My Beautiful Wickedness

We’re back home again.
June 21, 2007, 1:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

And I’m more tired than I’ve been in months. Something about traveling a lot really takes it out of me.
The trip to Mom’s was good. We took a full-day hike through a gorge and a forest that hasn’t been logged for over 150 years. (My dad’s family were among the many farmers-turned lumberjacks that stripped the natural resources out of Appalachia — to the day he died, my dad could drop a tree anywhere he happened to decide to fell it, a skill that he did not transmit to me, so another one of those family-culture traits has died out.) Many of the trees in the gorge were almost 200 years old, having been too small to take back in the day. At high altitude, the rhodendendron was in full bloom — we even found last week’s bloom of jacks and trilliums, which are normally May blooms when you’re near sea level. I counted at least ten different kinds of ferns, dozens of species of wildflowers, and while we didn’t see much in the way of fauna, we saw a lot of scat, sign, and holes. I didn’t expect to see much wildlife, as we had a chatty child crashing around and we did a lot of the walking at midday, when sensible creatures are dozing through the heat. Still, there were some rewards. I did not get a good picture of the bald eagles, but I assure you that it was really thrilling to see them in free flight. We did not get to see any bears, for which I am just as glad, as the huckleberries were mercifully too green to attract them up so high and they wouldn’t want to waste the walk for a scant bitter mouthful. The terrain was kind of rugged when we got off trail (as my mother insists on doing, and arguing with her is like arguing with the wind). Me and my bum ankle found it challenging; it’s a forest that is mixed hemlock/pine and deciduous trees and so there was dry leaves, slippery needles and a lot of small flinty rock that scooted away underfoot as I slid down the mountainside. I didn’t break anything and managed to keep my feet free of the roots and vines. Once off the trails, my snake-o-phobia had me sniffing the air for the smell of slightly rotten cucumbers. (That’s the smell that I perceive when poisonous snakes are in the area — I don’t know if they really smell like that. I blame my mom for keeping snakes on my mind, as she regaled us for about a mile with the story of how she had recently shot the head off a rattlesnake just as we went stupidly sauntering into what looked like a perfectly lovely viperine livingroom…). My husband and kid both are afraid of heights, so let’s just say that the jaunt to the top of the natural bridge and the 360 degree view it afforded (which I thought was wow) was not their favorite bit. And Mom appeared to dread anyone paying for lunch but her. So we all had our moments of anxiety.

Yes, I’ll post some pictures eventually. I’m heading upstairs for a nap and then Kid’s got a dress rehearsal later this evening. Three shows in two days, moreover…which means that I’ll be fixing her hair, doing her makeup, and so forth. So we’ll see what blogging I accomplish. Check in and let me know what you’ve been up to!


2 Comments so far
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Waiting for the pics….:) I can just hear your Mom…(laugh)

Comment by imfunny2

You know, our families are very different. I cannot even imagine my mom shooting the head off of a rattlesnake.

It sounds like you had a good trip, even if it had its stressful parts. It always is good to get back home though…

Comment by Gerald

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