Lowell and I went to Slip Rock Creek in N.C. this weekend. Lowell said the area is in the southern part of the Smokies. We took 129 S to get there and drove on the "Dragon," which was way cool. Saw many motorcyclists zooming on the curvy road and the start of quite possibly a very beautiful fall color season.
We parked and began our hike. Lowell had a backpack with all his cool camping equipment. He wanted me to experience food cooked over an open fire so his backpack contained all necessary equipment.
The hike up the mountains and through the woods was so pretty. We saw hardly anyone on the trail, except one family of three with a blind dog, whom they were carrying. Very odd! There was loose sand and a little mud but my spiffy new hiking shoes made it a breeze!
We reached the creek, though it turned out we had not taken the right trail as Lowell had planned for another part of the creek. I still thought the place we were at was pretty cool. There were lots of rocks, smoothed by the running of water. Naturally, I pocketed me a pebble. Sunlight made its way through the trees and danced on the water. Aside from the gushing water and insects, there was pure silence. Beautiful.
I decided to be adventurous and wanted to cross the other side of the creek to get on the big rocks. We tried thinking of different possible paths and finally decided upon one where we'd hop on two rocks through a medium-speed current. It was the wrong one for me. As I tried to jump across the water, I fell smack dab in it! I grazed my knees and felt like a fool, but it was too funny not to laugh. Me trying to be all cool and smartass freakin falls like a klutz. It brought back many memories of my family teasing me on my lack of coordination. And what's worse is I got up and tried an alternative route and slipped again. My pants and shoes and socks were drenched.
We decided to hang out there (thankfully!) and I walked around barefoot on the rocks, letting my socks and shoes dry in the sun. I watched yellow leaves fall into the water till there were fifty or so floating there. I closed my eyes and listened. I gazed at the water. I enjoyed the easy task of drying off in the sun while Lowell had gone to gather firewood to prepare the fire.
He had prepared great shrimp jambalaya/gumbo. It was so cozy sitting near the fire, eating, watching the fire burn and listening to Lowell. Bliss.
Our hike back was a little scary for me. I didn't realize how steep the mountain was. I kept on having to lean into toward the mountain lest I slip and fall (again!). The knee didn't hurt too much, although it looks like a supercool action bruise! And the cool thing is we're going to come again and see the real big waterfalls, Lowell had planned for earlier. Yay!Other things
(yes, pretty detailed since it's been a while, and will probably be a while for the next): I got my braces tightened Monday. It ached a little and my cheek keeps on grazing against a brace, which is very irritating and sore.
I finally joined Friendster. It seems like I was the last person to do it. And it really does become addictive. I'm finding people in my network I haven't heard from or thought about in a long while.
I drove to southern Virginia for work this week. Trying to find fall foliage to shoot. Alas, the color hasn't come just yet. But the Virginia mountains are really pretty and seeing farmers toil over their fields in the straw hats and plaid shirts and red trucks, I felt like I'd been transplanted elsewhere. Then I started singing John Denver's "Country Roads," which is his song about his home in W. Va. It seemed apt. Mr. McGowan in sixth grade taught us that song for assembly. I wish I knew it all it sure was a pretty song. I clocked 90 once I got on 81 after I realized how late it would be getting back.
A concert I was meant to go to in Asheville (Barbarito Torres) got cancelled. I found out a half hour before I was meant to leave and by visiting the Orange Peel's web site to find information on parking. Now that is sure good luck. I would have hated driving two hours to find out the concert was cancelled. Instead, Scott and I saw "School of Rock," which was pretty funny. Those little kids are so cute. I can't believe they made a little tween-aged kid act gay.
I'm going to Durham, N.C. this weekend for Alex's famous pumpkin carving parties. I'm not looking forward to the length of the drive (six hours according to Yahoo maps), but am looking forward to the drive through Cherokee National Forest. I drove through it last year late Oct. and it was divine. I almost had an accident trying to stare at the maginificent colors of the trees there.
I finished reading Naguib Mahfouz's "The Beginning and the End," and highly recommend it. I first read his "The Palace of Desire," but liked this one better. It's tragic and makes you think how hard we try to be perfect in the world and how we try hard to keep up an image. Yet in the longrun, it can have dangerous consequences. But it wasn't just about that it encompassed so many other things too. And usually I like to read where I imagine a whole other world (I hardly ever to learn or analyze, I always get so bored) but this book made me look at the characters closely and analyze them. It's been a while since that has happened. So in other words, read it! Then tell me if you liked it as much too.
Since I had to edit and crop a photograph of me for Friendster, I decided to post it online too. See here to view it. And yes, I was trying to hide the braces. I came to learn that despite being cool with them in person, they photograph very badly. FYI, photo was taken end of Aug after I long day in Rolla, Mo. We had all flown in that day and were busy with wedding preperations. I was putting mehndhi on my bhabhi's feet since she was going to get married the next day. Unforutunately, I had to crop her out for the Friendster use. Apologies for that.
Final reflection: I can't believe it's already nearing the Indian new year. Happy Diwali and best wishes for the new year to any Hindus/Indians reading this. I hope you get to eat plenty of methai and spend time with those you love. And hope this new year is your best yet.
Aside from festivities, I have to say: where the fuck did this year go? Diwali already? A year in Knoxville, already? Being employed for a year? Amit's wedding? Dipen's wedding? Kush? It's going too too fast. And I hear it just continues to get faster. Well no point stressing about it. I'm in beautiful East Tennessee and right now, I feel a little tired yet still wonderful! Although the mood may rapidly change after tomorrow's drive. Stay posted.