One of the revelers in my 3-day birthday celebration. This Sammy, Chris' daughter.
Today we will go out the northwestern part of the state and see if we can hike to some waterfalls. With the drought becoming so severe, I'm a little anxious about what we'll actually see, but the hike will be good and it'll get the guys out and breathing hard.
The weather has finally cooled to a pleasant mid-80s in the afternoons now. I'm very glad of that. I'm not really bothered by the heat, but it does make moving around outside arduous when it's close to 100 everyday. It's exactly like moving around Minnesota in January when it's 15 below zero every day. Really.
We are going to go either to Jones Gap State Park, or Caesar's Head State Park. I'm not sure which at this point. They are just 10 miles apart. Both have hiking and waterfalls. Because the guys don't get as much exercise as I do, I imagine we'll try to go to the one that will get us a waterfall quicker...closer to the trail head. I don't want to wear them out by having them hike 3 miles to a waterfall if they can reach one in 1.5 miles at a different park.
I plan to take my camera and shoot lots of photos. I have to figure out what to take. I can just take my entire bag, but it gets heavy after a while. I know Mensa Boy would be happy to take a turn wearing it, though, so I'll probably do that. (it's a backpack bag)
So, I'm trying to get those guys up so we can leave by 7:30. I imagine we won't get out by then.
It's been a fantastic birthday for me this year, and the 3-day celebration is the main reason why I haven't written. Here's brief account:
MB was working late all week. Deadline. My friends all stepped up to the plate a did a lot to make it a wonderful celebration.
Sarah and I went to lunch on Wednesday, Rena and I went to dinner Wednesday night, and the evening ended with a surprise gathering of my buddies that night. Cassie, Chris and Tambri were waiting at the Rec Center, where Chris and T had been signing up kids for T's dance classes. Cassie made a wonderful cheesecake and they showered me with serving pieces I can use to do my food photography. It was a fun hour of eating and laughing.
Thursday Chris and I took her 4 year old to the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville. I'd never been there. It was a hoot! We rode a horse-drawn wagon while animals came up and begged for food. I shot a lot of photos, one of which is the ostrich photo I posted here the other day. Here's one of the giraffes taking a leaf from someone on the wagon:
Friday I spent the day on my favorite hobby: cooking. People always say to me, "too bad you have to cook your own birthday meal." But I love it! I smoked a pork butt I had rubbed the night before. I used a rub recipe from Southern Living's "Ultimate Grilling & BBQ Guide" that they put out this summer. I normally don't think much of Southern Living...especially their recipes...they tend to be too high in fat for my cooking and I've had more than one occasion where the recipe has just been plain wrong or unworkable. But I saw this guide at Julia's when we were in Minnesota, so I rushed around looking for before it was taken off the magazine racks in early August. I liked this recipe enough that I will use it again, and I will definitely try others, now the the weather is cooling enough to cook outside again.
That's it! Gotta get those guys up and hit the road! I leave you with this photo of some kind of duck I shot at Lazy 5. I wish I'd checked to see what it was. It's beautiful, isn't it? Maybe Raymond will google it and find out for me.