sandwich was stacked high with chicken and ham, lettuce and tomatoes, but the bread slices were a bit too thick. The Grilled Steak sandwich was surprisingly tender, and was drizzled in melted provolone cheese. Main course offerings for dinner include Denver Sole, Lake Perch and Chesapeake Crab Cake Benedict. Still hungry? Check out Travel and Leisure's Best Lunch Spots in Chicago.

 To view past blog entries from Chicago click on Shedd Aquarium.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chicago - Shedd Aquarium Visit

Lovely Shedd Aquarium - sponsored by Toyota
This Moray Eel posed for the lensman from the Lowcountry
Visiting Chicago as a tourist can provide a quandry when one considers all that the Windy City has to offer in terms of architecture, floral flair and shopping on the Magnificent Mile. After flying into Midway Airport and then taking the CTA train to Chicago station, it was time to shop 'til you drop, or in this case until my feet were barking like a dog and begging for a taxi. We rode to the Chicago Cultural Center and were able to obtain a City Pass good for five must see attractions in Chi-town.

First on my list was to bounce over to the Museum Campus and visit the Shedd Aquarium, which is next door to the Fields Museum, Adler Planetarium and Soldier Field. The Shedd Aquarium building itself is a neoclassical architectural marvel that opened to the public in 1930 and is still eye-popping today. Amazingly, rail cars brought saltwater from Key West to the Aquarium in 1930 to establish a permanent marine exhibit, which was the first of its kind well inland.

Black-spotted catfish fingerlings
Make sure to visit the 4D theatre while at the Aquarium and the Beluga Whale experience is sure to please too. I passed on the stingray touch tank (no doubt) but enjoyed the Great Lakes section where I learned they comprise 20-percent of the world's surface freshwater supply!  The Shedd Aquarium juts out into Lake Michigan, providing a memorable waterfront view of Chicago. If weather permits, lunch at the outside cafe seems prudent, or try the Ralph Lauren Restaurant. For more information visit the Internet at Shedd Aquarium.

To view past blog entries click on Audubon Aquarium New Orleans or South Carolina Aquarium.

To view past blog entries on Sustainable Seafood click Circa 1886 .

 To view blog entires on ocean conservation click Guy Harvey.
October weather was cloudy, cool and WINDY

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Looking Out for the Right Hunting Gear


Sure-Shot grunt call sounds great in the woods

The heart of the rut is here, and the buck movement seen by hunters is at an increased rate. Warmer than average temperatures have kept the bugs around, but a light jacket is now essential for making trips to the deer stand. The pinch of daylight savings time will not affect the animals in the natural world, but many sportsmen are about to see more sunrise hunting opportunities. Each fall hunting season is a command performance of the last, and one constant is that this year’s gear will tempt us to try something different.
            
Sure-Shot Game Calls out of Texas are best known today for their duck calls, with their Yentzen duck call named after one of the early Texas call makers. George Yentzen made duck calls out of black walnut in the 1940’s and passes that tradition on to Cowboy Fernandez by 1960. Their business was the foundation for the Sure Shot calls of today led by Charlie Holder.
            
Thermacell goes PINK for lady hunters!
During this time of year in the Lowcountry deer woods, an aggressive call can sometimes be met with reaction from a mature buck. The Grunt Deer Call by Sure Shot is east to use and caries a rich, deep tone that will carry sound through past the remaining leaves on the trees. They also offer a rattling bag which can be used effectively during those times when only a short window of time permits a hunting opportunity. Rattling demands that the hunter be ready to shoot, since the bucks will most likely be moving to better see and smell what is making all that rattling noise.

Most outdoor enthusiasts have heard of the Thermacell or ‘bug machines’ that have proven to be effective against biting insects while in the deer stand. New for this year, and just in time for breast cancer awareness month is the Realtree Pink Camo appliance for lady hunters that want to sport the right look. It runs on the same butane cartridge as the original Thermacell which provides an odorless repellant against pesky mosquitoes.

To read this article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about hunting gear click here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wood Duck Boxes available from SCDNR for S.C. Landowners


Wood Duck box from SCDNR after
several years in the pond

The number one duck in the bag for hunters in South Carolina year after year is the wood duck. Plenty of Lowcountry duck hunters target only wood ducks and a bag of three woodies is the equivalent of a great hunt. A few years back the daily limit per hunter was raised from two to three wood ducks per day. This increase is a result of thriving wood duck populations, and a couple of woodie character traits help to play a role.
            
First, wood ducks will make use of nesting boxes, while almost all other waterfowl will shun them. Two, wood ducks earn their nickname of ‘summer duck’ because some of their population will stay in the area year round. Setting out wood duck boxes can help wood ducks to acclimate to those areas so then when breeding season arrives in February they are ready to raise more ducklings.
            
SCDNR biologists know that wood ducks will use natural cavities in hardwood trees in our bottomlands for opportunistic nesting. However, there are fewer hardwoods today due to human activities like clear-cutting of swamps, and development. Now private landowners can assist wood duck populations by applying for a free nesting box to install in suitable areas for nesting.
            
Applicants must realize beforehand that these same nest boxes require annual maintenance in winter, before nesting season. While this is a chore that can require clearing out wasp nests and possibly getting a little wet, it is the type of outdoor activity that anyone can enjoy, whether they are a hunter or not. My pro tip would be to install a game cam near the opening of the nesting box in order to monitor its use over time.
            
Only a limited amount of wood duck boxes are produced and available each year, and the deadline to apply is Nov. 1, 2014. For more information visit the Internet at SCDNR.

To view the entire article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

For past blog entries on wood ducks click on hunting or cooking.

Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 White Marlin Open - Big Blues Too


Rock Doc Fishing Team at 2014 White Marlin Open
Click for their White Marlin Go Pro Video

Five days of white marlin fishing is only one part of what is known as the world’s largest billfish tournament. Sportfishing boats from up and down the East Coast congregate in this central location for an annual August shootout. With a million dollars on the line for white marlin, the blue marlin can sometimes be overshadowed but that was not the case in 2014 with three big blues weighed in.
            
With 288 totals boats registered to fish in the 2014 White Marlin Open, organizer Jim Motsko is appreciative for all the support. “This is our third year of increased registration after the economy dipped,” said Motsko. “Our heyday was back in 2006 when we had 400 boats fishing. The event is such a fun experience that anglers keep wanting to come back.” The fun and the 2.77-million dollar purse too!
            
“The weigh-in and festivities happen at Harbour Island in Ocean City which is off of 14th street,” said Mostko. “There is public transportation to Harbour Island which helps with our large crowds of spectators, and we have been using this facility since we started the tournament. My cousin Andy performs the emcee duties at the weigh-in and I stay behind the scenes out on the dock.”
            
September cover - Boston Whaler!
In past years the white marlin bite has been rampant but not so in 2014, and the White Marlin Open rules stipulate that any white marlin must weigh a minimum of 70-pounds or measure a minimum of 67-inches in order to be considered legal. Only one white marlin met these standards, weighing in at 78.0-pounds and giving angler John Bayliss the first place prize payout of 1.29 million dollars.

Two boats went out on Thursday August 7 and found pay dirt in the form of big blue marlin. The Gratitude out of Virginia Beach, Virginia brought a 738.5-pound blue marlin to the scales that afternoon. The Generation out of Cape May, New Jersey was fishing within sight of Gratitude and landed their own blue marlin that tilted the scales at 564.5-pounds.The crowd was in frenzy from the double dose of blue marlin, but one more fishing day remained.

            
On Friday August 8 a fleet of 270-boats went fishing for a white marlin that could displace Bayliss, or for another big blue marlin. The white marlin remained shy but Rhonda’s Osprey out of Ocean City, Maryland landed a blue marlin that went 723.5-pounds, which narrowly missed being in first place. Organizer Mostko told me he can’t recall a year when they had two blue marlin over 700-pounds at their tournament.

To read the remainder of this feature article click on All At Sea.

To view the latest Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Report click here.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Denver Downs Farm - Corn Maze and Punkin' Patch

This baby goat stood up and instinctively butted heads!
Though they are open from September thru November, it was the month of October that brought me to the Denver Downs Farm. Located in the Piedmont section of South Carolina, along the road to Clemson University, the rolling terrain is well suited for hayrides, hay romps and the like. Every day here is a fall festival, but they have fine-tuned the grounds to include lots of games for kids to enjoy, which extends the family fun time spent in the outdoors.

How 'bout a hey ride past the Punkin' patch!
A sunny and unseasonably warm day had visitors in shorts rather than fleece garb, but some Indian summer conditions are to be expected in the Palmetto State. A large parking lot in a field can handle crowds, and the kiosk to enter Denver Downs accepts both cash and credit payments. The ticket is all inclusive for games and rides but excludes food, beverage and pumpkins to take home. The day of our visit a nanny goat gave birth to two kids - and you can't put a price on the excitement and cuteness of such moments!

Good Info to Know
Youth activities included a climbing wall, zip line, hand-pumping water, a corn crib, tennis ball launcher, rolling races and jumping station. Livestock on display included multiple goats, a large sow pig, and a team of horses on a buggy ride option. Even some piglets ran in a four-way race, making the crowd 'squeal' with approval. Other activity stations provided the kind of variety where there is something to appeal to just about anyone.

2014 Corn Maze at Denver Downs
The corn maze and the hayride take the longest amounts of time and make good group excursions. Inside the corn maze of fresh green corn stalks offer plenty of directional options and everyone can take turns leading their people either deeper into the web of the maze, or perhaps to the Exit point. The hay wagons are pulled by large tractors and travel around the perimeter of the corn maze, giving visitors a different look at the splendid rural grounds at Denver Downs.

To view past blog entries about outdoor fun click on Sassafras Mountain or Sky Top Orchard.

To view Field Notes and Photos click here.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sassafras Mountain - Highest Point in S.C.

View from observation deck at Sassafras Mountain
Conservation is the name of the game in South Carolina whether in the coastal plain or in the scenic foothills. Pickens County is home to a wedge of the Appalachian chain and the peak of Sassafras Mountain marks the state line with North Carolina. Of course the mountains of Western N.C. and Eastern Tenn. are much more extensive and offers a home to the Great Smoky Mountains.

Elevation 3553 !! Click for Video Report.
Did you know that there is an observation platform already in place at Sassafras Mountain and that plans are in place to build a multi-level observation platform on the peak when fundraising can be completed. Phase One of the plan has been executed, removing many of the trees and other woody vegetation at the top to increase the viewing potential. To read more about the plan click SCDNR.

And what a view it is, with panoramic vistas looking back towards Jocassee Gorges in S.C., and across a wider range of mountains into N.C. it lies among the 77-mile long Foothills Trail. The terrain is steep in this area, and even driving to Sassafrass can be challenging, but it's worth the trip. This area should provide a lot of enjoyment for the public, especially when it is the fall leaf viewing season.

To view past blog entries with mountain vista photos click here.
I parked my Toyota Avalon hybrid very near the Over Look

Artist's Representation of Tower


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

50th Ann. of Southeastern Outdoor Press at Fontana, N.C.


2014 is the Golden Anniversary for SEOPA

Those passionate folks in the Southeast who felt a calling to write about the outdoors banded together five decades ago to found a media organization while gathering near the Smoky Mountains in Fontana, North Carolina. The steady march of time from 1964 included plenty of hunting seasons and fishing opportunities, before it became time to plan and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. Though the recent changes in the publishing industry have been numerous it was a return to Fontana that brought attendees a tangible connection to the past.
NBCI Outdoor Communicator Award Winners at SEOPA
            
The conference kicked off with a concert by local bluegrass band Balsam Range, and their lead singer quipped that they were proud to be Appalachian Americans. The business of the annual conference is always to help the media members to become better at their craft, and to remain mindful of their professional responsibilities. Workshops at Fontana included adventure photography, writing outdoor stories for youth readers, first aid in the field and newspaper reporting. One session about the tribulations of blogging held particular interest for me since I began my own blog back in January 2009.

A large crowd gathered for the 50th Anniversary
 Ron and Karen Presley traveled from Florida
Fundraising for SEOPA includes silent and live auctions during dinner banquets at the conference. The annual awards banquet is a time to recognize the best of the best from the Southeast for their prowess in outdoor communications. While there were too many awards to list them all it is worth noting that members Bodie McDowell and Thayne Smith were inducted into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame while at Fontana.

Viewing the mountain vistas and could be enhanced by taking a tree canopy zip line tour, or by riding on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Driving along Highway 28 includes tight turns coupled with steep inclines and is nicknamed the Tail of the Dragon. Visitors can simply stop at any of the roadside viewing areas to enjoy the visual dynamics of the mountains and to make photos. If looking for a place to spend the night while visiting, to enjoy nature and experience family fun then visit the Internet at www.FontanaVillage.com.

To read this feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries from SEOPA click 20152013 - 2012 - 2009.

To view the latest Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Report click here.




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Report - 10/14/2014

Fishing Report for the Coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina:
The Osprey is also known as the Fish Hawk
Inshore Report: Scott Hammond at Haddrell's Point West says it's wide open for some flatfish right now! The local flounder bite has exploded the past couple weeks, with numerous reports of 15-25 fish per trip and some quality size as well. Live minnows or live mullet fished behind a Zman FlatZ jig have been slaying the flounder in 3-6ft of water along rock banks and creek mouths with a hard bottom. Trout numbers continue to be on the increase as anglers report back some decent reports of catching trout by slow trolling grubs for them, as well as some solid topwater action early in the mornings producing some large trout. Sheepshead are also starting to turn on fire, with great reports from inshore bridge pilings and the jetties using fiddler crabs and even live shrimp under a small float. Shrimping season continues to be under way with solid reports coming from St Helena sound as well as crab bank in the harbor. For the latest seminar information visit the Internet at Haddrell's Point.

Offshore:
Some beautiful weather recently has allowed numerous boats to slip out in the past week and get some trolling in, with boats like the Summer Girl slaying great numbers of wahoo and numerous sails and even a couple blues being caught as well. Blackfin tuna are just starting to show back up along the ledge as well. Bottom fishing in 70-100ft continues to produce some large triggers and b-liners with some fair numbers of grouper being caught in the same depths using live pinfish and vertical style jigs.

To view past Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Reports click here.

Field Notes and Photos in Fontana, N.C. - October 2014

Mountain Caterpillar - Which makes me want to go fly fishing
Monarch Butterfly on Zinnia flower
Keeping one's eyes open for the appearance of wildlife in the natural world is just one part of being an outdoor enthusiast. Attending the 50th Anniversary meeting of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association brought me to Fontana, N.C. on the doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountains. Despite the warmer than usual temps I was able to spot a few critters moving around and spot a few flowers still in bloom. The larger than life vistas associated with the old Appalachian mountains are hard to put into words, but the grandeur of the setting keeps one thankful that the creator has a place for all the flora and fauna that require a hilltop paradise to reside in. Another thankful thought goes out to those who protected and preserved these lands, and to those who practice modern upkeep and conservation here now.

To view past Field Notes and Photos click September 2014 or August 2014 or June 2014.


This Cooper's Hawk paused for a sunroof photo

Mountain wildflowers found along the road

Monday, October 13, 2014

2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid tames N.C.'s Tail of the Dragon

2014 Avalon at a scenic boat ramp
SSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!!

The 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is one QUIET driving machine.
Literally when you push the Start button, you cannot hear the car start up.
I will report that I am new to the hybrid market, but others around me have the same reaction.
Those standing outside the car, cannot tell when I have hit Start and when I turn it Off.
Reports of electric and hybrid cars being too quiet may be right on the money.
Then again, what can be deemed too quiet when touring the scenic N.C. mountains.

I tamed the Tail of the Dragon!
The 50th Anniversary meeting of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association brought me to Fontana, N.C. which includes a drive along The Hellbender 28. This curving road with steep inclines and declines is also known as the Tail of The Dragon for its serpentine-like pathway that continues for several miles. Driving this road in the 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid was one of the finest driving experiences this middle-aged writer has ever felt. The quiet power of the vehicle and and the extreme comfort inside the auto combined for an exhilarating combo.
Pulling out of Fontana Village

Another calming effect on this driver is the 40 gallons per mile fuel economy that this Avalon registers when on these remote roads. There are not many gas stations in rural Swain County but that brings little worry when your auto doesn't need to stop for fuel too often. The dashboard speedometer is accompanied by a dial that shows when the auto is in eco mode, charge mode or power mode and gas mileage can also be selected to display.

Hybrid Dashboard View
Other points of interest include the handsome exterior of the Avalon which has been rounded at the truck, a definite improvement from the first Avalon models. The back seat is roomy with leg room for two adults, providing just a bit more space than a Lexus ES 350 in comparison. Adding features like satellite radio, navigation and cooling seats only make this hybrid a better product. Moderate temps while in Fontana allowed me to keep the sunroof open for maximum viewing of the leaves that were just beginning to show their fall colors.





Sunday, October 12, 2014

50th Ann. of Southeastern Outdoor Press - WNC Vistas

Fontana Dam - Built by TVA in 1942
Here are a small sampling of the views and vistas I saw in Western North Carolina during the 50th Anniversary meeting of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association.

Smoky Mountain Majesty

Welcoming newbie Roger Metz to SEOPA

Higher elevations were just starting to show fall colors

Saturday, October 11, 2014

50th Ann. of Southeastern Outdoor Press - Founders Photo

We honored Past Presidents at the 50th Anniversary
The 2014 annual meeting of the SouthEastern Outdoor Press Association or SEOPA had a slogan of 'Back Where It All Began.' That's because the inaugural SEOPA meeting was also held at Fontana, North Carolina all those years ago! A special welcome concert by bluegrass band Balsam Range kicked off the conference on a Wednesday night, before severals days of meetings and outdoor activities ensued.

May 1964 Founders Photo at Fontana, N.C.
Early October in Western North Carolina can sometimes mean the best of fall weather, but the temperatures remained balmy and the leaf color changes were only evident at the highest elevations. But the scenic glory of mountain lakes and vistas combines with hanging clouds and frequent precipitation still kept the outdoor communicators in a thankful mood for their Appalachian setting.

To view past blog entries from SEOPA click on 2013, 2012 or 2009.

Memento from my first SEOPA conference in 2007

Exec. Director Lisa Snuggs (and Henry) at Fontana Village Oct. 2014