Judy and I still count ourselves blessed that Katie Bug, soon to be 19, still likes to come and spend the night with us. As usual, she and Judy stay up late jabbering about boys, school, and watching "intervention" shows on TV.
Me, well, I'm in my room trying to go to sleep, knowing that breakfast is all on me...usually pancakes when she comes!
This past week she spent two nights and days with us, but on Thursday, the last day, she got bored and needed for us to come up with something to do. So, I suggested a hike...and food out!
The idea was an immediate success, so off we went to Black Mountain. They wanted to see the big rocks and cliffs in the fresh green foliage, and I wanted to see the Pink Lady Slippers.
Unfortunate for me, the Slippers had all finished blooming about a week ago, while we were on vacation! However, I found one lonely little lady that was just about to deflate for another season. It was kind of sad, but I counted my self lucky to have at least seen one in bloom this spring.
There were lots of Fire Pink, Golden Ragwort, and a thick crop of Hawkweed blooms to satisfy my "wildflower" craving, so the day wasn't a total loss. I noticed that the Mountain Laural is almost ready to reach full peak, so I'll probably go back in another week...if I get back from Savannah in time.
The girls played and posed around the rocks and under the bluffs for awhile, until the itch to move on spread among us, so we moved on down the mountain and back to HWY 70. Judy had never been to the fire-tower on Roosevelt Mountain above Rockwood, so that was the new heading.
It was about then that I discovered that Katie had never been to Ozone Falls. Wow, how did that happen?!
I thought I had taken her to just about all my favorite places back when she was under 10 and we on "ventures", as she called them, a lot. Oh well, there was no time like the present and we were just about there by the time all the "yesterdays" had played through my mind.
She was quite nervous approaching the ledge that is some 1 to 150 feet above the fall pool below. I can't blame her though...I have a strong respect for heights myself!
We took a few shots there and headed back down the mountain to Roosevelt and up to the fire-tower.
On top, I was relieved to see that the old tower was still standing, although a little worst for wear and tear! The steps have almost all rotted off, but somehow graffiti still gets painted on the sides of the observation deck. Who are those crazy kids?!
We later made our way down to the railroad tunnel, where neither girls had ever been. Just as we walked up to the opening I suddenly stopped and said, "Listen!"
The tunnel cuts beneath Roosevelt Mountain between Westel and Rockwood, Tennessee. The old Tennessee Central Railroad Tunnel still allows trains through the mountain, off the Cumberland Plateau, and into the East Tennessee River Valley.
They thought I had heard a train, which I hadn't, but just the thought made them nervous. So, it was now time to eat.
We were all starving by the time we made Los Primos, and the chips and margarita tasted so good!
Back home, I decided to let her do something else she had never done...cut my hair! The picture included here isn't the best, of me anyway, but you get the point. She started out reluctantly, being afraid she would cut me, but as the learning curve topped out, she began to apply the appropriate pressure and made all the right moves. After all, how hard is it to shear an old man nearly bald!?
It was a great day, and it was hard to see her leave for home.
However, we are right now enjoying her company on a little trip to Savannah, GA. There will be lots to talk about and more photos to share when we get back.
See you then...