Profile Trail to Foscoe Overlook North Carolina

Torg hiking journal. Sunday, August 19, 2018

Hikers: Myself, wife Megan, daughter Charlotte (age 12) and Isabel (age 10), dog Indy

Parking: Profile Trail Parking Lot off of 105 between Boone and Banner Elk. Near the Pedalin’ Pig.

Profile Trail, Grandfather Mountain, Banner Elk, Foscoe, hike, Life in Boone

Profile Trail Parking off 105 Near Banner Elk

Distance and Time Hiked: 2.45 miles to Foscoe Overlook. Out and back took us 2 hrs, 18 mins, 49 seconds. We stopped to play in the water, take pictures of bugs, and rest.

Highlights:  Water crossings, large boulders, varied terrain of roots, stones, dirt path, wooden steps, great workout

Lowlights: very steep, under the trees and not much of a view at the Foscoe overlook, at least on this day

Profile Trail, Grandfather Mountain, Banner Elk, Foscoe, hike, Life in Boone, Kavu

My wife Megan and daughter Isabel show off new Kavu bags.

We’ve lived in Boone for two weeks and so as a family we know we have a ways to go when it comes to our stamina and leg strength. This hike presented quite a challenge.

We started the hike knowing that if we went the full distance to the Grandfather Trail and Calloway Gap that we’d have to turn back because of ladders that we couldn’t traverse. We have done that trail from the other side of the mountain inside Grandfather Mountain property. Note, there is a fee to hike inside Grandfather Mountain Property.

Profile Trail, Grandfather Mountain, Banner Elk, Foscoe, hike, Life in Boone

One of many water crossings on Profile Trail.

Parking area for the Profile Trail is new and large with nice restrooms. Before starting we filled out the form for registration and placed it in the box. The trail is well maintained.

The hike starts off going down for about a mile. There is a dirt trail, a bridge, and quite a few wooden or stone steps.

I estimate about a mile until the stream/river crossings begin. The water and big boulders were the highlight for us. Unless you’re planning on going all the way to the top, the largest of the boulders wouldn’t be a bad spot to turn around and head back to car.

Profile Trail, Grandfather Mountain, Banner Elk, Foscoe, hike, Life in Boone

The big rocks were a highlight.

The path winds and is interesting. There were four groups near us and waiting around near the Foscoe Overlook Sign. All were a little disappointed with that spot. It was a rainy and foggy day but there is a lot of tree cover here. I think if we could have slogged it out another mile, we would have loved the top.

We did meet a woman who lived in the area who said it was her favorite hike.


Torg Hiking Journal

John Updike’s story “A & P”: Journal Entry for July 5, 2018

John Updike’s story “A & P” is the first story I remember reading that seemed like I could have lived. It’s about a kid who works in a grocery store and three girls about his age come in wearing bathing suits. I worked in a grocery store as a teenager. It was a family owned store called Russell’s Old Trading Post, and one of the things I remember about that was almost no one my age ever came in to the store. In Updike’s story the manager tells the girls they aren’t dressed appropriately. The kid in the story tries to stand up for them, a chivalrous move probably intended to impress the girls. The girls don’t seem to notice the kid’s attempt. They leave. The kid gets fired.

John Updike A & P

Updike’s “A & P” appears in the collection Pigeon Feathers

Having read the C.S. Lewis Narnia series and a bunch of Louis L’Amour Westerns on my own and then stories like Beowulf and “The Monkey’s Paw” in school, those stories didn’t trigger anything inside me from the standpoint of thinking about the sort of story I might tell. Lewis caused me to check the inside of closets for secret passages and Star Wars prompted me to try and move objects in my room with the force. With Updike’s story “A & P,” there was just the start of looking at the world to see what stories could be told and for what reason.

7 min free write word count: 231

You can read Updike’s story by clicking here. 



The Dragon that Breathed Water: Journal July 4, 2018

The first story I remember writing was about a dragon that spit out water instead of fire. I remember this being in the 2nd grade, although that could be off a year or two. On the merits of the story, I was selected to go read my story at the high school auditorium in Logansport, Indiana. The dragon was an outcast. No one would play with him. Eventually he saves the town with his freakish ability to spew water. Now, I can see that the story clearly follows the plot structure of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, literacy narrative

Looking back, I can see my elementary story was a version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


Second grade was also memorable for my teacher identifying what she thought were motor skills problems I had. She said I didn’t swing my arms correctly when I walked. I remember staying after school to draw circles on the board. I’d hold a piece of chalk in each hand and draw circles trying to get my hands to move in synch. Then I’d draw circles with my hands moving in opposite directions. It reminds me of what the mind and body have to do to dribble one basketball high and one basketball low. I just accepted my motor deficiency skills and did what I was told. I don’t know what my mom and dad thought of that teacher, but they mostly were teachers who supported my teachers.

I meant to focus on the story of my reading and writing. Maybe I’ll come back to that soon.

7 min free write total:  243