Monday, May 21, 2018

The 2018 Nashville Film Festival

You know I never have been to a Film Festival.  Time to scratch this off the bucket list.  This was a lot of fun, a new experience.  I wish I hadn't waited as long as I did.  I saw 2 movies on 2 different days.  The first a German Film in English subtitles, Die Beste Aller Welten (The Best of All Worlds).  Then a more mainstream movie,  Hot Summer Nights set to be released in the late summer.

The Best of All Worlds was an incredible true story of the love between a mother and her son, as she struggles with the pain of drug addiction. I have been to Salzburg a couple of times and it was strange to see this city from the inside of the drug culture rather than the perspective of a tourist. This is not your Sound of Music Salzburg. Warning this movie is not for the faint of heart, soul-crushing drug addiction is on full display. I will leave it at that, not to spoil it for anyone.

Before the start of the movie, a short synopsis was given on the film. Then at the end, the producer came on and talked about the making of the film. One thing he talked about that stuck with me, is there are no real child actors, they are coached or tricked in their scenes in a friendly way.

Hot Summer Nights was not your normal coming of age story.  I had a feeling that I had at other great films like Forest Gump and Pulp Fiction. The feeling this is going to be a great movie, maybe even an Iconic movie and it was. You see that this first time director was influenced by Tarantino.

I immediately struck by the style and feeling of this film. It was something new and vibrant. I left this movie feeling as my wife Terri told me, "Everyone has one of those summers when their young''. I know that I did, of course without the drug dealing and murder. The only bad thing that I can say is, that the end is a little predictable, some people say cliche. You know all isn't going to go well.

Well, it's off the bucket list, but I look forward to hopefully going to another film festival someday.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Four Days Walking the Appalachian Trail

We had a great 4 days walking parts of the Appalachian Trail.   There is a walking challenge with the American Volkssport Association (AVA) to walk a portion of the Appalachian Trail in all of the 14 states that the trail runs through.  So we got 4 done; Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. 

On Friday before we do the walk's Terri and I head towards Hellen Georgia.  I got Georgia on my mind, the Mountains in North East Georgia are refreshing in the spring.  We are meeting Bob an old Army buddy, who is driving down from Pennsylvania.  We're going to hike some K's on the Appalachian Trail on Saturday with the Georgia Walkers.  

The next day was some great fun.   The Georgia Walkers put on a good event which started at Unicoi Gap.  We met at the Gap parking lot at 830 AM and started the hike at 9 AM.  It was a steep climb for the first mile. once at the top, we continued a little farther until reaching the 5K turn around point.  Bob decided to walk to Trays Gap with some other walkers.  Terri and I decided to walk back to Unicoi Gap then drive to Trays Gap to pick him up.  At the start of the hike visibility was limited because of the fog, but later in the morning the fog lifted and the views became magnificent.  During the hike, we met some great people, which is the best part of Volksmarching.  

After picking up Bob a Trays Gap we drive back to Helen to complete the AVA year-round hike through the town of Helen.  This town looks like a German village, all the building are built to a strict building code that makes all the buildings look like there in Germany.

That night we had a good dinner in this Georgia German town, it was pretty awesome.  The Hofbrau House was a reminder of Terri and my stay in Germany for 4 years.  The next morning Terri left to go home.  Bob and I continued the adventure to walk the three remaining southern AP Trail walks. 

Sunday there was a Driving Rain most of the day.  The weather was not the best for walking, but we got her done.  We walk in the rain for 5K in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountian National Park.  Newfound Gap is History, because of the rain we hike it as fast as we could.  We then make the trip up to Mars Hill, NC near Hot Springs, NC.  

On Monday the walk in Hot Springs was 7k in light snow.  The hike that was mostly dry, but cold.  The views of Hot Springs from the AP Trail as we climbed to lovers leap were fantastic.  After the hike, we had lunch at The Spring Creek Inn and Tavern.  After lunch, we head to Damascus Virginia for our 4th and final hike of this adventure. 

On Tuesday our last day, we did the 5k through the town of Damascus.  During this event, you hike from one end of town to the other.  Starting in the middle of the town you walk to the south AP Trailhead and then to the North AP Trailhead.  During our walk, we met Manny a through hiker from Puerto Rico.  What a great guy, who has us take is a picture by the town AP Trail sign.   After getting a recommendation, we stop for lunch at Mojos Trail Side Cafe.  We meet up again with Manny who tells many trail story's and also about life in Puerto Rico. 

After lunch, we finish the remainder of the walk, and it's time to head back to Clarksville.  I have to return to these trails this Summer to do them again with Terri.  We plan to be on Motorcycles also which will give it some extra edge.  Can not wait to get back to this part of the country.   We have until 2028 to finish all 14 States so we can get the patch.  Can't wait to get started on those Northern states, we got to get this done.