Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for August, 2007

Having some difficulty

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

I’m having a lot of trouble adjusting to being back from our vacation. I worked from home yesterday, and actually drove to work today. It’s rather ridiculous. I did ride to work on Monday, but it was a bit of a rough trip due to the students going back, and the fact that I’m so out of my routine.

Dave and I went mountain biking on Monday night, the first nighttime trail ride either of us had done in a while. We rode the Aynes Loop, and then the North Tower Loop “backwards.” Dave finally got his new bike, a Cannondale Prophet, and he let me ride it a little bit. It’s a very impressive piece of machinery, very smooth, and the suspension is amazing — it’s like being glued to the trail.

I feel haunted by the mountains. I’m still dreaming that Sarah and I are in the mountains, and I wake up wondering where the mountains went, missing that sweet mountain air, and even lamenting the fact that I’m now sleeping in a comfortable bed and a climate-controlled apartment. I can’t wait for it to cool down enough to turn off the air conditioning. I miss air. I even miss the bumble bees that swarmed all around our campsite in the National Park.

Wow.

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Sarah and I have returned from our vacation to North Carolina and the Smokies. All I can say right now is that our vacation was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that I wondered out loud at one point what was going to go wrong, since no vacation is complete without some major mishap. But nothing did go wrong. In fact, our trip far exceeded my expectations, which were high to begin with.

I came up with a cool idea to make an album about the trip, with each song based on some part of it. The track listing would look something like this:

  1. Road to Jellico
  2. First glimpse of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  3. Indian Tacos
  4. The Blue Ridge Parkway
  5. Persian food, and drinking wine from a can with a straw in Charlotte
  6. Chestnut Knob (South Mountains)
  7. Ditching the interstate for U.S. Highway 64
  8. Whiteside Mountain
  9. How to find a remote cabin on a gravel road in the mountains at night, or: “Veer right where the old Citgo used to be”
  10. The Appalachian Trail to Siler Bald
  11. Franklin, by bicycle
  12. The one million dollar view — for $78/night.
  13. Franklin locals
  14. The Nantahala River (white water rafting, guided by Captain Dan)
  15. Tsali Mountain Biking
  16. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Balsam Mountain campground
  17. Flat Creek Trail (in the rain)
  18. Clingman’s Dome
  19. The Blue Ridge Parkway becomes our driveway
  20. Chimney Tops
  21. Mingo Falls
  22. The long road home
  23. A gorgeous sunset and a reminder of the local beauty

The album will probably never happen, but the track listing is a good indication of our trip. I’ll write in detail later about many of the the things on the list. I have a few hundred photos to go through, so it may take a while to write about our trip.

Once we returned home, we were hit with a barrage of small but irksome troubles. My computer wouldn’t turn on. The maintenance guys turned off the pilot for our water heater, so after days without showers, we were anxious for some hot showers, but had no hot water. Our power went out for a few hours, just as we wanted to work on sorting through photos.

Getting away

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Sarah and I leave tonight for our vacation to the Smokies and North Carolina. We’ve been planning this for some time, and it’s hard to believe it’s finally happening. This will be my first paid vacation ever, and you can bet that I’ll take an occasional moment while standing on top of a mountain to remind myself, “I’m getting paid for this!”

We really need this. Neither of us has had a real vacation in … well, really, since we were kids. It’s about time. I can’t wait to scale up the rock face of a mountain, or plunge into whitewater rapids, or sit in a gazebo overlooking the mountains and stare into Sarah’s eyes until I forget the mountains are even there. To go mountain biking in some real mountains. To get lost on some shitty gravel road that my car wasn’t built to drive on in the first place. To find out how long it takes to boil water at 6,000 feet.

We’ll take thousands of photos, and while we won’t be able to blog while we’re gone, but instead, we’ll try our hand at putting pen to paper and actually writing. My handwriting is awful, and I can type faster than I can write, but I’m hoping that that tactile connection will have its own charms, and the fact that we can write anywhere we go is appealing. I normally don’t even try to write unless I’m sitting at a computer, and let me tell you, I won’t miss sitting at a computer. It’ll be difficult to transcribe our thoughts when we return, but a worthwhile endeavor.

I was going to go into detail about our plans, but it doesn’t really matter what our plans are. The point is, we’ll be getting away from our jobs, school, family, friends … everyone we know, for a time. It will be just us, and it’ll be our world.

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