Tuesday, 6 November 2012

They're Off!

Under grey skies and light snow, we left Orangeville on November 3; very content to be on the road again! Dixie was spooked to enter the RV with the engine running. I guess it will take a few days to settle her in. Our drive was uneventful as we had hoped.
The sky remained overcast for 80% of the time with strong winds, rain and temperatures just above freezing. Chris shed a few tears as his labours of cleaning and waxing the motor home were covered with a nasty film of mud and road grime.

It was the type of Saturday I remember from my university days when assignments could be completed by early afternoon or postponed until Sunday. The mix of cool winds leaking through my bulky fall sweater and slate skies showing slim promise of sun, lead me straight to the pub. At that stage of my life there was something comforting about bench seats, dark wood veneer, beer-scented indoor outdoor carpet and the glow of plastic coals in a fake fireplace. It was always a cinch to find classmates to share a bowl of peanuts and invent shell throwing contests. Someone would order fries which arrived under a lump of gravy which closely resembled a blob of silkscreen ink that most of us art students still had jammed under our fingernails. After all, it was the 70's and brown was considered an "IN" colour!
We stopped to fill up with diesel and grab some lunch. Along the highway, we noticed a few spots where snow lay in the shade of cliffs and thick woods. More prevalent, were the dead deer along the roadside. We spotted one almost every twenty minutes. I tried telepathically, to warn the live deer as they munched leaves near the highway's edge. I'm afraid their soft dewy eyes showed little concern. We plodded on as darkness fell and parked at a Walmart in Morgantown, West Virginia. We heated up some gruel and toasted with some Vanilla Porter, to our first 400 miles.
Sunday's sun was welcome as were temperatures in the high 40's Fahrenheit as we set out on day two. The scenery was more spectacular as we drove through mountain tunnels, deep beside lake and river valleys and high into the Appalachians.
Roadside snow piles increased in height as we travelled south until everything was buried under a foot of snow or more. Luckily the highways were dry and the views were lovely as the sun cast blue highlights across the snow. At the scenic Gauley Bridge, Dixie was able to paw and snuffle some of her favourite snow.

Remember those cream cakes that were pictured on the side of chocolate wafer cookie boxes that promised an easy dessert constructed with layers of cookies and whipped cream? The above mountain side reminded me of them.

Super storm Sandy's wrath was evident everywhere. She had usurped Mother Nature's methodical shaking down of fall leaves and raped all the trees of their foliage. Sadly, Sandy had wrestled numerous tree tops and won, leaving fresh blond
wood jagged and splintered. They looked down in forlorn at their former splendour, crumpled on the ground. The shattered limbs resembled a self administered haircut of a three year old child in possession of sewing sheers.
Views south of the storm region into Virginia, were in contrast, pastoral, the rolling hills dotted with black Angus cows, postcard towns nestled in the valleys and distant mountains soft in their layers of blue. We camped in a beautiful state park in Tennessee where autumn was still in progress and mustard coloured leaves added a lively crunch to our hikes and rained down slowly from above.

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