first of all:
made it into this:
now, onto the trip:
When I say "getting lost" I MEAN it! but let me start from the beginning.
(i did a little old-fashioned journaling from my camp site and at the Huddle House not far from the camp site... so here it is)
Sept 2, 2008- 6am- Nantahala Gorge
Something about the cool mountain air that really brings the puppy out in Elu, I mean, by no means is she ever an old lady, but WOW! she's running around like a crazy person.
We got the the gorge about 9:30 last night and set up camp at Wesser Creek, a spot that I have frequented in the past. Guess it's nice to start off a solo trip with a familiar spot. Read a little of Jack Kerouac's On the Road before bed and it got me all excited about "the west"!
What time does the sun rise? It's almost 6:30 and it's still dark. Guess I should look that up, but right now I'm ready for coffee and oatmeal... DAMMIT just kidding, I left the fuel canister in the car... what a dumb ass Guess we're just gonna pack up camp in the dark and go get breakfast at Waffle House.
8:00 somewhere off Hwy 28- Huddle House
got packed and off by 7:30 or so, now I'm sitting here waiting to get waited on. I've been here several minutes and not even a smile in my direction. This sucks, 'cause I'm starving! Just because I may look like a bum coming in here with a backpack and dirty clothes, does not mean that I don't have any money to spend here. That guy over there at the other table has food and he looks WAY more bum-town than I do. This pack happens to have my laptop and ipod in it and I didn't want to leave it in the car... GAH! Heeere we go... Let me mention how great it is (not that I have my coffee) to be able to smoke in a Huddle House in NC. Now I just need to get to a place with Wifi so that I might check emails and all that stuff.
So far it really hasn't clicked that I'm not just on vacation. I'm really not going to be back in Birmingham for a while... no more Birmingham
(here ends the old fashioned journaling... back to retrospective blogging)
SO now, the next day (seems like way longer than that) I'm sitting in a hotel room in Knoxville. But I digress:
After leaving the Huddle House I went to Asheville and parked my car downtown. Elu and I walked around the city center and window shopped. After an hour or so of wandering around downtown I called my cousin, Robert (whom by the way is a total badass and I'm really proud of him...) and went over to his house. Elu was very excited to get to play with his puppies, Cecelia and Maggie in their big backyard. While he dogs got acquainted, Rob and I rode our bikes (my bike seat fell off somewhere between the Nantahala and Asheville and Rob gave me one of his wife's old pink ones!!) into town and had lunch at Barley's. I had a local brewed beer and a slice of pizza, it was fabulous!! When we got back to their house, Karen was there and we spent a little time chatting and catching up before I took off for Boone.
Boone... (here's where the getting lost plays a role) I missed my turn for 221 into Boone and thought that it would be okay if I took 321, not the case. Mike told me I needed to get to the other side of Grandfather Mtn. he gave me directions to the best of his know-how and told me to pull over and ask for the rest, which I did- they were not very clear and long story short I drive past my turn about 15 miles, then turned around and missed it again by about 25 miles, then finally found a place to ask again- made it to meet Mike about an hour late and we finally got to the trail head at 6:30... with an hour left of daylight we booked it the 5 or so miles to the first camp site (we were hoping to go to the second). But the first camp site was very beautiful and we were able to swim a little before making a fire and eating dinner. Drank a bottle of wine from nalgene bottles and went to sleep by the river.
Woke up this morning and hiked the last 2 miles or so to the intended site and it was BEAUTIFUL. Elu swam and swam!!! She looks so cute in her little backpack!
We hiked back to the cars and I followed Mike into Boone. When I got in my car I noticed a light on on my dash that isn't supposed to be on "not good" I thought. We went to Mike's and ate some lunch, then he had to go to work, so Elu and I went into downtown Boone and walked around. After about an hour or so of walking, I decided that I didn't want to wait around for whenever it may be that Mike got off work and I'll just head to TN and get my car looked at in a bigger city. So off to Knoxville. I called Kelly, my sister, so get her to look up mechanics on the internet. She found me one and mapquested directions. My exit was 386B... well apparently the interstate is closed after 389. I must exit. So I ask for directions to US 129 and I'm on my way. Two hours later, I am about at the end of my rope calling Amanda to get in the internet and try and direct me. Phone dies. I think I may have cried a little. Stressed and tired I try to start finding a hotel room. Apparently it's not the easiest thing to get a room when you are traveling with an animal. After trying about 7 hotels, finally one is able to direct me to the Jameson, which will allow pets. So here I am. Phone is charged again and I am showered, about to hit the hay for the evening.
I"m going to get the car looked at first thing in the morning, hopefully it will not take too long, because I'd like to be in Colorado by the weekend (apparently STS9 is playing at Red Rocks and one of my friends is going. If I get there in time, I will be too). so I'm off to bed, to get a good night's sleep and get up early to head to the mechanic.
I'll be in touch!!