Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What They Just Discovered In Cherokee, North Carolina Will Blow Your Mind

While driving through the mountains, we decided to take a short stop at a little city park, and noticed a large construction project right next to where we were leaving the car. The missus noticed that one of the construction guys had a gizmo that looked like he was looking for gold in the dirt. She called out to him about it and he explained this was an archeological dig and they were uncovering a village that dated back to about 1300 B.C.! He then brought over to show some pottery shards he had just found. There were little marker flags in the dirt all over the place. He told us these flags pointed out post hole spots and places to look at carefully.

Who would ever had guessed that we had an Indiana Jones working on a dig right next to a busy street? Just thinking about how long the Cherokee tribe had been living in these mountains took me back for a bit. Made me think really hard about how I feel about immigrants coming here. I can only imagine how they felt...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Getting Away From Madding Crowd

After a month of working like crazy, sitting at a conference table with all eyes on me, wondering if I could actually do what needed doing, I found it a little harder than I first anticipated to slow down and enjoy life in a mountain cabin. Thankfully, my sister let me borrow her place for a bit, while I tried to remember what I was really after in life.
First, I'd wake up at 5:30 am, and by 8am, I had done everything I had planned for the whole week. I wanted to hike the lonely trails of the mountain, but Pam was sleeping, and I kept hearing banjo music in my head. I'm not sure if it was a compound Bow or a shotgun I wish I'd brought with me, but by the 4th day, my need to hike overcame my fear of walking in places where my body might not be found for weeks.

At first, the same thoughts of "work can't live without me" inhabited my brain, but by the time I started the hikes, I was in full retirement mode.

Just the week before, I had been jogging my own local neighborhoods, seeing the young dads in dress pants and long sleeve shirts putting toddlers in car seats before leaving for work. I realized I had become the old guy I used to see out enjoying life while I had been trying to stuff a 2 year old Dusty into a baby car seat, in 90 degree heat while dressed for 65 air conditioning. I had finally got to the place, I just needed my brain to truly understand this.  The big question had always been, just how much is enough?

As I sat on the front porch cabin at lunchtime, seeing the thermometer saying 68 degrees, I knew that I was at the right place at the right time. There is so much bad news on the television that this simple life seems more attractive than ever. I can definitely see why people choose it...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

In Search Of Lower Temperatures...

On the road again....never again will I drive I-75 if there is any way to avoid it. This time, we could have avoided it, but I was feeling adventurous. Two different GPS systems were telling us to turn around and go back home, but I overrode that advice and ended up with a situation just north of Macon where all lanes were blocked and we were sent off on back roads. The 9 hour drive turned into a 13 hour drive. On the other hand, a few years ago, I would not have had a gps that could warn me about traffic problems. That, plus the last time I went I-95 and IT was blocked for hours as well. There must be some good time to travel, but I sure do not know when that is.
This time, we traveled in the Prius, and with the low price of gas, it seemed like I would have spent more a few years ago just driving to work for a week in my Pickup truck than I spent driving to Maggie Valley, NC in the Prius.
We did finally find the lower temperature, but it was not until we hit the mountains. All the way past Atlanta and 6pm, it was still in the mid-90's and felt just like Florida, without the beach...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Never Drive Past Sebastian Inlet Without Stopping

In June of this year, I found myself driving down to Deerfield Beach, FL for a client. I realized that I had two different ways of getting there, one the quick way on the Interstate, and the other, the slower drive down the coast which would take me right by Sebastian Inlet State Park. I have never been able to pass up such an opportunity and I gladly added about 2 1/2 hours to my trip in order to spend a few minutes out on the jetties at Sebastian.

What I didn't count on was rain for most of my trip. I fully expected to make my first time pass of Sebastian because of the weather, but somehow the skies parted for a bit and I was able to spend a little time there. It was one of those rare times when there were no breaking waves on the inside of the inlet at all, but there were fishermen hard at work catching nothing but some time with a fishing pole in their hands. The place still had a beauty to it even on a day like this when I had to walk out there in business attire. Next time, I'm going with a rod and surfboard....

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Finding The Hidden Florida: Apalachicola

As we explored the Florida panhandle, I knew that we needed to make a stop at Apalachicola. There had been so many references to it over the years, as being an old timey out of the way spot in Florida. We probably drove several extra hours down back roads, but it was worth the trip. The town has a lot of history and appears to be in the process of being re-made as a tourist stop, a really nice one. Our favorite place was the Apalachicola Chocolate Company, where we were introduced to the "Affogato" drink. The store owner told us about how he made his own gelato and roasted his own coffee. We now make our own version at home.
 We spent a few hours there, on the boat docks, in the local shops and just looking around. The history of the town is mainly about the hard lives of the fishermen. It was known as a place to go to get away from your past. There was a photo gallery in the shops on the main street that had many images of Apalachicola through the years.
It was well worth the stop...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ready To Get Back Outdoors...When They Turn Down The Heat

Global Warming? It would be hard to argue against it right now...I grew up here and I'm telling you, I don't remember it like this? Damn, I had cars without air conditioning! Now, I can't hardly make it to the street before getting dizzy and seeing mirages. We did get a good day of surfing in yesterday, but the cost was that I'm totally conked out is officially to the point where the only people barefoot on the beach, are those with short memories (it is like walking on hot coals after 11am in the morning).
I really want to get out on the salt water and do some fishing at my favorite spots, but they are all overcome with the blue algae outbreak right now.
Many people have warned us through the years about the damage being done to the environment in Florida, but my guess is that nobody will listen until people are fleeing the state in droves.
I'm just wondering how long it will be before we can't go in the water because of pollution? My thinking now is that it could even happen very soon....