Wednesday, May 31, 2006
"I got a message I can't read
Another message I can't read
I'm on your side
Nowhere to hide
Trapdoors that open
I spiral down
You're living in a fantasy world
You're living in a fantasy world"
And it can be lonely in the laurel thickets at times...
Regarding albums, there's pre Kid A and post Kid A as far as I'm concerned. I remember listening to Idioteque and watching the twin towers fall. Moving music; the rhythm of our times. Then there's excitement over all the current happenings, the impending US tour, bonnaroo, The Eraser...
Ah well, time to flush the rust and the dust... and turn off the soundtrack. We certainly can't outrun ourselves. Nevertheless, a cold mountain stream would sure feel good right about now.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Ten of us met to run out at Turkey Pen this Saturday and were greeted by a gorgeous day with promise of plenty of sunshine and "creek frolicking" weather. This was good, as we would have plenty of chances to get in the river! Among the runners were Matt Kirk, David and Patti Kirk, Carl Laniak, Sallie Paar, Maggie Everett, Ellen (sorry -don't know your last name), Mark and Anne Lundblad, and me...oh yeah, and Uhwarrie the trail wonder-dog!!
We started running at 8am and before long got in a nice rhythm along the wonderfully flat and soft South Mills River Trail. Mountain laurel were in bloom and we had the chance to enjoy spotting many wildflowers along the way as well...even a patch of pink ladies slippers! (Mark and Anne...did you spot the yellow ladies slipper on Cantrell Creek Trail?!?). At the old site with the chimney ruins of Cantrell Creek Lodge, Matt, Carl, Uhwarrie and I split from the rest of the group to run the full loop, while the others headed up Cantrell Creek Trail for an abbreviated version.
The rest of South Mills River Trail was spectacular, with numerous river crossings (in which we submerged ourselves quite regularly) and the adventure of overgrown trail (overgrown with doghobble according to Matt). While running on Squirrel Gap Trail...we found ourselves often just laughing at how wonderful this trail was to run on!! After a while we took a left on Laurel Creek Trail, then another left onto Bradley Creek Trail...all the while wondering why we were not yet at the earth's core yet since all we seemed to have been running was either flat or downhill (I am still wondering how it was possible).
Bradley Creek Trail greeted us with one of it's dozens of river crossings followed by a forest lit with bright green mountain ferns, followed only still with a bit of beautiful singletrack through a daisy riddled field! Then came a gradual climb to Yellow Gap Rd. which we turned right and muscled it up to the aid stop which was graciously guarded by David and Patti Kirk! Matt, Carl, Uhwarrie and I hung out there for about 20 minutes, and once our feast was over we took to our feet again (with Mr. Kirk along for the ride) to finish the adventure.
Bradley Creek Rd. was fantastic but, let's see...what did it lack...oh, yeah! River crossings!!! Well, we knew that the heat that we had been feeling along it's grassy path would soon be squelched by another Bradley Creek Trail river crossing! Once on Bradley Creek trail again, and after Matt and I had to hurdle the 8 foot long talking Rattlesnake (actually it was only about 4 feet long, but you know how the story goes!), we were treated to more fun in the river and gorgeous trail all the way to the finish.
We all took a swim in the deeper part of the river below the parking lot, and then hiked our way back up to enjoy re-living the day over some French Broad brew and more pizza and goodies! Yet another fun adventure on the wonderful trails we have here in North Carolina...that's right Carl...North Carolina is where it's at! Anyway, hope to see ya'll again on the next fun run, and for those that couldn't make it to this one...we'll see you at the next one! Happy trails...peace.adam
After the fun run, we retreated further up into the beauty of Pisgah with a camping expedition to the summit of Black Balsam Knob. On Sunday we made a seven mile pilgrimage to what is currently my favorite swimming hole in pisgah: Skinny Dip falls. The frigid crystal clear water always evokes the most entertaining expressions on those who dare to dive in. I love Carl's face here, perfect! More photos are uploaded to Snapfish.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I love Muir! What talent he had to take the natural energy of the world and preserve it forever in prose! Today atop Caesars Head State Park, we had an intense storm, complete with wind gusts and hail. And the energy in the atmosphere filled me with deep joy. It was a call of the wild. The wind rushed right into the office, slammed and opened doors, ripped maps from the bulletin board, scattered papers about. It roared: "You can't hide from the POWER!"
A part of me was sucked out into that maelstrom, I'm miles above the earth wondering why the rest of me is not already gone running with the wind deep into the forest. Methinks I should leave soon...
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." -John Muir
A friend recently sent me some photographs from a work trip earlier in the month to Station Cove Falls in Sumter National Forest, a beautiful place to visit.
This John Muir quote comes to mind when I think of such a sacred cove.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Saturday, May 20, 2006
While some local ultra athletes were busy blazing the Mountain Bridge Marathon route today, we were at work quite literally blazing a section of the wilderness down in the lush Dismal valley joined by some of our favorite Sierra Clubbers. Perhaps the prolonged exposure to the pepto abysmal fumes got me in the mind to watch alien pink robots do battle with yoshimi for now I'm enroute to the free Flaming Lips show in Atlanta with a few diversions thrown in along the way. I hope to make up for today's missed run with a 25 miler along country roads outside Athens to celebrate a friend's 25th b-day tomorrow.
Summer lightning lighting the night
fire ants spreading the word
our frontier is your frontier
an ant's bite is just a reminder
we take our demons with us
where ever we stomp.
Friday, May 19, 2006
i lost myself,
i lost myself..." -RADIOHEAD
Maybe it's the pollen, or the strange state that I'm in, but there certainly has been a need for some good vibes these past few days. The tide seems to be turning slowly. This weekend's plans have changed, we should still be out in the forest making more friends, which seems to be a good thing to do. First (MASSIVE) bear spotting of the season this year while out running the local trails today. Thanks to one meandering bear for the sage wisdom of HDT:
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Live the life you've imagined."
This summer, Uwharrie and I are thinking globally and adventuring locally. We hope to get a better sense of this region in which we have been living in and falling in love with for over year and half. I will soon be quitting my job with the SC state park service and moving into my mobile home. I look forward to living simply and packing lightly. More to come!