Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Revelations

Today, while out walking, I realized.  I want to backpack and camp and go all these places I can only get to by foot, but, I don't like walking all that much.  It's tiring and stuff.  I am not sure what to do about this, maybe it's the pollen talking or maybe I need better shoes or to get off my duff and walk even more.  But gah.  I get tired, my feet hurt, I find myself wanting a hot bath, I don't like weight on my back.  Nia just won't get big enough to help carry stuff, I need a llama.

I have always known that weather extremes are horrific to me, I don't like being hot or cold and I really, really, really don't like being wet.  I think I may need to rethink my backpacking plans and look more at staying in a nice motel with a heated pool and breakfast buffet.  *sigh*  Maybe I can hike with my llama from one hot springs to the next, in pleasant and dry weather for 2-3 day stints. 

Maybe I need a remote robot like that one Sheldon has, and I can roll it up the Appalachian Trail and wince when the temps are under 50 or over 80 and just turn off the remote viewing screen if it rains.  Also, bugs.  I don't like them landing on my ears.  I think that's all.  Oh, smelling sweaty.  I don't want to smell myself.  Okay, I feel better.  I think I can get over most of my list, I just don't feel well right now.  I would think mono if I had any chance at exposure.  I had mono once, it was much like this.  Random fevers, feeling really tired and whiny, not wanting to DO anything.  Achy and stiff neck and shoulders...

Today we hit Bean Road at the Refuge again, I was still sleepy, despite my hearty sleeping overnight.  We decided we would walk the whole roadway and then get lunch and decide if we wanted to walk Airport Road as well.  I knew about 20 minutes in, I was not interested in adding more miles.  By the time we were back to the van, I had decided I wanted 2 things: hot salty fries and a hot soapy bath.  As Matt and I agreed at Burger King over fries straight out of the vat (thank you Jeffery and Eddie), there are SO many ways to undo a 6 mile walk.  They have these things called cheesy tots now, and molten chocolate balls and coffee with caramel.  We are having baked fish and salad for dinner.  *sigh*  Fries...

 That dot back there is Matt, I walked off and left him at the van and did not realize it right away and so I stopped to wait and he was all ansty and unhappy.  He HATES to be left.

 The whole walk was punctuated by the flow of water draining to the river
about 500 yards away. 

 You'd think he was over being left, but as I turned to look at him, I noticed I was getting the Stink Eye.  Soon after came the Hissy Fit.

 You may think I overexposed the above shot, but no, that's the sun shining off his lily white back after a full season of being covered.

 Still mad about being left, he tries to Spiderman shoot me.
If he HAD gotten web in my hair, I would have had a hissy of my own...

 THAT is pollen, it is FEBRUARY.

 We took the Dancy Bottoms Trail that runs off Bean Road,
but it was flooded out about half a mile in.


Buckeye.  I think.

 Some guy I saw standing on a pile of wood.

 6 miles of this: flattish winding graveled road.

I do not know what this is.  Well, I know it is a bloom, but of what flower, I have no clue.

Wade West

Yesterday we loaded up and headed to Wade Mountain in Huntsville, this time to the newly opened west side trails.  The first mile and change is paved and fairly flat, then the pavement ends and there's access to the west side of the mountain via a series of 2 loops and a connector trail.
Our GPS tracklog:

There is about a 600 foot elevation change over the course of the hike.

It started off a little boring, this time of year there's not much more than moss to divert your eye.  All grey and brown and rust everywhere, the only greens coming from the cedars scattered here and there and with the sky totally overcast, not even a cheery beam of light or patch of blue to cheer your walk.  I had settled into a major headache, which was made worse with every increase in elevation and heart rate.  I had decided to just walk for the exercise and get back home for an early bedtime.

Around mile 2, we passed through a patch of testicle berry bushes all in bloom.  The clean lemony smell was divine, we stayed a long while just smelling them.  By the time we were 3 miles in, we had hit the karst topography that I truly love.  Ben and Chan and I dropped back and sat around smelling pieces of cedar that had apparently blown down on the trail and someone had hacked it out of the way, leaving chunks of fragrant wood all around.  I tucked a piece behind my ear.

My Advil had kicked in and I was feeling fine, we trotted along, doing the full 6 miles in under 3 hours, averaging 2.6 MPH, which is good for the climbs the hike had.  We got back to the car and headed to the Asian Market where I loaded up on Thai bananas, chestnuts, yam noodles and rice.  I got a huge bag of eggplant, too.  Yummers.  We snagged a box of pandan flavored Swiss rolls.  The chocolate flavored ones had a picture of a chocolate bar on it.  These had a picture of grass.

Back home, after a stop at Taco Bell for some yummy yummy black bean burritos, I unloaded the cold food, hopped in the shower for a rinse and laid down for a few minutes on the heating pad, hoping to ward off stiffness this morning.  I woke up around 10, then at 1 I let Nia out to potty and crashed again, finally getting up for the day 12 hours later at 6:45.  Sad that a 6 mile hike wore me flat out, but it did.  That and the pollen and my headache-probably from the pollen.  I woke up yesterday feeling zapped, I did not want to hike, but knew I needed the exercise.  I am glad I did, even if it did catch up with me!

I hope some of the calories were squashed out of my protein bar.

This is an alligator.

The fields are full of henbit and dead nettle.

This was neat, I thought.  There are exposed roots in the bottom of the pool and the reflection of bare trees on the water, all patterned the same.  The cracks in the rocks add to the effect.  I desaturated the color to make it stand out more.

KARST.  I LOVE this kind of topography, it is my favorite.  Limestone and cedar.

Well, there they are.

We are parked at the very bottom of the power lines, off Pulaski.

That's the Toyota plant over yonder.

Ben jumped down the trail.  I tried, but my bladder was meant for sedentary life and I had to stop.  :(

Back on the paved part of the Greenway, it's long and...paved.  The first 1/4 mile by the parking lot was covered over, but we only passed one person on the wooded trails and two on the paved until that point.

Pandan tastes like...well, it's sweet, but maybe like pistachio? Or...clover?

Gleaning inspiration from Chachie Bell.

Sunset over the Tennessee River.

The sky on the drive home, with the fstop set 2 stops down.

The tree at the end of the road.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Doggie Day

Today we had set aside the afternoon to get the dogs in for their annual check-up and finish out Nia's puppy shots and get them all vaccinated for rabies.  To keep it from being just a run to town for a poke and prod and a run back home, I called to see if we could swing by Mr. Holmes' pond on the way in and let the dogs run a while.  He said sure.

The vet, we are using a new vet now, was happy with how well Nia is doing, she said she would be 22 pounds.  No more than 30.  That's perfect!  Of course, our old vet said Jessie would max out at 40 pounds.  She weighs 100.  Well, 99.8.  Kuma is 77 pounds, per usual.

I had these in order and Blogger said pshaw to that.  I am too sleepy to dink with moving them back around, so look at them as an abstract work.

 Nia does not look 100% dog.  It's like she has other little creature mixed in there.  Rabbit or burro...I thought she might be part pit bull, but her structure is too small.  We are back to thinking border terrier/corgi mix.  It would fit her coloring, stature, size and personality.

This IS rural North Alabama in the winter.  Field stubble, scrub trees, a rolling hill.

I stopped this one WAY down to increase the contrast to make the red maple blooms show up. 
It looks weird on purpose.  Sometimes, they look weird and I don't know what happened.