A little bit of reminiscing about my last trip to Alabama and the lake. Shot from up at the house I liked this image of our dock…
…seeming to rest as the evening turned the lake into a liquid mirror.
Shhhhhh….mama’s sleeping and I wanted to get back online and tell you about the rest of my Gotcha Day, the 11th anniversary of me coming to live with mama and daddy. As you know this year I’m with mama down South, and she forgot all about my anniversary! But we spent the day out adventuring with my Aunt and Uncle, so that’s OK.
Mama and Uncle and Aunt and I decided to walk down to the bottom. Mama was a little worried because it was a warm day and she was picturing herself carrying me back up if I overdid it. We asked a Ranger how far down it was and she said it was a little over a mile down and back up. Well! I can do a mile mama!
She still looked worried, it wasn’t the down that concerned her; she said OK, but she’d be watching me and if I got to lagging she was turning around. Plus she had water for me, and treats. So maybe it would be fun.
So down and down we went. We saw lots of people coming up and most of them were panting just like me. It was pretty steep. But there were lots of trees for shade and it got cooler the further down we went. Once we got to the bottom I instantly saw a problem.
Water. Lots and lots of water. Not deep, but definitely wet and as you all know I do not get my feet wet. No I do not. I am a princess and it is unseemly to have damp feet. Plus I just went to the groomer a couple weeks ago and I am not up for having to do that all over again.
So I suggested we just observe it from the edges. But my peeps seemed to think we needed to walk upstream. I tried to find the dry edges to walk. I was very focused on not getting my feet wet.
But some of the stream didn’t have dry edges! Oh NO! What is a princess to do?
Eventually, when I had to, I just gave in and walked in the water. Don’t tell them, but it was pretty cool and my feet weren’t so warm when they were wet. But my beautiful white feet turned Georgia clay red!
I’m hoping mama doesn’t notice that and doesn’t make me go back to the groomer. I was a pretty wet mess by the time we turned around to head back to the car.
On the walk back up the cliff we stopped a whole lot. And not just for me either – my people were huffing worse than me! Most of the time I was out front pulling them along. As you may recall my mama calls me a mountain goat.
I did really well, and drank all my water and ate a few treats along the way. We saw lots of dogs but it was mostly the children we ran across that wanted to meet me. I let everybody talk to me and pet me and tell me how beautiful I was (even though I knew I was far from beautiful dripping muddy water off my furs!) and I thought the whole thing was fun, though a bit muddy for the likes of a princess.
I told mama that was stretching it a bit much, so the next place we went that day was a marina where I got to sit under Spanish moss and on a porch with rocking chairs.
That was more like it.
Except for the warning about the alligators.
Geeze mama! What were you thinking! I’m alligator bait here! Let’s get back to the car and home so I can get my supper. Sometimes I don’t think you even have a brain woman!
Once we got home and I got my supper I was all stretched out on my comforter when my Aunt decided she’d comb out all the seed pods and sticks caught in my muddy red fur. I opened one eye, didn’t tell her off or anything, just got up and crawled under the bed.
I’d had enough adventuring and I didn’t want to be bothered. Mama and my Aunt laughed and said that was OK. And they let me sleep till the next morning by which time I had pretty much cleaned myself up my own way. A princess knows how to prepare for the new day after all. She doesn’t always need help from her people.
The next day I went for a long boat ride and saw cool stuff, but that messed my fur up too. I swear, mama needs to come up with a more sedate adventure for me now. Cause I can’t keep putting myself back together every single day, you know?
I know you know.
But I forgive her because on the actual day we were so busy that even I forgot to ask for an anniversary treat! (Plus I got lots of treats because we were out adventuring all day long!)
Saturday morning, my Gotcha Day, my Uncle and my Aunt and mama and I went to a very interesting art compound about an hour south of Columbus Georgia. It’s called Pasaquan, and it was built by a hippie kinda guy back in the 70s. (Mama says don’t say back in the 70s cause according to her that was just a couple years ago. Whatever mama.) You can hear him talk about it if you go to the link above. You can also google it and find out more. It’s been restored and is supported by Columbus State University and the Kohler Foundation.
The hippie dude, whose name was Eddie Owens Martin, called himself St. Om, and spelled it St. EOM.
It was a warm day but Mama and my Aunt and Uncle made sure I had water and got to sit in the shade a bunch. Still, being the model that I am, I had to pose in front of some stuff.
I tell you, the colors here were so bright that sometimes I had to squint my eyes! Oh wait. That was the sun. Well anyway. We walked around all over but my favorite spot was this circle of sand. Whenever we were near there, while mama was busy taking pictures of stuff not me, I would run over there and stand in the sand. I wonder if she got my message that I wanted to go to the beach?
Mama would look around when she got done with her silly camera and say, “where’s Katie?” HA! Sometimes I was standing right behind her. And sometimes I was at my beach! After awhile she just never let go of the leash. Darn.
There was a cool house there, with these funny steps up to it. I ran right up the steps because they were nice and wide…
…even though I knew that I’d have to pose on them for mama. I’ve got this gig figured out. Pose for a picture, get a treat. Sometimes mama would say “OK sweetie, this is the last one.” But I knew she was lying. It’s never the last picture!
We stayed a long time. They even packed a picnic lunch and ate it under some trees. Mama couldn’t stop taking pictures, and a lot of them weren’t all about me!
There were plenty of places where I could rest in the shade while my peeps explored. We had the whole thing to ourselves except for a little bit where one other guy was there taking pictures. Mama says she’ll have to bring daddy here some day.
I think the man that created this had a different sort of mind than me. For example, just about the only animals in any of this work were snakes. No dogs. I don’t know what he was thinking. Though he did have two big shepherds that kept him company out here in the country.
There was so many colors and shapes it was almost overwhelming. It’s definitely a place you should visit if you’re ever in that part of Georgia.
Full disclosure though, there are some art pieces depicting naked men and women. So maybe don’t bring your kids or your mother. Shelties are OK though.
Mama says there is so much more to show you but maybe she’ll put together a slide show later. She says I have to get off the computer now and go outside to play. She says too much screen time isn’t good for me.
Geeze. I didn’t even get to tell you where we went next on my Gotcha Day! I guess I’ll have to wait till she falls asleep and do another post. Shouldn’t be long, she’s old and falls asleep all the time.
Over and out, your art critic gal Katie.
Yesterday the evening weather guy mentioned a large storm front through the middle of the state. I glanced up to see his weather map featuring a bright red and yellow streak bisecting Alabama. And moving rapidly toward me.
I got up to look outside.
Oh my. Grabbing the camera I ran downstairs and out to the dock.
What an amazing cloud, with even darker skies to the north. I felt the wind coming down the lake, the waves changed direction and the chop crashed into the side of boats and rocked against the shore. Not so far out there I could smell the rain. I managed to get a few shots as the cloud moved rapidly from north to south, and then I ran as fast as I could back up the hill and into the house.
The rain slashed across the windows as I climbed the stairs to a freaked out Katie-girl. We watched the storm together for a bit and then just as fast as it arrived it was over. Whoa, I said to the dog pressed tight to my side. What the heck was that?! Don’t know, mama, she said, but let’s not do that again any time soon.
OK sweetie. That’s a deal.
Katie and I like to go exploring, mostly looking for good places to take a walk, but sometimes just to see what’s there. And along the way there have been a few barns.
You know me and barns.
I’ve driven by some of them because there was nowhere safe to park. That always breaks my heart. I imagine pulling in a driveway and asking whoever was there if it is OK to take a picture of their barn. “Why?” I imagine them asking me and I realize I have no real reason to need an image of their barn. I just want it. So I don’t stop unless I can do it anonymously and from a safe distance.
This red barn was sitting right in front of me while I was stopped in construction traffic last week.
I shot it through my dirty windshield, just as traffic was beginning to move. At the time I thought maybe I’d drive back out that way to see if there was somewhere to park so that I could take a more studied shot. But tonight I decided that the through the windshield image wasn’t that bad.
And you’ve seen this last one before. A couple weeks ago I saw it, and turned around, parked on a side road and walked a country block to shoot it. Along the way a huge dog in someone’s back yard snarled and barked and I realized that probably walking along any country road was a stupid idea. Because down here hardly any dog is contained, and I was lucky this one couldn’t get over the fence.
Still…it’s a beautiful barn.
Ann, over at her blog The Year(s) of Living Non-Judmentally, posted recently about noticing the things around us. I used to do that, notice little things, when I was a runner. I don’t run anymore, but on a good day I can still notice pretty or interesting things.
Yesterday was a good day, and I thought I’d show you a few of the things I noticed. They made me smile, I hope you smile too.
What about me, mama? Aren’t I pretty?
Why yes baby, yes you are.
Early yesterday mama was complaining that it was cold. Really really cold. I checked and it was a balmy 36F (2.22C) when we went out to explore the yard around 4 a.m. I don’t know what she was complaining about, it was perfect if you ask me, but she never asks me. At 4 a.m. she mostly grunts.
Anyway, she was messaging with a friend later in the morning and mentioning how cold it was and then it hit her. Cold. Sheltie. Hiking in Alabama. She figured out she shouldn’t waste such a good opportunity to take me somewhere fun. And, because she’s a good mama, she hopped right off her comfy sofa and bundled me up in the car and away we went!
Her friend Jamie told her last week about this cool trail called the Cherokee Alpine Trail not too far from where we’re staying. So she looked it up and decided we’d explore it!
My goodness, what a beautiful place! Though I had to ask mama why we drove for like 20 minutes so that we could have a view of the lake when we have a view of the lake from home? Mama said to hush. But it was really really windy and cold up there, so we headed to the woods as fast as we could.
The whole Alpine Trail is 4 miles and mama says even though it was refreshingly cool four miles would be too much for us, so we decided we’d just go part of the way and see how it went. Mostly it went downhill.
Mama was kinda worried that we’d have a long climb to get back to the car, but I told her what did she think it would be, seeing as we were on top of the mountain at the parking lot? Nowhere to go but down!
She was trying to hold my leash and hang on to her camera and not slip down the pine straw covered path. Eventually she just let go of my leash and let me trot down at sheltie speed while she bumbled her way down behind me. I had to wait for her a bunch, but I didn’t complain. You have to be patient when you’re hiking with a senior citizen.
We got down to the bottom of the mountain and I got to play on the lake shore at a pretty little beach. I just loved it!
I ran and ran, back and forth, barking at the waves and grinning the whole time. Mama told me they were just teeny tiny waves but I wanted to show them who was boss so I told them off. Mama did a lot of eye rolling.
Then she said we had to head back up the mountain. It felt like we had already walked a gazillion miles and she was worried I’d get tired. I didn’t want to go back the way we came and pointed out that the sign said the parking lot was the other way anyway, and only .6 miles away!
Good thing I can read. Mama would have taken the long way back!
The trail went up and down and all around through the woods. Sometimes it was just stuck on the side of the mountain and you had to watch where you were going. Mama let me walk it without her hanging on to me. That works best for us. That way I’m not dragging her along too fast.
Mama said I was a mountain goat. I think that’s a compliment.
When we finally got back to the car mama checked the map again cause it felt like we walked all four miles, but darn it, it really was just a little over one mile. I think miles should count double if they are straight up or straight down, don’t you?
On our drive home we got sorta lost. The GPS said to turn left but some guys were paving the road so we went straight and eventually the GPS took us on a little road that just got smaller and smaller.
Mama was starting to say bad words and she didn’t even breath when we had to go over a rickety one lane bridge. But she got to see a barn so that made her feel lots better even though it took us twice as long to get home as it did to get to the park.
When I got home I took a really long drink and then wiped my face on mama’s bed. And then I took a nap.
What a great day! I think the temperature in Alabama should never go above 43 degrees. I’m sure everyone would agree that it’s better to be cool than hot. Am I right?
Maybe I should try to get that on the next ballot. It would probably be the least controversial issue there!
Talk later, your Mountaineer Princess-gal Katie.