Tuesday, May 12, 2009

If You Set the Bar Low Enough...

Saturday, May 9: East Blue Ridge (A Failed DRIVE!!!)

Now y'all knew I wasn't just gonna sit around in my bed recuperating all that time, right? So a week and a day after getting out of ICU, I was going stir-crazy from being stuck at home (and being worn out going to dr appts and testing). I called up my hiking buddy and we decided to just go for a simple little drive up into the mountains, to see if the East Blue Ridge dirt road is open now and take some wildflower pictures up there.

First, we questioned the stain under BB. I know the tranny seals are leaking a bit, so I asked DH to check all the fluid levels for me before we set out.

Of course, he didn't. Told me it would be fine. He drives me crazy like that sometimes. What am I gonna do, do it myself? With my incision from open-heart surgery? Sheesh. Oh, well. We set off anyway, relying on good fortune.

So for the first time in a long time, I was driving again! Our first stop was the wrong direction, trying to get a part for my friend's cooler. (We struck out at that, too.) After that, we headed out Hwy 138 to Largo Vista.

There were strange, cottony blooms alongside Largo Vista; we couldn't resist stopping and getting some pictures.

Winter fat.

We also saw some light red ones that were unfamiliar to me; my hiking buddy had told me about seeing them in another location. And of course, there's tons of the yellow (yarrow?).

Hop sage.

Cooper Goldenbush.

Then we headed up to Big Pines Hwy. Pretty bright yellow-gold flowers along the roadside caught our attention, and we stopped again.

Western wallflower.

After that, we figured the next stop would be the bathrooms (outhouses) just up the road. We stopped there, and our attention was immediately caught by snow flowers. I have only seen these blooms (probably from a bulb, looking at how they dig OUT of the ground to bloom) at elevations about 7000'. It was pretty there, and I headed back to BB to get my camera.

Snow flower.

And stopped as I heard a sound. A roiling sound. A roiling boil sound, coming from my radiator! Grr!!!

So that's as far as we made it...the outhouses on Big Pines Highway. Aarrgh. I'm even failing at taking a leisurely DRIVE! How am I ever gonna rebuild? We made a cell call (with patchy reception) and ran out of pictures to take after the first 20 min of walking around the ridge.

Probably a forget-me-not.

I should know this one.

But, I look at it this way: I got out of my bed and the house; I could recline in my captain's chair when my stitches and liver hurt; I greatly enjoyed the cool wildflower- and pine-scented mountain breeze; I had my buddy to talk to; and we got a few pictures. So if you set the bar low enough, it was a pretty good day. Even stranded.

We spent 2 hr+ alongside the road before DD rescued us. Later, DH and I did roadside repairs and had no trouble driving BB home. But BB went straight to the shop for some well-needed maintenance! Now, we're good to go again.

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