Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The world didn't come to an end as some of our esteemed leaders led us to believe it would without quick passage of the giveaway.

This is a quote from Robert Reich's blog:
Prediction: A scaled-down bill will be enacted by the end of the week. It will provide the Treasury with a first installment of $150 billion. Treasury can use it to back Wall Street’s bad debts with lend no-interest loans of up to two years, until the housing market rebounds. Or to invest in Wall Street houses directly, in exchange for stocks and stock warrants. There will be strict oversight. Congressional leaders will promise further installments, but with conditions calling for limits on salaries and relief to distressed homeowners.
Robert Reich is the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Be nice if they earmarked some money so I wouldn't have to pay interest on my mortgage for two years. Anyway they go, borrowers that have tried to make their payments and support these poor and pitifully underprivileged corporations are going to be screwed.
I think JJ has the Escape repaired. The idle solenoid was stuck on some carbon and gunk buildup. I don't have any place to go, but it is nice knowing I can do so.
Another reason not to vote: Research shows that more people are killed in auto accidents on election day than on other Tuesdays in October and November. Stay safe; stay home!
I'm biding my time waiting for the Joe and Sarah show. It could be the prime-time hit of the year!
This from the Associated Press: Afghanistan's president said Tuesday he has repeatedly asked Saudi Arabia's king to facilitate peace talks with the Taliban. I thought the United States invaded Afghanistan to facilitate the removal of the Taliban and al Qaeda from the face of the earth. My gosh! Have we failed?!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Deal Delt Defeat ...
Dow Down Dozens ...
Dynamic Duos Dicker ...
Democrats Decry Disaster ...

So the bailout failed to go through today ...; phooey! It is posturing and both sides want it to pass and sooner or later pass it they shall.
Tennessee lost again; Fulmer is still on the job.
Our Ford Escape has broken down. It is a 2002 model that we bought used in 2005. I has given us great service, but now it won't run long enough to get out of the driveway. Well, it will run; it just won't idle. We are in the process of finding a repair garage other than the over priced Ford dealer.
Headline: Heather Locklear busted on suspicion of D.U.I. Who the hell is Heather Locklear and why should I care?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My, my ... after all the ballyhoo over a presidential debate I am less than overwhelmed by either candidate. It was apparent that neither of the two gentlemen involved in the race have a clue as to what is going on with the economy. Did either offer any sound plan to fix the mess or make sure it won't happen again? No! I still see no reason to vote in this election.
My mom was born 89 years ago today. I remember one time when I was in my early teens and didn't want to get ready to go to church one morning she became so frustrated she whapped me up side the head with an Avon sachet bottle she happened to have in her hand. It seemed like one of those slow motion things you see on tv as the Avon label got closer and closer to my point of view. It sure did hurt, slow motion or no slow motion. Child abuse? Nope, but I did learn a couple lessons, one being to get ready for church without sassing or dilly-dallying, and the other lesson was that any religious belief that had to be enforced by the use of threats and pain should be strictly avoided when I got old enough to make my own decisions. The Wednesday evening before my 18th birthday was the last time I attended church for anything other than a wedding or funeral. I suppose that was the biggest disappointment she had in me. Anyway, Happy Birthday, Dot. I miss you very much.
I just learned that actor Paul Newman died today. He was an excellent actor and race car driver, and seemed to be a good person.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We are finally supposed to get some rain over the next couple of days. I hope it will help with the leaf colors. One of my Flickr contacts is coming in to visit friends, and she and Carolyn and I plan to go to Cootie Brown's for lunch Saturday. Hope the rain lets up long enough to get a few photos. Carolyn has been wanting to go there for years, but I've been reluctant to eat at a place with a name like Cootie.
I see that Pat Summit had shoulder surgery for some problems she encountered chasing a raccoon. 'Coons ain't atall good to eat; maybe she should've chased a 'possum instead. 'Possums are a mite greasy, but darn tasty. Fry 'em up like chicken and they're even better than groundhog. Somebody pass me a Pabst Blue Ribbon!
Speaking of Pabst Blue Ribbon, it is the first beer I ever drank. Stayed with it until 1977, when my uncle Roy asked me to take him to a bootlegger on a Sunday. He bought a case of Miller High Life tall boys, and I've been mostly drinking them ever since. One beer I do not like is Rolling Rock, at least I think that is the name of it. It is a Pennsylvania beer in a green bottle, and the the brew tastes as green as the bottle looks. My mother-in-law brought over a six-pack of it one Saturday, and it about made me sick, but I was fresh out of Miller, so I drank it anyway. Can't let little things like nausea and puking keep you from drinking.

The absolutely worst beer I ever drank was Miller. Unbeknown to Ken and I, we accidentally covered over some pony bottles of Miller with chat gravel early one winter. They were in the bed of Ken's blue Chevy pickup truck. The next spring, we decided to finish cleaning out the garbage and chat from the truck, and we found the beer. We were out of brew, and Fred hadn't showed up with a fresh supply, so we decided to drink the ponies. Skunk piss won't even come close to describing that awful mess. We gagged and heaved, but finally got four bottles down, saving one for Fred. When he arrived, I suppose he saw how green we had become and how anxious we were for him to drink it, so he flatly refused after opening it and giving it a hearty sniff.
No politicking from me today; trying to keep up with the crap is depressing the hell out of me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Nic

Happy Birthday, Nic!!!
Nic is the grandson of my dear friend Alice, and he is celebrating his sixteenth birthday.
Nic, if you carry only one thought throughout your life, let it be "Grandma knows best". She will always be by your side in good times and bad times, through youth and maturity, and through happiness and loneliness. She won't let you down!
It now appears the Bush administration knew this "financial failure" was coming as long as four months ago, but withheld that knowledge from Congress and the public until now. Why? For one thing it puts pressure on Congress to pass his resolution so the members of that august body can go home and campaign. Another reason is his so called experts that put this plan together are the executives of the financial institutions involved and whom will receive the most government compensation. It took them some time to figure out how much they thought Congress and taxpayers would buy without raising too much stink. Why else would Bush be against Congress limiting the "$golden parachute$" of the privileged few? These are some of the companies that financially supported him during his campaigns and tenure. It is much the same as having the big insurance companies create the legislation for the Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, which was a blatant rip-off of the public trust. Counting the medicare insurance premiums I pay, along with my co-pay, it costs me more now for the drugs than not having the insurance. This doesn't even include the government subsidy that goes to the insurance companies for each prescription filled under the plans. It will be the same concept except on an enormous scale for this proposed bailout.

When this terrible legislation passes in some form, it will impact the American taxpayer more than did 9/11 or the ongoing giveaways in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Call or email your Congressman and Senators and let them know you are not in favor of this financial suicide. Remember this; the bailout is not designed to help homeowners with mortgages or to reduce the risk of a recession. It is designed to bailout big businesses that knowingly made bad and risky decisions. They will do it again.
Get this: Rachel Maddow reported on her show last evening that a private enterprise gasoline station has oppened for business in Baghdad for the first time since the early 70's when the oil industry was nationalized by a legitimate government. The good part is that we Americans have invested billions and billions of dollars in Iraq for this to be able to happen, and it isn't even an American company that that opened and will profit from it; it is Royal Dutch Shell!

Wake up America!

Monday, September 22, 2008

This has been a perfect weekend ... if perfectly lousy means anything. Family problems to go along with the underhanded crap going on in Washington DC is enough to make anyone holler "uncle"! The icing on the cake was another blow-out by the Gators over the Vols, although that wasn't unexpected. Looks like we are headed for another losing season, but have enough talent to be SEC champions, at least. It is what happens when mediocre coaches are rewarded for being such.
Expert advisers told the Bush-baby that the financial system needs a huge taxpayer bailout. Some of these experts were the same ones whom told it to invade Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction! Aren't you glad you voted for the Republican ticket in 2004? The only thing being bailed out is big business and fat-cat corporate bosses. This will be a stop-gap "fix", and does little to address the problem.

I say let natural forces in the marketplace do their thing. Throwing good (and borrowed) money after bad isn't the way to go. All it will accomplish is keeping plenty of money available for more bad loans to the same corporations and individuals (like me) whom could give a damn less if it is paid back.

Congress of course will back the give-away in some form or another. They have to show the voters that they are on the job and protecting their best interests.

By proposing the bailout, Bush is admitting that his economic agenda of the past eight years has been a total mistake, and that the deregulating ideas of Reaganomics is a miserable failure. Even George the first called Reaganomics "voo-doo economics".

The recent economic stimulus refund has played some part in this, I'm sure. A lot of people did the same thing Carolyn and I did with our $600; paid off a credit card debt. If that happened enough, a lot of high interest charges and late fees failed to materialize for these "troubled" lenders. Screw 'em!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Carolyn is a bit disappointed, and rightly so. Not only did she have to work 10 hours on her birthday, not one of her three kids , nor one of her four grandchildren bothered to call or come by or even send her a card or email. In fact, the only person in the family to call her was my aunt Ivy. Several of our friends on and off the internet did send her greetings and one sent her a card, and to them, we both say a heartfelt thank you.

Carolyn is working again today.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Vanessa!

I have a lot I would like to say about the shenanigans going on behind closed doors in Washington, but it will have to wait until another day. Happier thoughts are on my little mind this day.
Happy Birthday, Vanessa! As you approach and pass middle age (whatever and whenever that is), these birthdays will come faster and faster. I know it is so because it was only a year or so ago when you were six years old and you sat on my lap. You are as lovely as your mother, and I trust you have your dad's sense of humor and wit.
Happy Anniversary, Alice and Fred.
Happy Birthday, Fred.
Carolyn's birthday is tomorrow, and a week later is Dot's. Dot would have been 89. It is the middle of "birthday season" for my friends and family, but most of them have left me for greener pastures, and I dearly miss them.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Too Deep

Morning scratch

Bail out AIG! I disagree with John McCain that it had to be done. This same government that is bailing them out is the one that let them to get into trouble. AIG was allowed to acquire smaller companies and their problems to the point where they had no capital to work with. The sick part of it is that it was all done by and for investor greed. I say let the investors, small and large, lose their asses. The late Bob Neyland, head coach of the Tennessee Volunteer football squad said of the forward pass; "there are three things that can happen, and two of them are bad". The same can be said about corporate investing. You either make money, break even, or lose money. I would rather spend my money on illegal dope; at least no one can take that buzz away from me.

If the bailout didn't happen, what would have? The entire country would have been economically brought to its knees, and it could never recover under the present system. Is that bad? Of course it is, but whatever came out of it would be different because something like Teddy Roosevelt's trust busting laws would have to be enforced. If these laws weren't enforced, we could not stand as a market driven nation.

In my opinion, large scale stock trading should be banned. It serves only to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. A lot of people think that the phrase "free market economy" is about the stock market. Absolutely not! It is buying and selling lawful services, goods and commodities without government restraint. It is good old supply and demand. It works when it is allowed to.

BTW, I suppose you know whom has to pay for this bailout. You, me, and every other tax payer in this country, even if we have never owned a share of stock in any company. We borrow from the World Bank, with no way to pay for it except through higher taxes.

I realize all I've said is simplistic and covers very little of the real problem, but it does say there is a better way.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The dove perches in the same
place each morning before deciding
which feeder it wants to visit.

The weather has taken a turn for the cooler in East Tennessee. Up until yesterday it had been stifling hot.
I haven't been off the place to make photos since the last day of August. I did get a few decent ones in the back yard, though. I've had a case of late summer blahs. Carolyn and I didn't get to take any days away from home this year because of fuel prices, and we are both feeling it. Hopefully we can get to Cade's Cove for a couple of days when the leaves turn. I could use a good dose of nostalgic Americana.

Carolyn has to work Saturday in Piney Flats refinishing floors for one of her customers. The weather is supposed to be pretty and mild Sunday, so maybe we can get out and get some photos. If we can afford gasoline.
I read that the oil companies raised their wholesale prices by about twenty cents when Ike was in the Gulf of Mexico. That means that if you paid more than twenty to twenty-five cents per gallon than what you had been paying, you were being gouged and ripped off by the stations. My local Sunoco went from $3.54/gal to $4.00. Crap like that is partly to blame for the rush on the stations, and not necessarily consumer panic concerning supply. Since Friday, the price has gone to $4.08/gal, and will probably keep increasing. I really don't blame some people for pumping gas and then driving off without paying.
The economic and financial crises that is eating up investments and tax money could not have been any better for the Democrats. "The economy is basically sound" McCain is showing his complete lack of understanding of how our capitalist market economy works. Well, I don't understand it either, but I'm not running for president. Palin probably knows more about the price of shotgun shells and rifle ammo than she does about any kind of large scale economics.

In 1979, Jimmy Carter put Paul Volcker as head of the Federal Reserve. He is the man that got this country back on the road to being financially sound, but his Reagan appointed successor took credit while at the same time rubber-stamping anything the Bush boys wanted, which sent the economy into the ever deepening spiral we now have. The Republican appointed Fed heads have agreed that the tax rebate of Bush's first term and the economic stimulus payments were things needed to get the economy rolling in the right direction. Neither worked. I will toot my own horn and say "I told you so" concerning the "economic stimulus" payments of earlier this year. Sometimes I am amazed at my own brilliance!

We need another Paul Volcker! Or maybe he will consider coming out of retirement and setting things straight.

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Meltdown in US finance system"!
I wonder why?!
Just another step in the decline of the United States as a world leader. This is what happens when a do-nothing government winks and allows big business to run loose unchecked. This was a preventable crisis, and there will be much more to come as the real fallout of the failure of Lehman Brothers Holdings spreads into smaller financial markets. Guess whom gets to pay for all this mess? I know; it's an easy answer, because most of you know your own names. Joe and Jane Taxpayer and Mary and Bill Consumer. I think we ought to give the Republicans eight more years of executive privileges, and allow the good old boy Democrats running Congress to continue ignoring the needs of this country.
News coverage of hurricane Ike was terrible. It isn't that there was not enough of it; there was way too much by far. Did you perchance see CNN's coverage after the storm was past? Did you see reporter/personality Anderson Cooper looking completely dorky wearing hip-waders and standing in water up to his gizmo? He was really putting it all on the line, wasn't he? Not news, folks! Just plain entertainment. He and we would have been better served if he had lashed himself to a palm tree or power pole and rode the storm out in that humbling position. He would have news to report then ... if he lived through it. "News reporters" of his ilk are a dime a dozen!

Friday, September 12, 2008

And Moses lifted up his hand, and smote
the rock with his rod twice; and water
came forth abundantly ...

I may have to take my pre-cold-weather bath a little early this year. I went out at 7:30 this morning and four buzzards were circling the house. I tried to take a photo of a stink bug, but my olfactory aura must have offended him and he flew off before I could get his portrait. Hope the rains that we should get from hurricane Ike are warm enough for this hated task. If not, I will go to the creek as usual.
Obama has a new tv ad slamming McCain for being computer illiterate. What the hell has that to do with anything that is disastrously wrong with this country? Is this how he intends to spend the millions in donations he has and will receive? If elected, will he pick up a handful of Potomac mud and sling it at our enemys?
I read that McCain has edged ahead of Obama in the polls because whites are now embracing him. Is there still a lot of racism, loathing, and prejudice amongst the white folks in this country? You bet your ass there is. Will rational people prevail and elect Obama? Probably not. I suspect Obama will have to get both hands dirty by slinging enough mud to make voters fear McCain, just the way the Bushies did to "win" the last election.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kieth Olbermann for President

I hope that anyone whom didn't see this editorial by Kieth Olbermann will click on this link and watch all of it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Camp site for Appy Trail hikers on The Roan

I am having a minor setback today, but I expected it. This malady seems to always run its course in the same fashion. Tomorrow will be great!
In yesterday's post, I mentioned the Allman Brothers Band, and Mark left a comment about them and other musicians, which immediately took me down memory lane. Back in the late seventies when I was doing concerts every month or so, I saw the all Charlie Daniels Band shows that came to town, and that was usually at least once and sometimes twice each year. He always had several other great acts with him.

I had attended concerts prior to this, the likes of The Four Seasons (twice), and Little Miss Dynamite, Brenda Lee. All were enjoyable. Until about 1968, I liked just about anything I heard except for some opera squalls and some bad country songs by even badder country singers. (I loved Hank Williams.)

I also liked the British invasion type stuff, along with my regulars like The Platters, Pete Fountain, Boots Randolph, Floyd Cramer, The Ventures, Ferrante and Teicher, and many many others. Then came The Byrds, CSNY, Buffalo Springfield and several other very good British and American groups, along with Hendrix and Joplin, two very influential blues musicians.

In 1976, my introduction to big time rock-&-roll concerts came via KISS, and I was hooked on the whole scene. From there until the early eighties, I attended every rock concert that came to town when I had the $7.50 for a ticket, and in those days there was a lot of talent that showed up here.
More tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Clark's Creek

Feeling better, but weaker than Coors Light and I tire easily. The two words "Coors Light" has to be redundant!
One of the commodes is leaking at the floor seal, and the water heater has developed a leak. The seal that is leaking is new; replaced when the new floor was installed about two months ago. The water heater is six years old, and was the best model made in Johnson City by American Water Heaters and sold by Lowe's.
We got another tinkle of rain overnight. The drought did not notice it.
Britney Spears' mom is blaming the media for her Precious one's downfall. Her kid is probably a spoiled brat. As far as I know, I've never heard Precious sing a complete song. Listening to stuff like that gives me stomach cramps and diarrhea.
If Barack Obama is elected president, he should hire Sarah Palin as White House intern with the same duties of Monica Lewinsky. She definitely owes him a big slurpy* one for the fame and glory she has received. And while she is at it, she should take into consideration that I was the one whom suggested McCain select a person such as her lovely self.
The Allman Brothers Band isn't the same without Dickey Betts. Greg Allman isn't talented enough to carry the group, although he has done a decent job of keeping the band moving. The last album of theirs I purchased was Seven Turns.

*The Free Dictionary
1. A loud sucking noise made in eating or drinking.
2. Slang A mouthful of a liquid.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I have been feeling poorly the past few days with old man prostate problems again. I haven't been away from home except to get my shot Friday past, and I rode with Carolyn to Elizabethton yesterday, and to the bank today. My temp. last evening was 101.3°, but has since come down to 99.7°. Just more aggravation that old men sometimes have to endure. I'm feeling more-and-more like chucking most of this medicine I'm taking.
Haven't felt like making photos since The Roan on August 31, and I am bored out my ass.
Politics is till just finger pointing. Neither candidate has a clue as to how to fix anything wrong with this country, so they do a lot of posturing and name calling to try and cover their ignorance and stupidity. Another thing they seem to have a big problem with is a little concept called truth. Seems they think Americans would rather believe a promising lie than the sad truth. I too believe that. Sarah Palin is still a rookie, and her handlers really don't know which non-truth to tell about her.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Make your water photo here

It rained just a bit today, and to celebrate, I made this photo of my front yard.

Water Effect

Friday, September 05, 2008

Mimosa pods

Not much going on today. September is always a "not much going on" type of time in my life. Lots of family and old friends have birthdays this month, but still it is more of a time of transition for me. Football season has begun, and the cooler mornings are a sure sign of impending autumn. Darkness comes much earlier now, some leaves are beginning the annual change from green to brown, and there are tiny crickets all over the place. Squirrels are growing longer hair on their tails, which they use for a blanket. Back in the day, a lot of years we would get frosts by late September.

The early morning and late evening walkers that move up and down my street are wearing jackets and long pants. The resident robins have been gone for several weeks, but we are getting some transients in migration. The days are quiet now except for an occasional wren calling or a blue jay fussing over something he considers very important. Much of the summer haze is now gone from the sky, and there are very few lightning bugs left.

For me, the first day of September represents the first day of autumn, even though the sun is still three weeks from equinox.
The jobless rate for the US is at a five-year high of 6.1%. Obama-slamma-bydamna better jump all over this piece of news. He is going to need all the bad news he can find to beat McCain and Palin. Palin: Isn't she cutest of the cute!?

Democratic Representative Charles Rangel, the chairman of the Ways and Means tax-writing committee doesn't pay taxes on some of his property. He apparently is also a New York City slum lord. I don't come close to liking his looks! His appearance is like one of the old-time Tammany Hall thieves.

Democratic Senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad received lower interest rates on some mortgages from a good old boy at Countrywide Mortgage. You and I cannot get those kind of interest rates. Dodd is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

This is exactly the crap Democrats campaigned against in 2006, and the very thing the voters entrusted them to fix. In reality, there isn't a dimes worth of difference in Democrats and Republicans making themselves wealthy at the expense of the middle-class public.

John McCain et al. are claiming the days of special interests will be over in Washington if when he is elected. Where and when have I heard that before? Oh, yes; every election since Nixon took over in 1968 has carried that particular garbage of a promise. Tell us exactly how you intend to accomplish it, Mr. Wannabe. What makes you think you can convince the fat-cat Congress to pass any law that will kill their cash cows? Or are you going to take more power away from the people like your twin has done the past eight years, and maybe issue a Royal Decree or a Papal Bull? Are the American people still gullible enough to fall for this spiel? Of course you are!

Wake up, America!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Happy Birthday Ivy

Took Carolyn to doc's for her checkup, and she is in A-1 top shape, at least for someone of her advanced years.
My aunt Iva (Dot's sister) turned 80 years old today. Happy Birthday Ivy! When I was young, I thought Ivy was much older than me, but 16 years isn't much difference. My grandma, my mom, and Ivy have all served as a mother for me at one time or another.
We are getting ready to leap into the home stretch with this year's political circus. One thing for sure, if Palin is politically and morally clean, she is very well set to be the first woman president in US history. McCain doesn't even have to win for this to happen. Maybe in four years from now, or maybe in eight or more. If McCain should win this year, with his health problems and his age, the "one heartbeat away from being president" saying may put her there before long. Is she ready? This ain't Alaska! Isn't she just the sweetest thing!?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

This morning I sat on the porch. I took a picture of a bug. I took a picture of a squirrel. Those are the highlights of the 3rd day of September, 2008. Just another day in the life of a retiree!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Did you perchance see this recent headline or one similar:
McCain shortens convention as Gustav nears land?
Folks, John McCain is only the presidential nominee, and has little to do with the day-to-day affairs of the Republican Party. It was all just a gimmick to show the voters that McCain is a true leader, and will do whatever it takes to protect the American public. Nothing but a political stunt. How many hurricanes or tropical storms have hit Minneapolis? From the spin and rhetoric coming out of Minnesota, one might think it happens several time each year.

He may as well write off the Minneapolis metro area vote. The convention is a big money maker for a city's business base, and taking that money away before it is spent isn't going over too well I'll betcha!
Following is a link to something John McCain may want to consider using when he has to deal with his VP candidate.
Women Are Teachable
Today has been a slow one; not much going down around the old homestead. My knees—especially the one that needs overhauling—are better than yesterday. I may recover in time to do it again when the leaves turn.
The above photo was made from the Roan High Bluff, looking almost straight down at the tree tops.

Monday, September 01, 2008

View from Roan High Bluff

Saturday, Carolyn and I went to David Thompson's market on 107 and on down to Clark's Creek. Not much going at either place, but Clark's creek needs to be cleaned up and restored to the way it was 30 years ago. All the camping places are coverd with tiny pieces of broken glass, horse poop is everywhere, and people still camp away from designated sites.

It could be a small paradise again.
Yesterday, we went back to the Roan, where I did something I thought was nearly impossible. Let me regress. When I was about 12 years old, I went with my parents to the Roan, where we walked out to an overlook that offered magnificent views of the mountains and valleys. Back then, my dad drove the car to within a few hundred feet of the bluff. Now is very different. It is a half-mile hike to the overlook through a mostly hemlock forest that used to be a fir forest, but those trees were killed off by insects and nothing but their skeletons remain. The first part of the trail is paved and fairly flat, and then it is graveled and starts upward where the slope is never very steep, but it does get rough in a couple of places, especially if one can't bend but one knee. A sturdy walking stick is nice, and in my case, a necessity.

I never had any idea that I could walk the half-mile, even if it was flat and smooth. I planned to go until I gave out or the pain became unbearable. I would walk a ways, and find a stump, log, or rock to sit on for a few minutes, then go til I found another situated so I could get up fairly easily, but Carolyn did have to help me a couple times. The last place I sat before achieving my goal, I could see sky ahead, so I figured we were about to the top, and that gave me incentive to continue. Fifty minutes after leaving the car, and when we got to the platform, I was so pooped I couldn't climb the steps, so I found a big rock to sit on. I was finally able to climb up on the overlook, and knew I had done the right thing by toughing it out. The view was more magnificent than I remembered. I stood long enough to get a few photos, and then had to rest again before starting back down. Actually, I didn't have to stop as much going out as I did coming in. Yes, a lot of it was downhill, but I have more trouble walking downhill than I do uphill, because the knee can't be bent. My last resting place was the first one I used going up, and it was only about 250 feet from the car, but let me tell you, it was the toughest stretch of real estate I've ever had to traverse. It was flat and even, but I was dead on my feet, out of breath, with my feet and particularly my ravaged left knee in excruciating pain. I had been drenched in sweat ever since I began the trek although the temperature was in the mid 70's, and I had a terrible ache between my shoulder blades
Carolyn had to drive back to the picnic area, where she prepared our lunch while I sat in the Escape and rested. I finally got out long enough to eat, but she beat me back to the soft bucket seats of the car.

If you have never been there, or if it has been a long time time since you were there, I advise you to go if you ever have the opportunity. There are few—if any—Appalachian views as good as this. From the town of Roan Mountain Tennessee, go to the to of The Roan where the Appalachian Trail crosses at Carver's Gap and turn right. There is a fee station ($3.00) near the Rhododendron Gardens, and on the right side of it is a parking and picnic area near where the old Cloudland Hotel stood. It has bathroom facilities, but they stink, literally! To get to the Roan Bluff Overlook, bypass the picnic area and drive into the gardens. There, you will find clean, modern restrooms. and just beyond, the road splits and becomes one-way. Go to the right and watch for the sign on the right.

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