We're having a little Berry Bonus Time the last few days. It's been an interesting week. The boy and I started out last Monday south toward Nantahala National Forest in the more southerly section of western North Carolina. We've been living in the Pisgah where the highest US mountain east of the Mississippi is located, in what's considered the highlands. We wanted to get a better look at the rest of the NC mountains, so down we went south of the Smokies to check out the mountain towns that live in an ocean of protected forest. About two hours into our trip the old '84 Benz wagon started making a terrible sound from the back, and long story short we ended up in Franklin at a lube shop where a very kind lady told us our engine might be cracked. It really helped that she was so visibly distraught about telling us, somehow made it a lot easier to consider the car being wrecked.
In any case, we got a hotel room and put the car in the shop the next morning. They did fix the fuel leak we had, unfortunately they didn't lift the car to notice the rear axle (the Benz is rear-wheel driven) had completely worn out. This was the cause of our horrible sounds. We didn't discover the problem wasn't fixed until just turning into Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, an hour from the repair shop and out of cell range. To wrap this up, we somehow made it back down to Franklin and a 40-year Benz mechanic, stayed a total of three nights in two hotels, had a great time aside from the money spent and the hotel-confinement, and tomorrow the car should be all fixed up and ready to go. Joyce Kilmer was fantastic with huge old-growth poplars and newly dead hemlocks from the adelgid bug, just barely making it through the logging all around them to be purchased by the US gov't at a ridiculously high price. The car stuff was bothersome on the hike, but something about the partridgeberries, harvesting blue cohosh seeds and usnea on fallen trees, stretching a hundred different ways on the walk, and being in the middle of a vast expanse of wilderness was really quite healing.
Illinoise is next, and gosh it's been a while. I'm a little bit excited to be in a different space, just for the refresher, but I can't imagine I'll be too excited by the sound of cars at night or the streetlights for that matter. Those are two pretty big problems in the city, you know? The hotels reminded me.
Just an update for interested parties.
with my love,