The view from my perch on the mountain

What have we here?

I made a tactical error last month. Using the sink or swim training method I pulled Godzilla over on a peaceful little country road, climbed out of the driver’s seat, walked around to the other side and told Frankie to slide over because it was time for her to learn to drive the truck. She soon discovered that the big green beast is not only huge, it’s a lot of fun to drive!

I’ve been a walking man ever since.

This means that Buddy and I don’t get to go out and wander the countryside shooting pictures every day. While I miss doing that, only having to fill the bottomless pit of a gas tank a couple times a month instead of four or five is nice. Godzilla is very comfortable and rides beautifully even on unpaved roads but it takes a lot of gas to make 3.5 tons of Detroit iron climb mountain roads!

Today we splurged a little and Frankie learned how much fun it is to go out with no firm destination in mind, get totally lost and find all sorts of interesting things to see while trying to figure out how to get back home again.

We had to leave the house for two hours anyway …….. Buddy had fleas.

After saturating his double coat with flea spray, closing up the house and setting off twice the number of bombs called for on the package we loaded up in the truck and set off for wherever we ended up.


This is a view of the New River near the Byllesby and Buck Dams, two of five on the river operated by the Appalachian Power Hydroelectric. Now that we know camp sites and cabins are available in the area, which is part of New River Trail State Park, we will be back when the weather is a little cooler!


For a while Frankie and I thought we had missed seeing the mountain laurel in bloom but we found ourselves surrounded by blossoms as we followed the road between the two dams. There is also an online magazine called The Mountain Laurel which celebrates the Appalachian culture and heritage.


Wild Sweet Pea also lines the roadside as well as the hiking and horseback riding trails.


Laura wasn’t with us today but you can bet she’ll be visiting the park with her boyfriend John in tow in the very near future. He lives nearby and the way her face lit up when she heard that raspberries are growing wild along the trails was priceless!


I must be settling in to the country way of life. Back home I would be laying on the horn and cussing a blue streak at slow moving traffic hogging the road. Today I just grinned and leaned out the passenger side window to snap a few frames. I even waved at them….using all the fingers…..when they finally reached a place where they could move over and wave us past.

Frankie must be picking up my bad habits. She’s already talking about another photo excursion on her next day off! Smile

P.S. The fleas is D – E – A – D!

P.P.S. That #@%$&!! house fly that was driving me out of what’s left of my mind survived the flea bombs. I’m gonna kill that damned thing if it’s the last thing I do!


7 responses

  1. the 2nd pic with the Mountain Laurel is so beautiful!

    July 7, 2011 at 5:18 PM

  2. Love it… you know, neither of my dogs have had fleas since I’ve had them and we don’t use flea and tick meds… but they also didn’t go for walkies or ridies or mingle with other mutts…

    Love the horse traffic jam!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    • I have no doubt that the fleas are courtesy of the cat herd lounging all over our yard when Buddy’s not out there to chase them off. I spotted 7 of them on the concrete pad around and old well head just down the ridge and every one of them was scratching away. They’re always outdoors so the people who feed them don’t have to deal with fleas in the house. When Frankie gets paid we’re going to Lowe’s to pick up a broadcast spreader for the back of the lawn tractor and 40 lbs. of insect control for the yard. I hate to introduce chemicals into the ecosystem but I hate watching Buddy scratch himself bloody even more!

      July 7, 2011 at 9:36 PM

  3. we use frontline or advantix to get rid of them. we use advantage for the cats, since the occasional flea rides in on the dogs.
    i like the laural too. a beautiful shot!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    • Buddy had an allergic reaction to the drops and the vet said the only option we have is a flea and tick collar which doesn’t seem to do much good. We also use flea shampoo as well as topical sprays each day. The spray helps a bit but doesn’t last long. Man, I can’t wait for winter and a foot or so of snow for him to roll in…..and freeze the fleas!

      July 7, 2011 at 9:40 PM

  4. Very nice of you to wave with ALL your fingers!! I kinda get the impression this might be a relatively unusual occurrance lol 😉 Now about Buddy’s fleas…or EX fleas lol… cat fleas and dog fleas are not the same…so the cats maybe innocent…dog fleas are BIG!! Give a more satisfying crunch when you crush them…if you’re predisposed to that sort of thing…and much MUCH easier to see when they jump than pesky little cat fleas…never had it so easy spotting the escapees on the stairs as when my friend came home with a dog-flea (from a farm) riddled Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy :/ Not that she knew that…puppy cuddles and licks was all she could think about…I just love cuddling dog fleas!!!! 🙂

    July 8, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    • Wolfie, there are two kinds of fleas (and snakes…..and spiders) in my book; good ones and ones that can still move on their own. As if the fleas weren’t enough, this afternoon my neighbor informed me that her son watched 2 baby raccoons slipping under our house yesterday. When Frankie got home she helped me set up the live trap just inside the access panel. With any luck I’ll be relocating furry critters tomorrow afternoon. You wouldn’t happen to have Simon’s mailing address in Bristol, would you?

      July 8, 2011 at 4:56 PM

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