11 years ago today, Day 53

Yesterday was my 100th post on this blog.  I didn’t notice that until this morning.

“I woke up to another hard frost this morning.  I have a feeling I got out of the mountains just in time, as they were predicting snow on the higher elevations on Sunday, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they got it.”  This was written from Atlanta that night.

“The last of the Parkway was beautiful.  It goes up to 6000+ feet,” which is as high as Sunrise on Mt. Rainier and almost as high as the Upper Geyser Basin at Yellowstone:

“So parts of it already looked like winter, with bare trees.  The wind was howling pretty good, too. … But on the lower parts, the technicolor sheep pelts were spread everywhere, and I could see forever from every overlook:

“Especially down to the low valleys where the fog settled like the colored stuff in a lava lamp when you unplug it.  As if it had been spread with a knife:”

I reached I-26 just south of Asheville, and spent the afternoon on it and I-85, making my way to Atlanta.  I-26 “was a good, four-lane highway, going down, down, down, and I had only one objection to it.  It was, however, a serious one, and one I had to contend with all the way to Atlanta, and, I expect, will have to all the way across the South [which was true].  Kudzu.  Not that it was growing across the highway or attacking me or the car or anything, but there were great stretches of it along both sides of the highway, bowing over trees, coating the ground, and generally smothering everything in its path.  The very ground looked as if it were crying for help.  It’s as sinister-looking as it actually is.  Horrible, horrible stuff.  I tried not to look at it, but sometimes I couldn’t help it, and every time I did, it made me shudder.  How am I, with my phobia of vines, going to make it across a South smothered with the stuff?”

It makes me cringe just to remember that.  I have a horror of vines, to the point where I can’t even prune my own clematis, the result of being allergic to ivy (the regular kinds, not just the usual reaction to the poison variety) and recurring bad dreams resulting from a shoot of ivy growing through the electric socket and a wisteria that tried to take shingles off the roof and grew down into the chains of a porch swing in one of the houses where I grew up.  Kudzu, which grows 80+ feet a season and engulfs land by the acre, is my worst nightmare. 

Anyway, I did make it to Atlanta without being strangled by vines,  or stranded in a construction zone, for that matter.  As my mother says, I wish I had the concession for orange barrels, because I’d be rich.  I met up with my friend H that evening (the whirlwind from Yellowstone).  She took me out to a hilarious dinner with some of her engineering friends then back to stay with her for a couple of nights, one result of which was that I will never look at an elevator the same way again.  As another Atlanta friend says (one I met via email after my Long Trip), “further deponent sayeth not.”

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Categories: Long Trip, national parks, outdoors, plants, travel, weather | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “11 years ago today, Day 53

  1. OH! You were at Asheville & didn't go to Biltmore? Why?

  2. If I remember correctly, it's because I was feeling cheap and the tickets were over forty bucks [wry g].

  3. Tickets are over $60 these days, so that's one place we won't ever be going.

  4. There are some things that are worth the price of admission. I just hadn't heard enough good things about Biltmore to justify that much money.

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