The Daily Dortches

Beauty Behind The Mask

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There is beauty behind the mask.

That is what I have been telling my wife, Heather Dortch. She is a Registered Nurse (RN) that has worked at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital and just recently began at UT Medical in the same space with our move to Knoxville, Tennessee. They are required to wear masks at all times on the hospital campus. That is also why I took this photo. To communicate that things are not always as they seem, and there is always beauty behind whatever obstacle is in our lives. I also took this photo because my wife is absolutely a queen of beauty, and even with a mask on, I know what is behind it.

These times are hard professionally and personally because of COVID-19, and everyone has obstacles to navigate because of our current state and circumstances. Times like this are nothing you can fully prepare for, but everyone must learn how to navigate. We can’t change our circumstances, but we can choose our attitude.

We may have to wear masks over our faces in these times, but we don’t have to wear mask over our hearts, over the reality of where we are at during these times. As someone I admire greatly, Miles Adcox, once said, “It’s okay to not be okay.” Wearing a face mask is protection against COVID-19, but wearing a mask on our hearts only creates more tension and more insecurity because there is beauty behind the mask. We as humans can’t always see what is behind the mask, but Jesus always can and always has. When we are weary and burdened, he gives rest that no one else can and nothing else can. Not just for this life, but for eternity. If you want to know the beauty behind the mask, the best thing to do is be in relationship with the one who created it. Who created you.

God reminds me that through the Holy Spirit so many times. I spend so much time behind a digital screen as a keyboard cowboy for marketing and creative work that I have to remind myself that their is beauty on the other side of the screen. That my worth is not found on who I seem to be on the digital frontier, but from the one who created me.

“I lift my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

Every day is a great day to maximize potential, and capitalize on opportunity.

– SD


Blue Ridge Adventure | The Daily Dortches

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Reconnect. All relationships need a continual reconnection. There are so many distractions, demands for our attention, and focus on developing all areas of our lives that sometimes we sacrifice what is most important to us without ever realizing it. We sure do and we are learning that for our marriage. More often than we think and more needed than we realize.

Heather and I spent 3 nights and 2 days traveling around the Blue Ridge Province of Western North Carolina. We have had a lot of folks reach out wanting information so the following images and information are to help bring insight for those that would like to do the same. We want to empower others to heed their own adventure. Links will be provided below.

The location in which we dwelled for sleeping was in a rad little tiny home in the mountains just Southwest of Newland, North Carolina. We stayed at Buck Hill Campground where they have several options for tiny house lodging.

Day 1:

Slept in until about noon. Went roaming throughout Roan Mountain. Beautiful views and there are trails right off the road all throughout the road travel. We stopped by the Dollar General and picked up some Campbell soup for supper. Yes, a romantic supper can even unfold with Campbell soup.

Day 2:

Woke up about 5:30 am. At the campground, they have community bathrooms with running water and showers. Got cleaned up and dressed for the days adventure.

Anywhere we go, coffee is always a priority for us. We carried with us an aeropress and a Bonavita 1 liter electric kettle.

After morning coffee and personal quiet time, we traveled into Asheville which was about an hour Southwest of our location.

Went to High Five Coffee Bar and chatted with a local. I drank more coffee. Found out to always check during the winter months for closings on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Went to Antique Tobacco Barn. We could have spent all day there. You will be blown away with all the items and nostalgia they have there. Be ready to drop some big money. With that being said, you get what you pay for.

We then went to Wicked Weed Brewing Pub for Lunch. Heather had their normal Cheeseburger and I had their Buffalo burger. We both had sweet potato fries which were so solid.

Went to Diamond Brand Outdoors which is an outdoor retailer in Asheville. We always make it a priority to visit the local outdoor retailer in town. We purchased a few closeout items that they had for Arcteryx and Kelty; a pullover and a blanket. Also, visiting the local outdoor retailer allows for a lot of information to be obtained. Ask them questions about the best places to go, trails, etc.

We then went down to the French Broad River District AKA West Asheville AKA Arts District. In Asheville, there is incredible art everywhere you go that includes graffiti, murals, paintings, etc. Go check out the ” Good Vibes ” Silo which is now the ” Stay Weird ” Silo. If you google best places to take selfies in Asheville, some pretty rad locations will pop up.

We then traveled South to Triple Falls Trail located in Dupont State Forest. It is a trail with a series of waterfalls that are beautiful on the Little River. This river can be fished with plenty of wading access. I did not have my gear with me, but we will be going back.

Traveled Northwest to Black Bolsom Knob to gain some elevation and hike to get some views. To get there we drove through Pisgah National Forest onto Blue Ridge Parkway. Beautiful drive and scenery.

We drove about 2 hours North East to get back to our Tiny Home in Newland. We stopped in Asheville and ate at Asheville Brewing Co. Solid Pizza and good brews.

That night, we made a fire for pictures and to spend time around. The fire pit is provided at the tiny house location and aged, dried wood can be purchased from the campground owner for very little cost.

DAY 3:

We woke up, made some coffee, loaded up the Tacoma, and headed back towards West Tennessee.



Food / Coffee:

More information, visit:

Featured Gear & Product:

Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road, Yeti Coolers, Mtn Ops, Danner Boots, Aero Press, Sitka Gear, Arcteryx, Patagonia, Kelty, Smartwool, and Benchmade Knives.

Have more questions? Please reach out to me.

Live slowly folks.

– The Daily Dortches