Saturday, December 3, 2011

NEVER BEEN HAPPIER IN MY LIFE THAN I AM NOW

The only thing that could make me even happier than I am now is if I could somehow get my golden boy Douglas back.  But, I'm serious when I say I've never been happier.  I'm healthy, so far, for my age, have a great bunch of room mates in my dogs, have the greatest job in the world that allows me to stay in the outdoors daily, own a nice property, a motorcycle, motor boat and two of the best made canoes on earth.  And, to top it off I'm starting to be rationed back some of the Social Security Tax money that was taken out of every pay check for my entire life.  I lead a very simple existence but, for me it's everything I need or want.
He's a handsome boy!
Falcor and I hit the water this morning with great anticipation.  Rather than search for a launch site;  I put the boat on the water at a boat ramp a few miles downstream from the  required area for today.  It felt good to push the throttle full-on and hear the big motor rush to red line.
Falcor was acting very cool this morning.  He stood tall on the bow of the boat even at full throttle.
I'm Cool!
The temperature was cold, not cool yet, Falcor ignored it.   Soft under fir covers his body beneath the exterior coat of hair.  The wind tousled his hair but, he remained comfortable.   He would look back at me when I pulled back on the throttle as if to say, "more, more!"
Today's schedule placed us on the big bay areas of Cherokee Lake (The Rock Quarry).  I actually could see beauty surrounding the water if I didn't look too close.
Our route, however, would take us to Poor Valley Creek which is a waterway that is quite a bit more narrow than the main lake.  I was looking forward to seeing some fishermen up there that I had met but, hadn't seen for a couple months.  Seems I make friends easily.  For now though it was fast running for the next three miles.  What a morning!
He's perfect on the boat but, what a terror at home.  Have to remember he's only about 8 months old.
I noticed discolored rocks on the left side of the lake at the shoreline.  Imagine that;  discolored rocks!  I veered over toward them for a closer look.  We were going past them anyhow.  Poor Valley Creek was only about a thousand yards ahead.  They weren't rocks.  They were bricks.  This deserved a closer look.  We were due for a little break from the water anyway.

This is what was left of a house that was flooded when the dam was built.  These bricks were old.  They were of the hand made variety that I saw at the ruins of Tuskegee (the Carson House) at the old State Park in Tellico.  There are numerous entries on this blog about that special place.
There isn't much left of this place.  It's been at the bottom of this reservoir for many, many years.
I noticed an odd looking bottle laying amid the pile of bricks and picked it up.  Wow!  I never knew Listerine came in glass bottles.  Tiny bottles at that.
An antique, I'd say.  This bottle must be as old as the earth itself.
I'll just toss this baby in the dash of the boat for future perusal.  I'm acquiring quite a stash of old antique "stuff."  Wonder what else is at the bottom of this reservoir?
Falcor thinks he's a mountain goat.  I know another dog who thinks the same way.  Happy.
He gets out there pretty far sometimes and it's important he listens to my commands.  At times he just will not come to me when called.  He becomes obstinate and will just stand and look at me.  I'm trying everything I can to get him to respond.  Treats don't seem to be doing the trick either.  Often times I can see a danger for him, them, when I have a view like the one above.  I need to have him stop and come immediately before he runs up on the snake or, walks into quicksand and, maybe he doesn't see the wild Boar.  When he's that far away from me;  I can't get to him quickly to keep him out of trouble.  See the bottom photo.
This shoreline is quite large and it meanders in and out of the mountain side.  Falcor absolutely must return to me when called.  It is so important that I may stop bringing him with me until he does learn to come when called.  Better that than to lose him to some stupid accident.  He is in that picture above.  See the little white dot left of center.  I called him and he just ignored the command.  Not good.  He's perfect accept for that one flaw.  We'll work on it.  It bothers me just a little that I paid what I consider a large amount to have him trained, and that one command was the command I was really concerned about.  I'm sure the trainer did the best he/she could on a short time allowance.
Now;  here was something new.  The water level has dropped enough to allow this old roadway to come into view.  Neat!

There is a concrete drain under the road that can be seen.  Must have been something to see this dam being filled with water.  Everything in the valley was just covered with water.

That road was really built to last.  The road bed is reinforced very well with rocks to protect it from erosion.  The creek must have come very close to the side of the road when it was in use.  It is surfaced with concrete and winds along the edge of the water and over mud humps, that once were dry land.
The old road disappears as it's covered in yards deep of mud, only to reappear hundreds of feet further down the shoreline, only to hide in the mud again.  It continues this pattern until the end of it is engulfed within a huge mud hill and it's gone from site.
The ole Rock Quarry is full of surprises, it seems.
The rest of the day was uneventful.  I had a great time out there today and Falcor did also.  We headed home.  It was a fast shift.  Gulls followed our boat when we ran down the bay toward home.  Wonder why?  I need to bring the big camera next time I'm on this end of the lake.  Gulls are neat to photograph.

A trip to Scona Lodge is scheduled for Dec 8th.  As soon as I find out what that mysterious building is that sits on the side of the mountain; I'll start to put the data together and post a blog on Scona Lodge.  The end of December is when I kick the adventure machinery into gear.  I love to camp and canoe in cold weather and especially when it snows.  So, stay tuned.  A new year is about to start, as will new adventures.