8/4/05. One bad fucking day, week, month, life.

7/30/05. Why do snakes have to climb trees? It's creepy. This black rat snake just climbed up the side of a tree with no branches. How? Doesn't gravity work on them? It also was kinda over where my car is parked. So, not only do I have to peer into the semi-darkness in the early morning looking for bears and look where I step for snakes, I also have to look up for snakes hanging over head? Great. I pretty sure I would die if one fell on me. Seriously. I rode about 18 miles at Bent Creek and Biltmore last weekend. I made it up the Hardtimes Trail to Owl Ridge before heading down. It was a relentless uphill with no downhills at all. Though the downhill ride was great. At Biltmore, I rode the black diamond (difficult) trail. It has alot more sharp turns uphill and downhill and is about twice as long as the other trails. It was great! Then I rode the blue trail, which takes you below the Inn at Biltmore and through a field that gives the best view of the Inn. You can't see this good of a view from any road or walk. Gotta take the bike trail. Too bad everyone staying there can't see it. Also a great view of the Inn is from the air. Not too many people see that either.

Click those photos for larger views


Picture above left to right: Me with the Inn at Biltmore in the background, the Inn from the air, Biltmore house from the air, and me on a trail at Biltmore.
So thats all I've been up to this week, except for when the long lost check finally showed up at the mortgage company (thanks post office), and I had already did a draft to cover for that and set up online payments, so that I ended up with 3 house payments this month. That was enough thrills for me for the week... But on the bright side, I am way ahead in house payments...

Okay, it is July 17th. I think this may morph to a monthly page with the most recent post at the top. So here goes. I ate a dark chocolate brownie with raspberry for breakfast and it was great with coffee. I rather enjoyed eating something that isn't supposed to be "good" breakfast food. But sugar and caffeine will get you going. I read the live coverage of the Tour de France yesterday and today since no one that I have in my 120 channel satelite package is covering it. Shame on them! I would like to go riding this afternoon, but Tony is working and I don't know if he will be too tired then. It sucks only having 3 days off together per month. One or the other of us is always at a disadvantage from being tired from work to do stuff after work. So, I should try to work, um, "easier" and not try and kill myself at work. Especially after the "pity me" day I had the other day. There are about 25 of us that are working under this one classification, with about 20 of them getting the most rewards for not quitting because it is "tough". Okay, for them, I agree most of the time. But the other day, a couple of the other 5 got lunch out because they "usually" get excluded from the 20's "rewards". Okay how about the other 3 of us? I found a really big problem on the day of the "lunch", and was rewarded with "solving the problem" and no lunch. Plus 1 of the 3 of us has found a great new job and will be leaving. Pity me. I hate feeling like this, since there are truly lots of horrible things that could be happening to me, but I guess I am human and not perfect. I want my fringing lunch! I almost had ice cream for dinner that night. But just went to bed early, and at least felt well rested. But then I apparently "volunteered" (Boss's exact words) to help these couple of people (the lunch eaters) finish their work on Friday (as in, don't do my work and I get behind). So thanks Boss. So after work Tony and I went riding on this moderate rated single track trail that no one else was on. Incredible! Rode within 10 feet of a deer in the woods, saw 3 woodchucks, through a creek (who says getting muddy isn't fun?), around steep hills, and all without stopping on this big hill that has conquered me every time I rode it before! I am "King of the Mountain"!

It's the 4th of July, so Happy 4th of July to us! And where the heck have I been? I've just been working and enjoying the great outdoors like I should be. I like working on the website, but I really like doing the things that contribute to the website more! I'll try and get back in the habit of posting an update on Mondays.

Last weekend, June 25, 2005, we went riding (bike) on Saturday at Dupont State Forest. I have never been there before and it was beautiful. There were probably more horseback riders than I have ever seen at one place before. I guess, that there isn't as many places to really ride for horses. Quite a few bikers too. Most were near the High Falls area. We started out at Guion Farm area, so we ended riding about 10 miles. It was very hot and humid. There is a really big and nice covered bridge over the top of High Falls. I really didn't get to see the falls all that well, because we had ridden so far by then, we decided to start back instead of going around to where you could see the falls. I think this would be a great place to return during the week when it is less crowded. Now, back towards Guion Farm, we hardly saw anyone going back. It is a beautiful ride to Dupont State Forest. I didn't realize it was so close to Transyvania County airport, where Tony flys to sometimes. I bet he could see the falls if he knew where to look. And to help, he took the GPS when we went riding and marked it.

Then we rode up 276 past more waterfalls and up to the Fish Hatchery. It is right below John Rock, which is great granite exposed mountain side. There is a Forest service road and trail that climbs up that way, but I couldn't convince Tony to give it a try... So we stopped and walked by a stream. We also stopped to see the Pink Beds that has seasonal riding there. (not now, though) It looks like a great area to explore further after Ocotber 15th. We spotted the cutest Red Squirrel sprinting across the parking lot with some bread from someone's picnic. Up the tree he went. I got a couple of shots of him. We threw chips out trying to entice him down. They aren't in the lower elevations, but I wish I could see them more. They are smaller than grey squirrels and alot more zippy. Kinda like a chipmunk, they have 2 modes: stop (briefly) and zip!

Okay, it is now July the 10th. I'm happy to report that CBS threw me a bone and had a one hour coverage of the Tour de France to date. Also they will have a one hour program next Sunday from 5 to 6 pm EST. But I think alot of people are probably more worried about hurricane Dennis today. I know my parents have a place in Panama City Beach, FL, and won't know about it for awhile. Still it isn't their primary residence. I hope the hurricane doesn't head up here. We had a lot of damage here last fall from Ivan. Hard to believe? Lots of people died in western North Carolina and we are a long way from the coast. I think I will try posting a paragraph at a time and change pages when they get long. Maybe that will inspire me to post more. Really, I have good intentions. Really. Also, the email address on every page I have will not communicate with several places like Hotmail. That is a problem. I think where I have the website is having PHP problems or some such thing. I think I will just create an email addy for the website at Hotmail and change all the page links. Now that is daunting!

Do you think cats can count? If so, I am in trouble. I always give my neighbors cat a snack when she stops by, and my cat Ginger gets one too. It has made her very social with other cats. The neighbors cat gets a small hand full of Iams Hairball Formula, which I think can't hurt since she runs around all day outside and has long fur. But Ginger stays inside and is a bit more, um, let's say "sleepy", so I give her just 3 small pieces of Iams. So she doesn't eat too much since she is "sleepier" than the other cat. But if she can count, she'll know that she is getting ripped off, and I might get my leg ripped off. So I hope she can't count...

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