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Standing Indian Wilderness Area

According to Cherokee mythology, Standing Indian Mountain is the remains of a warrior who turned to stone because he failed to remain at his post. This Indian warrior had been sent to the mountaintop to keep a lookout for the winged monster which came from the sky and stole children. The winged monster was captured and then the Great Spirit destroyed the monster with thunder and lightning. However, because the Indian warrior became afraid and ran away from his post, he was turned to stone for his cowardice. The Cherokee called Standing Indian Mountain Yunwitsule-nunyi, which means "where the man stood."

Smithgall Woods

Smithgall Woods is a short and relaxing getaway, that is surprisingly expanse compared to initial perception.  While main trails are representative of paved and gravel roads, there are a number of other side spur trails off of the road that will give you plenty of solitude for the mandatory USFS $5 parking fee.

Rabun Bald, GA

Rabun bald is the second highest peak in Georgia after Brasstown Bald.  One of the nice things about Rabun, is that it is less touristy then the aforementioned highest peak.  It also offers one of the most spectacular 360 degree panoramas in the state.

Panthertown Valley, NC


One of the most unique and unusual locations can be found in western NC, near the city of Cashiers. Many people aren't aware of it, and it's diversity isn't limited to spectacular water falls, granite domes, vegetation that reminds me of Central American rainforest, high mountain bogs and rushing mountain creeks. Panthertown Valley is a must see.

Shortoff Mountain and the Linville Gorge

Craig Patton and I decided to take the weekend and see what Shortoff Mountain had to offer. Craig had been fortunate enough to see the brown mountain lights on a previous trip in October 2010 and spent nearly the whole night watching them dance mysteriously in the valley.  As a special treat a fiery meteor streaked through the sky right over Linville Gorge, spectacular sights which I have an uncanny ability to miss.

Woodall Shoals, Chattooga River,SC  Trip# 3

"Do I have what it takes?"

In my attempts to discover what it is within me that draws a man to the wilderness, I cannot shake the question that plagues the majority of men:

“Do I have what it takes?”

I wanted to camp on my own.  To go out and just be a man.  Sounds simple, right?  Sounds like nothing special maybe.  But to me, here I am 30 years old, successful in many ways, and I’ve never really spent a night out in the wild, alone.

The question plagued me:

“Do I have what it takes?”  I needed to know.

Blood Mountain (Appalachian Trail, GA)

"A Reward At The Top"

Sometimes in order to understand certain things, it helps to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes.  That’s why this particular write up I’m going to reference a blog written by my good buddy Michael Wright, whom I joined on this adventure.  Perhaps knowing and understanding others and their journey is a key ingredient to the big lasagna of life.
So, cuddle up for a couple of minutes and join my friend Michael.  Dive into an experience of a man finding himself on a journey, not just up a mountain, but through a life.
-Rudy Vaughn

Woodall Shoals,Chattooga River, SC Trip #1

"Looking Back at 2004 –A Rookie’s Perspective"


The first time I went to Woodall Shoals to camp was in 2004.  I was with my best friend Sam, joined by our girlfriends at the time.  We entered our little campsite complete with lawn chairs and coolers full of drinks, delicious beef patties wrapped in tin foil to make our evening burgers.   Our intentions were more about having a good time, spending time with our girls, and retreating from the daily grind of being self-employed musicians, than any kind of “big-nuts adventure.”

Looking back, I recall the amount of stuff that we brought with us.  Our campsite, which rested on the white water banks of the Chattooga River, was a mere 1/3 of a mile from our car, but it felt like more.  I remember how I had to borrow a tent from a friend, a huge one.  I can picture myself now, dragging my 8-person ‘Thunder Dome of a tent’ across the gravel, which was stuffed in a big trash bag like a dead carcass.

Tikal, Guatemala

Tikal is quite a strange type of location, while it is somewhat "touristy", at the same time, it really does take some effort to get there and is deep in the second largest rainforest in the world, the Peten jungle.  This place is just too spectacular to pass up.

Volcan de Agua, Guatemala (Water Volcano)

Located in Central Guatemala, the Volcan de Agua is a stratovolcano that is in the top twenty highest mountains in Central America.

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