Sunday, August 8, 2010

A "Blue Ridge" Day (Pisgah Forest, NC)

Friday we worked.

We were to be off Saturday and Sunday.  However, we were required to work a half day on Saturday because the Forest Service was having a big happening at the Cradle.  Saturday was a celebration of Smokey Bear's 66th birthday.  I heard that 800 people came through the gate to attend.  That number seems high to me but what do I know.  There were lots of activities for the children and Smokey made several appearances.  I monitored coolers of water and HI-C.  Debbie and the other Debbie were in charge of Smokey Bear Bingo.  My position was brainless, Debbie was on her feet the whole time "enjoying" the children.  Please note that I refer to Smokey Bear, not Smokey the Bear.  All my life I thought it was Smokey THE  Bear.  Not true.  It is Smokey Bear.  A learning moment compliments of the Forest Service.

Saturday evening we went to Brevard to have dinner with Mike and Debbie.  We asked Dick and Sue to come as well.  Sue is the charming, fashionable grandmother I've referred to before.  Dick, her husband, is a retired truck driver with slightly more than 4 million miles of driving.  They're in their mid 70's.  Quite delightful.  We went to an Irish pub.  I won't bore you with what everyone ate, except me.  I had Shepperd's pie.  Very Irish I think.  I'd never had Shepperd's pie and I enjoyed it greatly.  I should mention, because  this is important.  I also had a large order of onion rings on the side.  Debbie made me share them.

Sunday was another great day.  I guess I say that often, but the beauty is that it's true.  Our lifestyle comes with many great days.  We decided the "boys" needed an outing.  They spend a lot of time in the camper.  We walk them at least three times a day and often the walks are quite long.  Regardless, we wanted to take them to a dog park where they can run.  We're thinking maybe they miss their backyard.  So we headed for Asheville via the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP).  This is another one of those cool things about being here.  The BRP is 4 miles from the front gate of the Cradle.  The BRP is a primary vacation destination for lots of folks, especially in the Fall.  But here we are just down the road.  We've already been on it several times and I'm sure we will be on it countless more times.  In addition to the beautiful scenery, it also is the route to many wonderful trail heads and Asheville.

Blue Ridge Parkway View
Our first stop was the NC Arboretum right off the BRP.  There are great trails there and really nice gardens.  The trails are mostly short and easy. The gardens include formal settings, some of the best Bonsai I've ever seen, water features and lots of Appalachian flavor ie flagstone paths, rock walls and natural plantings. We were there about 3 hours.  The boys are now pooped and overheated.  Poor Mr. Bo is jet black, just right for soaking up all the heat.  His little legs go ninety miles an hour to lead the pack (alpha dog you know).  And he's built like a sissy.  We found a shaded area with a bench for me and large flagstone for the boys.  Bo immediately plopped down and hugged the cool stone to compose. Laska was happy to join him.

Bo resting
Laska happy
Debbie strolled a bit taking flower shots with her still new camera, the boys chilled (literally) and I napped a smidgen. 


Debbie was glad this bee never seemed to notice her!
We find interesting mushrooms everywhere we go 
Eventually we left and headed for the dog park.  We took a couple wrong turns but then found the park.  It was 91 degrees.  We decided the boys weren't too excited about any more heat so we headed home.  At the mountain top, our home, it was 73 degrees!
After we got settled I did the laundry.  While I waited I called Bro Rowe.  I didn't get him so I'll call later.  I did speak with Aubree Elizabeth.  She'll be 26 soon. 
We work the next 3 days.

Happy Trails


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