AT Hike, Pearisburg to Blacksburg

This week I spent four days hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail near Blacksburg, VA. Here’s a short breakdown of the trip and some photography from along the way. Day 1 – Pearisburg to Rice Field: Start near New River/Pearisburg, VA. Approximately 2.3 miles moderate climb to crest of Peters Mountain, then follow the ridge line 2.1 miles to Rice Field, with great views over West Virginia. Cold night, but the most beautiful place for a shelter. Day total: 4.4 miles, around 2’15” hiking time. Day 2 – Peters Mountain to Baileys Gap: Excellent conditions in the morning, cool …

Spring in Seattle

The season seems to bring highly variable weather. Rain, sun, wind, snow, even hail: we’ve had it all. Snow in the morning… …Sun in the afternoon. The pictures above and below were taken within a couple hours of each other. As they say, don’t like the weather during spring in Seattle? Wait 10 minutes; it’ll change.

L’Automne au lycée

Fall is here in southern France. Of the past eight days, about six have been filled with variations on the same kind of rain, a gusty, vivacious rain that says “Come out and play!” and I would, but it’s cold, windy, and freaking raining. During a brief break in the weather near sunset last week, I took some photos of the Cité Scolaire where I live and work. Here’s a view of the entrance, or in other words, the place where the French kids hang out and smoke: The track and the cafeteria, with dorms behind. Since some students come …

Bienvenue en France!

Time to start posting… I’ve been in France for almost two weeks. I’ve moved into my apartment in Aire sur l’Adour. But I haven’t posted anything on the blog yet, and now it feels like there’s an overwhelming amount of things to write about. So here is a first post to take the pressure off. Look, a pretty picture of Mont-de-Marsan, France!

Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center

It may sound like the dying scream of a Western gunslinger, but SARJKCCC is actually the new 52,000 square foot community center that the Salvation Army is building on Division Street next to Yankie Stadium. This location will be familiar to many volunteers as the former home of the large Salvation Army dome, which was dismantled in September 2009. According to WLOX, the facility will include “a full-size gymnasium, dance and aerobics studio, and weight and fitness rooms with all sorts of cardio and exercise equipment.” It will also have an indoor swimming area with a two-story water slide, splash …

Labor Day pictures

Seth sent me some cool pictures from last Labor Day weekend’s work in New Orleans. As I described before, Seth and Emilie’s house is… A historic “camelback” shotgun house on Louisiana Avenue, it’s surprisingly spacious and will be divided into two units; the primary apartment in the front and a rental unit in the two-story portion in the rear. A complete renovation is a huge undertaking for two people, but it will be an amazing house once it is finished. Seth and I spent the afternoon pulling up floorboards and adding new floor joists in the upstairs bedroom to create …

UVA vs. Southern Miss

Virginia college football doesn’t often come to Mississippi, but this Saturday the Cavaliers traveled to the University of Southern Mississippi to play the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Along with non-UVa-fans Doug, Anne, and Jesse, I went up to Hattiesburg for the game. We met some Biloxi friends right by the stadium for a tailgate before the game. After leading 27-10 at halftime Virginia managed to choke and lose it 34-37. But I had a good time cheering for my team (along with tens, nay twenties of other Cavalier fans) and enjoying the experience of college football game day.

Deconstructing the Dome

Since Hurricane Katrina, the Salvation Army’s temporary dome has stood in a prominent spot on Division Street between Nichols Elementary, Yankie Stadium, and St. John AME church, housing many of the organization’s relief and recovery operations. Over the past year, as the Salvation Army wound down these operations, the dome stood there guarded by a security guard but unoccupied. This week, biking to work, I saw workers finally deconstructing the dome. Another part of the legacy of the hurricane will soon be gone. In its place will be a new Joan and Ray Kroc Corps Community Center, which will feature …