I consider myself a naturalist; my love of nature underscores my life choices. I love learning about the diverse members of a forest and how they support each other. I'm volunteering with the WV DNR and Monongahela NF and looking forward to seeing a lot of WV this summer in search of rare plants. I hope to start leading hikes in the Elkins region - maybe this summer. I've got a nice website on Appalachian Mammals (www.bobpickett.org). I've been the first and only Naturalist for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.
I also love learning about history - all of it - from how world civilizations grew, innovated, and collapsed to how the Potomac River valley was settled. I enjoy visiting old mills and iron furnaces and have been known to stop at roadside historical markers.
I enjoy day hikes and backpacking. Within the past three years, I've backpacked down the Grand Canyon (and back up!), staying at the Phantom Ranch for two nights, summited Mt. Whitney (Highest peak in the lower 48 - camping and hiking on a 2' snow base), and hiked up Long's Peak in the Rocky Mountain NP (probably the most exposed, exciting hike I've ever done!). Done a lot of backpacking in Roaring Plains, Dolly Sods, and the Shenandoah National Park, as well as Denali, Yellowstone, Glacier and Rocky Mountain NP. No, my mate does not have to be an active backpacker - an interest in day hikes or nice weekends in a cabin or camping in my popup camper can be wonderfully fullfilling (but she'll always be invited on my backpacking trips!)
I get a lot of pleasure landscaping yards - especially mine. I like building water ponds and bogs - such entertainment! The frogs and toads will find the pond on their own, as will butterflies and birds.
Music has always been a significant source of happiness. I played drums in a family band throughout high school and for years later. I was the snare drummer with the Fairfax Symphony, playing at Wolf Trap and the Kennedy Center. My favorite playing was with big bands at places like Blues Alley and the former Cellar Door in DC. I love jazz, classical, musicals (Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables), Barbra Streisand and, yes, Barry Manilow.
I love romantic comedies (When Harry Met Sally is the best - yes, I love Meg Ryan!).
I also love my black 'medium-haired' cat, Asher.
I love travel. I've spent the summer of 2011 driving to Alaska and spending two months hiking and brown bear watching at many of the National Parks. The year before, I drove through Mexico for six weeks, living in my pop-up camper. Have gone to Peru (including hiking the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu), visited the Amazon jungle, Belize, Austria/Switzerland/Germany and Paris, France. Still looking forward to going with someone (?) to the Serengetti Plains of Africa and Italy - and I'm open to other suggestions.
I'm also my 1970 McLean High School class reunion organizer - every five years we get together.
Please keep in mind my income is my retirement pension - I earned much more when still employed, but SO happy to be retired now!
I'm open to exploring new interests and can appreciate seeing the world from someone elses point of view. I would love nothing more than to find a mate who wants to travel, spend time outside, has a strong desire for love and a tremendous 'spirit of adventure'.