When I’m not behind the wheel


When I’m not behind the wheel

Being behind the wheel on back roads and mountain passes is an exhilarating experience. More so in a Mini Cooper S hooked up with the stock sport package. For any normal driver this is more than they’ll ever need. A car that handles like a go-kart at speeds far beyond what can be considered “safe” by over protective law enforcement looking to make a quick buck off our enjoyment of life.

But what’s the point of a wild mountain ride if you don’t stop to enjoy it? Where’s the excitement in not stepping out of your steel cage to enjoy the fresh autumn mountain air? Maybe it’s just me and the small group I hang with, but we love a good fall hike. Enjoy life, it’s too short to stick to the routine, the office cube and bragging about how you planted some seasonals in your carefully manicured garden.

So, I grab my day pack and step out from behind the wheel and get on my feet. Hiking is a great activity in groups or alone. It can be a simple greenway stroll or a light forest park, or a moderate to dangerous gorge hike. I choose the more dangerous of the hikes. What’s the value of life if you don’t put it on the line to live it? You, me, anyone could die tomorrow, no matter how safe or thrill seeking we are.


I took to the hills with a small group of 10. The odd thing about Charlotte that I’ve come to realize is it is mostly the woman who put on the pants and do adventurous things. A good group of hikers, or rock climbers or anything else dangerous is mostly 70-90% female. The guys that do go are pretty hardcore. I guess the rest prefer to sit at home in their skirts watching TV and drinking miller light. C’mon fella’s this is a call to action.

Me on the gorge neat Babel Tower

Always living life on the edge.

The rewards of travel, of living life and experience are great. There is huge risk though. This day there was a heavy rain storm. The paths are narrow in the gorge, rocks are slippery. I got stung by bees twice, in two separate occasions. But we still cleared 6 miles and had the time of our life. My calf is itchy from the sting and left hand swollen huge from another sting. But I’m alive and wouldn’t trade that experience for the couch. Bringing a special someone, or people with you serves to bring ya’ll closer together.

Couple on the Linville Gorge waterfall

Me and the honey sharing a trip to the Gorge.

The girls below are wet, cold and loving the trip. This is a time that brings people together. They never complained that it was pouting, or their makeup was running. They support Team Giannelli racing.

three wet girls standing in front of waterfall

These are the ladies that make the team possible

So once in a while it’s important in life to get out from behind the wheel and get out there. Pull over on some trail head, grad a bottle of water, some snacks and go for it. Find an easy trail at first. Work your way up and live life experience these great beauties that TV can never show and grow closer than ever to your friends and lovers.