Thanks to this 1989 46lb CTX monitor that is completely half assed as well as thankfully temporarily hooked up to my lap top the Blog is back for it's Monday thru Friday usual pre-stay alive babble about the latest thoughts or experiences. Dell is on top of it and says that there may or may not be a new LCD on the way, once it gets here I will have 2 options: 1. Install my self using similar mechanical skills that I have learned by building bikes. 2. pay someone to do it. Decisions, decisions.
The day after Giving Thanks Ms. Arcen, Mary, Sula(not to be confused, Sulla is obviously the wrong spelling or at least visually but not audibly what I was trying to convey) and I headed out in the U.N./Montero North without roof rack(you were right, mileage difference noticeable) for the 139 mile drive to Grayson Highlands State Park just North and West of Sparta NC in Virginia State Territory. We paid the 2 bucks registering in and then drove up the access road which at times was covered in snow and ice as the shadows led way to snow covered slopes higher up the mountain. The U.N./Montero went in to 4wd and remained that way till out of the park. After suiting up we started the walk in to the open arena of Virginia's high points. Ponies were spotted and touched shortly up the frozen mud trail, the skies started to clear off with the strong cold winds that were buffeting us and increasing in speed the higher up the land we went then on upwards higher into the atmosphere where they must have been ripping. Mary led up over the first rise and step traverse showing the little one Sula how to behave in such a place. Out of the pony gate another slope up through the rocks, snow, ice and low conifers, some awkwardly leaning dead in the wind almost petrified looking gray against a completely saturated blue earth sky. Morale was high despite the conditions that were all around us, effort up at 9 is different than the perspective let's say that I have. One thing I have been always proud of my kid is her adaptability from a young age to simple pastoral experiences that are seen by few her age group. She was a diligent trooper being called by the sight of bigger/deeper and broader snow patches up and through the second big rock outcrop to Rock Top. Down the second big outcrop facing rock top the chutes were not only covered in snow but as well thick ice. Sula slid paws in front with ears cocked back slightly freaked out down a 3 footer, then she ran out of it with a crazy look on her face. More wind in the saddle of land we were on. We found a small little rock outcrop good enough to lean on facing the sun out of the direct 20mph+ gusts coming over the hill. I broke out the MSR-XGK stove and hooked it up to the 22oz bottle that I had put some gas in before we had left. As soon as I put the regulator in I realized that the plunger's pump cup(gasket) was dead and I could not get any pressure. I turned the plunger mechanism counter clockwise and pulled out the plunger with the pump cup appearing sad and shrivelled on it. Then I took the P/C off the red tip, spit on it and massaged it in my cold fingers. As soon as I put it back in the housing I could feel that there was still nothing. I looked at the kid hunkered down against the rock, cheeks red and said over the wind, "No RA RA noodles, sorry." Her response perfect, "What are we going to eat, we haven't eaten since breakfast." I then realized that in the bottom of the bag was my XGK tool and parts kit, perfect there was a new P/C in the kit and lube. Withing seconds flame, then that wonderful jet like roar. Late Lunch on the Mountain. I packed up the kitchen and Ms. Arcen checked to make sure that we were not leaving a trace. The clouds and falling temps helped us decide it was time to turn around and descend via the Appalachian Trail which would be a slightly different way down from our approach up. No breaks needed on the way down until just above the final descent. We ran into some folks who wanted to say hello to our dog pack. Back to the car for down gearing and the more than 2 hour drive home through 80 miles of country roads and round about 60 miles of Interstate 77south into the Jar.
Mary was really happy to get out of the car so she could make a BM for me to pick up with the cling wrap that the Homemade 2 dollar blue berry muffin was in. Thanks Mary.
Up through the first low rise.
Check out the kid's first wild pony encounter, bottom right.
Pulled in with the glass.
First water break and Sula's First Experience eating the brown dry biscuit like dung of wild Ponies, yum. You can see the road we parked on(gray line) running between the 2 fir trees.
Sula says, "Look you guys, more poop over here!"
I changed this one showing the line of morning darkness being pushed away by clear sky and winds.
"Dad"(I lost the 'e' thanksgiving day, sad indeed), "I want to live here where I can eat snow everyday." She and Sula raced to the top, the dog had no idea but loved the way her paws felt in the cold snow.
Pony poop is really tasty!
Yes Ms. Arcen, I'm taking your picture.
Just before going up and over the second big outcrop, she is coming towards me.
Little one leading the little one and about to go for a glissade down the back side.
The Kitchen finally worked, the noodles were delicious.
She came down off the mountain from around down the right of the bald rocky nodule above her head where lunch was, the kid was in entirely great spirit and fine form.