Swinging Bridge


The view from the Swinging Foot Bridge over the Toccoa River
I've had a steady stream of guests for the fall colors. This morning is the first saturday I have had to myself in a few weeks. Im in bed, with trusty hound and seattle's best, nice and toasty thanks to the heated mattress pad my sister brought when she visited.

Last week I took my best friend on a hike to the swinging bridge. I forgot to get gas on the way out and only remembered when I looked at the almost on E gauge about 3 miles into a forest service road. We played out the scenario of what we would do if we had to stay overnight at the camp site by the rivers edge.  I looked around the campsites. "It would be better not to camp here tonight." I said. I drew an imaginary ring around the spot where we stood. "imagine how far a person would walk from this campsite at night to relieve themselves. Its a perimeter full of human dooky." We would have been fine, however I was worried about my chicks and dog and decided if we ran out of gas I would have to call the Unofficial Mayor of Blue Ridge to come and pick us up, and suffer the subsequent and much deserved razzing that would follow. At least I packed the survival kit in a sardine can.

When we arrived at the bridge, we encountered a couple from Florida. We greeted each other and they said how relived they were that we were "normal people". They went on to say how once they arrived, they wished they had brought a weapon of some sort in case they ran into...who? "the deliverance boys?" I asked. They nodded yes.

After they left, I remarked to my friend how funny it would have been, if, when the Florida tourists expressed relief that we were "normal", we would have whipped out some pistols and said "oh but we're not normal at all." This led to a lively discussion of ways to rob people:

"we could rig up a board with nails sticking up and cover it with fallen leaves. a car would roll over it and have a flat tire. then we could come walking up a little while after....acting all helpful until we could assess the situation. then, at gun point, relieve them of their cash and cell phones...which of course we would need to pick a place on the forest service road with no coverage.....we'd leave them with a couple of sandwiches and water and be on our merry way."

We came up with lots of schemes which is really just another way to assess our own vulnerability and to be alert to it. But we hiked the trail with no worries what so ever, glad that our butts were on fire with exertion. We'd had a killer meal the night before we needed to burn off.

Almost all the leaves have fallen and now the structure of the land is apparent. Winter is the best time to buy property because you can see it as it is. It's also the best time for hiking the woods as there are no more ticks, gnats and snakes. I like to take a pair of pruners with me so I can cut back all the sticker vines that have made their way high into host trees. Sometimes the vine pulls on a tree so hard it shapes its growth. I love to liberate a tree from a vine; to see it spring back tall from it's bent position and sway back and forth with freedom.

Today promises to be a good one. I look forward to staying home and working on the soil in my garden. Right now, I have onions, broccoli, chard, herbs and red cabbage. I already harvested the lettuce and spinach. The sky is blue with high cirrus and there is a light breeze; I bet we make it to mid 60s today.
However the weather progresses, I am very happy in my heart and looking forward to a quiet day outside. Have a great weekend everyone.


  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJn-jBGa6RM

    Those dadburned Florida tourists!

  2. that kid that plays the banjo lives in the next county. name is billy redden. *not inbred, btw.

  3. "Its a perimeter full of human dooky."

    I'll come back later and post something about the essential loveliness of your post and how cool to finally have some glorious time to yourself. I need to stop laughing my butt off first.

  4. I am very sure if they had met me, they would have not been reassured at all. Especially if I had on my 'old sweats and wadded up crazy hair' look going on. Sounds like a lovely walk, full of survival strategies, and lovely views. :) Happy weekend to you! xox Pam

  5. Okay,
    I think you and best friend are a mite weird. What kind of women hike a mountain and keep themselves entertained with mountain pirate plots then stop to free a tree?
    I'm thinking more twilight zone music than deliverance.

  6. I misread that as Swingers Bridge. Sorry.

  7. Normal people - now that is an oxymoron.
    Thanking you for the good wishes for the day, I have taken them to heart.

  8. We haven't had a "guerilla art" project from you in quite some time.

    Might I suggest life-size cardboard cut-outs of "nephew" and his ilk placed strategically along paths that tourists stroll?

    Perhaps some fake "historical markers" as well.

    "This marks the former location of the former Blue Ridge Church and Serpanterium where 11 year-old Bessie Mae Wilkes jilted Jebidiah (Grampa) Barre at the altar starting the infamous Wilkes-Barre feud".

  9. Ahhhhh, I'm in a similar place; no guests, no nephews, no obligations, NO WORK. I've been down to the beach three times.

    You also forget to mention; no chiggers! That's why I'll keep my visits to your wonderful part of the world to fall. I'm really glad to know you're enjoying some solitude and a chance to recharge your batteries. You are a wonderful hostess, but it comes at price. Enjoy your day little bird!


  10. with almost
    a foot of snow already
    and our temps now nearing -20,
    your neck of the woods looks like anything but winter, c -- very nice

    × × ×


  11. This one time...at psycho camp...


  12. moi: thats my special gift, you know. assessing bio hazard.

    pam: youre a hiking gold mine! who knows what else we could repel in that get up. bears? fussy fashionistas? ;-)

    fishy: c'mon now. dont tell me you never thought through how you could take your local CVS

    xl: you dog!

    su: truly it is. which is why my friend and I ended up riffing on the schemes, the tourists assumption about us. after all, ted bundy was a good looking clean cut preppy serial killer. Glad you are taking it to heart -it was from the heart.

    troll: boy am i glad you are back. brilliant idea. really. I think i could have a concession even charging people to be photographed with the boys who love purdy mouths. that would be a fun travel picture. serpiterium! grrrrerhaha

    boxer: chirp chirp!! love to YOU in the PNW - camera in hand no doubt. glad you have some creative time. cant wait to see what it yields

    /t: you are kidding me! already? and its there to stay. I will never forget those snow covered backyard photos with the deer. your world is beautiful, but i would need better gear to live there.

    tripp: LOL!

  13. Hi Chickory, thanks for dropping by my blog.

    Great photography......the dog is extremely handsome, the views stunning.

    Love the story content....made me smile.....

  14. Hey you ...
    dear one
    your hike through the woods stunning
    thank you for reminding me
    of the truth


    no wonder I feel so shitty sometimes

    Thank you, thank you
    love from les expanded Gang
    Susan, Miss D, Sam(uel), BleetNess, Oliver, Virgil, oh yeah and that darn Prince

  15. by shining sun
    that glisten inner
    meadow wind
    and forest river
    by mountain tips
    and hidden peaks
    stirring wonder
    nature speaks
    round the cycle
    currents swaying
    turning changing
    in harmony
    upon the moment
    reaching free


  16. "Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it...."


  17. cheryl: welcome! thanks for stopping by and i look forward to more of you lovely blog.

    susan: you are very welcome, friend. xoxox

    neil: gorgemous imagery in words. you excel at these poems. thank you.

    aunty: dont i know it! lol


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