Monday, March 25, 2013

Dreaming of LeConte

"I'm fooling myself by thinking that a cure will be found, 'cause I can't stop thinking 'bout you."

Here is the pendant I made in my class on Saturday. I probably won't wear it but I do sort of like it.



By the time it was time to go, I didn't want to go to the class, just like I never want to go to my Monday enamel class, and when I do, I always enjoy it and am glad I went. That still doesn't make me want to go any more the next week.

It was a gray, dreary day and a 30 mile drive but it was fun, and when I got home, the weather had cleared a bit and I went for my walk around the pond. There were few people out, but then it was 7 p.m. on a Saturday night.

Here are some of the fauna and flora I saw.



Yesterday I made some beads and when Neil got home we went for an extra long walk. We went into a house that was half built and there was a perfect room behind the kitchen for a studio, complete with windows and a door and cross-ventilation and plumbing for a sink. Fortuitously it was already sold. Some day.

One of the things Neil and I have talked about doing is a hiking trip to Smoky Mountain National Park. I wondered if there was a lodge in the park to stay in, and that's how we learned about LeConte Lodge.

This is from the website.
High atop Mt. LeConte is the highest guest lodge in the eastern United States, at an elevation of about 6400 feet. It is accessible only by hiking. There are no roads that lead to the Lodge. There are five hiking trails that lead to the Lodge ranging in length from 5.5 miles up to 8 miles.
I'm game.

I think Neil was surprised that I wasn't the least bit discouraged. I think it is totally doable. I've even picked out our trail, the Trillium Gap trail (6 1/2 miles), which is the one the llamas use to portage supplies to the lodge thrice weekly. It is also the least steep, with a net climb of 3,300 feet.

Lodge amenities include hot meals, kerosene lighting, wash buckets for sponge baths and rocking chairs. And for an extra $10, all the wine you can drink between 6 and 7 p.m. I don't drink but I'd probably make a one night exception, or two if we stay two nights.

All this luxury starts at a base price of $126 per night. Per person. The 2013 season started today, March 25, and runs through November 26. The lodge started taking reservations last October 1. It is completely booked. There are waiting lists and some of those are full as well.

On the waiting list form you may submit 3 individual dates or one window of up to seven consecutive nights. Just for grins I submitted a request form for a week in July. Cancellations with less than 10 days notice are not filled from the wait list but are offered to the next person who inquires about those dates. Hypothetically, if you had enough flexibility in your schedule to organize a vacation with 10 days notice (or less), you could start calling daily and maybe you'd get lucky.

Then again, we can defer the adventure until 2014 and book it next October.

The lodge has a blog where they post daily weather conditions and hiking information. This is from today's post.
Nothing like a few inches of snow to start off the 2013 season. The wind and snow are whipping between the cabins. We currently have about 4 inches of snow and it is coming down hard. The high yesterday was 42 with the low of 10. It is currently 10ยบ on the mountain.

Hwy 441 is closed. That makes Alum Cave trail closed. The only trails you will have access to are Rainbow Falls trail and Bullhead. Bullhead is still in bad shape at the moment. I would only recommend Rainbow. Now, with this being said, I only recommend Rainbow if you are extremely well prepared. That means warm layers with a water proof shell on the outside.

You will probably not need yak traks for most of the trail, the snow is good traction. You will need them for the hike down. Once the snow has been traveled on several times, it will become very slick. If you decide to attempt the hike, please be safe. Make sure someone knows you are on the trail.
And here is the first comment.
I really would hone in on the fact to not do Bullhead. Especially in snow. You have to crawl under downed trees, and it's nightmarish to all but the most masochistic.
Sounds like a nightmare all the way around to me.

Here's a photo from up on top of Old Smoky, I mean Mt. LeConte, today.



I think another walk around our lake will suit me just fine instead. The sun is out and the temperature is perfect. I had the moon roof open when I went to the post office and the library today.

Just like those resplendent days in the spring of 1998 when I was in love with a dream.

During the time period between when Nick wasn't officially back together with his girlfriend and when he was again, he stopped emailing me. He was still posting on the forum and we continued to interact there.

I missed his letters. I wanted the fairy tale. I wanted it to be real.
Oh Nick, if I were in Maine or Michigan or Seattle (instead of 15 minutes away on the tollway) do you think it would be different?

But I'm here. And I still want you. God help me.
And his cryptic response.
You are such a temptation.

I hear you.
I'm pondering.
You see what I'm doing.
Don't you?
I had no clue what he was doing.

I only knew one thing. I wanted to see him.

My husband had moved out at the end of February, and for the first time ever, I had put my kids on an airplane without me, to spend spring break with my mom and dad.

It was now or never.

One more time, I put it all out there.
I think the longer we (you) wait, the more we (you) build it up, the harder it becomes (maybe) (stop laughing - you know that's not what I meant).

Nick, you don't really have to make love to me. Just come over and talk to me. I'll make you tea or lemonade.

If you ever meant anything you ever said to me (ever), please give me an answer on this.

If you can't/won't/don't want to, and you don't think you ever will see me, I'll back off and leave you in peace.

Oh Nick . . . say yes.
And he said yes, sort of.
What a position I am in. The lemonade sounds like a good start though.

Things are more complicated for me. I would like to meet you. And soon is okay. But, please, lower expectations. I'm not so special. That is a terrible burden.
I called him. I didn't give him a chance to change his mind. He came over and talked to me. I made him lemonade. He never took off his baseball cap. I sent him home with some Girl Scout cookies.

Later I wrote this to my sister-in-law.
He is beautiful. I adore him. But it is still complicated.

He is still troubled/confused about the "(ex)"(?). I don't really understand where it is at with her. He has said he is seeing her but they are not "back together". He has said there are still feelings between them, "but something is missing". So he still has that to work out.

And I love him all the more because he wouldn't make love to me until he resolves the other relationship. I know that if he is ever mine, I will be able to trust him totally.
I only saw him again twice.

Once a week or two later and once more than a year later.

I was relentless. And shameless.
I'll call you tomorrow (unless you tell me not to).

But you have to see me. I can't stand it not to be with you. I promise to behave cerebrally. Unless you let me ... never mind.
He let me come over and bring him lunch one random Wednesday. Or rather I steamrolled him into letting me bring him those bagels. He was too thin and I was in rescue mode.

The Girl Scout cookies were on his kitchen table, unopened.

He had a poster of Pamela Sue Anderson on the wall above his computer.

I looked around, but if there were any photos of the girlfriend, he must have put them out of sight.

Despite that, she was firmly back in the picture.

"Lovin' you was like lovin' a house on fire
Burning and learning when the damage was done

Now I'm tired and I'm scared and wide open
To the rest of my life
And I almost, almost had it all
I'm sick and tired but I'm hoping
That a cure will be found
'Cause I can't stop thinking 'bout you
I can't stop thinking 'bout you

Here face to face with what I've been running from all these years
Hangs a dark cloud over the moon
Pull off to this roadside dive and maybe test my sobriety
Order a tall cool ginger ale

Lovin' you was sort of like lovin' a fifth of the finest bourbon
Was it your quality or high quantity that's put me in the shape I'm in

Now I'm tired and I'm scared and wide open
To the rest of my life
And I almost, almost had it all
I'm fooling myself by thinking
That a cure will be found
'Cause I can't stop thinking 'bout you
I can't stop thinking 'bout you"

(Martin Sexton, Black Sheep)

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