Thursday, June 17, 2010


It's a hot day! The temperatures are to hover on or about 90 degrees all day with little to no chance of rain. Hey; its better than winter in my book. I do like Fall. Winter is good for keeping all the people off the lakes. I like that aspect of Winter a lot. If I were to exercise the dogs and get them woods time, it would have to be this morning early. We have been at the ruins for two hours already and the heat is going off the scale at the unlikely hour of 10:00 AM. For the last half hour, the dogs have been "sitting" in the shallow water at the lake below the old ruins foundations.
The heat will soon prove to be unbearable for them, and dangerous.
We'll leave shortly. They do live to be out here though.
While casually hiking back here from the old barn; Happy disturbed a group of young turkeys. They were eight to ten inches long and they flew in all directions. Happy, being a great hunter, ran straight back to me and stood touching my ankle. The young birds frightened her when they burst from the thicket in a flurry of wings.

This old state park is a wonderful place to relax and get away from everything. There is no noise at all. Just the sweet singing of birds and the sound of the leaves rustling with the breezes.
The dogs are hot. Shade, usually energetic, is slowly dragging up the old carriage trail to the ruins foundation
I struggled with the zero turn mower yesterday trying to mow the steep grades at Woodthrush Ridge. It has lost power to the left rear drive wheel and is a monster to steer up, across and down those steep slopes. I even tried using my little self propelled mower but, I just can't walk up those hills behind it. The cost to repair the zero turn is $700.00. No way can we spend that. The mower is only three years old and cost around $2600.00. What a rip off! The wheel motors (pumps) are not rebuild-able. Amazing! The rest of the Summer will be a struggle once a week with that issue. It is what it is.
I would like to spend at least a few hours on the lake today. It will be a bit lonesome without a dog or two but, the sun is far too hot for a dog on the deck of a boat. I could possibly take the canoe to Indian Boundary Lake and paddle in the shade of the trees along the shoreline. I may just do that. The last option is to wait until late afternoon when the sun is low and take Douglas along on the Gheenoe. I believe that's the answer. Love him.
A couple of issues have arisen that are affecting my activities. One is that my truck is a gas hog plain and simple. The fuel costs are taking a toll on my fun cash. I have decided to start looking for a small, fuel efficient truck. The other issue is insurance. For some reason the insurance for the truck, boat and the motorcycle all arrive in the mail at the same time, same day. The insurance coupled with the gasoline bill that arrives much the same time as the insurance arrives becomes a serious financial issue. I could just stay in this room and read. Not really and option. I'm thinking of selling the motorcycle to eliminate that insurance cost and use the proceeds coupled with the trade value of my Ford F150 to apply as down payment money for a smaller, more fuel efficient truck. In addition the elimination of the motorcycle would halt the need it currently has for a new rear tire, valve adjustment, tune up and chain and sprockets. That all costs approximately $1000.00 or more. I have never been without a motorcycle at any time in my entire life but, the lakes, dogs and camping have become my passion since moving to Tennessee. I don't know. I'll try to think through it today. I am due to start vacation in four days and will probably cancel it. The vacation money will go to the insurance companies this year. I have one more vacation period that I will take later in the Summer. It will involve the canoe.

I can hear those young turkeys chirping. They're trying to regroup and find each other.
A turkey has met his/her end. Proof that coyotes are still on this peninsula. I'm glad the young turkeys are old enough to fend for themselves as I fear their mother has been taken from them.
I hitched up the Gheenoe and took Douglas for a cruise on Tellico Lake. The boat ramp was busy to say the least. I would head to the stump fields at the extreme upper end of the lake next to Chilhowee Dam.
The lake was choppy from all the ski boats and jet ski's. The water smoothed out as if it were glass once we entered that treacherous water that hides so many cut trees with their stumps just below the surface of the water. The ski boats can't navigate through here for fear of destroying their boats on the stumps.
I noticed an intriguing island that I have not landed upon.
There were trees on one end of it but grass covered three quarters of it. We dare not land the boat on it for fear of being attacked by several armies of chiggers that surely are in waiting.
An old boat ramp sits on the other side of the island. I've stopped there before and we'll take a break from the boat there.
The following is humorous. I actually had to hold in the laughter.
Two guys just pulled in with a bass boat that has seen better days. It's amazing the thing floats let alone runs. I just laid here on the dock watching. They were nice guys and bid me hello. An exchange of pleasantries took place as they prepared their craft for launch. The actual launch, the placing of the boat into the water, was less than a professional act. If there ever were two guys named Cletus and Billy Jo Bob; these were the two. Cletus backed the boat into the lake while Billy Jo Bob sat at the controls ready to fire up the boiler once afloat. OK; shortly after entry into the water, Billy Jo Bob started yelling "Whoa, Whoa; Pull up, pull up, take it out." It seems that neither one of the two remembered to remove the winch strap hook from the bow eye on the boat which prevented the boat from floating off the back of the trailer. It did, however, float off the side of the trailer and over the trailer wheel fender. Cletus gunned the truck and ripped the whole mess out of the lake and up onto the boat ramp. When he saw what had happened he yelled back at Billy Jo Bob, "what the he-- you tell me to pull up for? Boat's off the trailer."
They both went to the back of the boat and lifted and slid the boat up and over the fender until it finally settled back onto the trailer bunks. Ready for try number two. This time the launch went without a hitch. But just then, those famous, familiar words were spoken; "did you put the plug in?"
"No. You're supposed to to that."
Cletus fumbled about and reached over the transom and inserted the very important drain plug. Billy Jo Bob bailed water with a coffee cup. Bet there isn't a bilge pump on that boat. Finally they were off in a belch of blue two stroke smoke and all ahead full throttle.

I wish I could have taken pictures of all this but felt it ignorant to do so in their presence. I only took the two shots you see here. Finally Cletus and Billy Jo Bob made a fast right turn and blasted off into oblivion.
They were a nice pair of interesting fellows. Nice guys. And polluters of the air. (Chilhowee Dam below)
The mosquitoes are really bad down here so I'll collect my first mate and get moving. The sun is going down anyway.
We'll motor back at about 20 miles per hour and enjoy the cool of the evening. It's back to work tomorrow. I will try to upload a couple movies from today. They should appear below if they upload properly. Until next time; God Bless America. Someone better do it, and soon.