|The view from the Swinging Foot Bridge over the Toccoa River|
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.