Happy Birthday Dad!

It's my Dad's birthday and today he is 58 years young.

me and Dad hiking Grandfather Mountain for my 25th birthday

A few things you should know about my Dad:

- He is an avid outdoors man - hiking, camping, backpacking, canoeing, skiing, fishing, biking, climbing, diving - you name it, he's probably done it at least once, and probably better than you. The easiest way to make his day is to mistake him for a Park Ranger and ask him for directions. He will happily whip out his map, tell you not only where to go, but where to stop for a scenic view on the way.

- He is a passionate writer. Like myself, he enjoys writing whether anyone will read it or not. Several years ago he married his passions and started a website, Blue Ridge Outings, where you can find essays and videos from his trips, gear reviews and sign-ups for future adventures.

- He is really, really good at driving a truck in reverse. This sounds like a strange skill to have, but he has it. When you spend your time driving in the back-country searching for streams, campsites or hiking trails you often take a wrong turn somewhere and end up on a narrow dirt road. So narrow, in fact, there is nowhere to turn around and the only choice is go go back out the way you came in... backwards.

- He loves babies. Yeah, most people like babies, but he goes nuts for them. His favorite thing to do is to wave to or make faces at a baby, any baby, and get a drooly little smile. To say he is excited about being a grandfather is an understatement.

The older I get the more I see his traits in myself. As a teenager I would have been horrified by that, but now I don't mind. We have the same analytical (and often stubborn) nature and we have little patience for pretension or social obligations. We share a fondness for bluegrass music and I have been told we have the same amused giggle.

Happy birthday, Dad. I love you!

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