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Mudrun last won the day on June 8 2019

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  1. There is an amazing amount of change at every conceivable natural level between the ridge-and-valley of northwest Georgia and the Cohutta, which is the crumbling end of the Applachian chain, and everything east. Being the de facto border of so much change both makes Pigeon Mountain and the Cohutta two of the most interesting places to spend time in the wilderness east of the Mississippi. Most other places you go have a lot of self-similarity to what is around them, but in a surprisingly scant distance, these two have a staggering spectrum of differences. One of my favorite views in the world is on the west side of Fort Mountain in the winter, around Goldmine creek, looking west over the valley, where you're standing in one world and gazing into the other. Great sunsets and would probably be an incredible (and very risky) place to watch a storm roll towards you...
  2. Got up at 7am and smoked eight pounds of brisket, just in case.
  3. As an aside, thank you for your time, effort, and site-building skills that keep us all properly informed. You are a true citizen!
  4. Ugh - that's going to toss trees all over down here in southeast ATL metro. Any chance it'll have less juice by the time it gets here?
  5. I've been in two derechos - Minnesota in 1998 and Maryland in 2012 - and they were both exceedingly unpleasant. Nothing like seeing the tattered remains of a gas station sign next to the road and noting that there's no gas station anywhere within sight. How far did the sign travel? If I remember correctly, the Minnesota one was the same night as the tornado that destroyed Spencer, SD - my friend and I drove into SD the next day. I suppose we have to wait a bit before we have gust forecasts for in-town Atlanta? The atmosphere so much as sneezes down here and I lose power.
  6. That's Winnipesaukee, from the northern end of the lake. Big Squam (famous for the setting of On Golden Pond) is about 20 minutes away, and Little is attached through a channel. My great aunt used to have 300 yards of frontage and two cement piers on Little Squam ... and the craziest, most rambling house over it you have ever seen. Closets full of bats, antiques, and moonshine (yes we do it here, too). Somewhere out there on the Internet, there are ice clocks for Squam, live tracking when you can go out on the ice and the time until ice out. The old Squam people are serious about the lakes.
  7. Yes, just let me know when you're on your way! The lake cabin is closed until the spring, but the big house has a generator, satellite internet, and an in-law above the garage. My dad has installed a weather station on the shed and I'm looking at its data later this afternoon, after he finishes snow-blowing the driveway... Another fun event here you might appreciate is ice-out. Some of the smaller lakes have already frozen, but Winnipesaukee won't freeze over until mid-January. Once it does, people will haul ice fishing houses onto the lake, and there's an ice fishing derby mid February. Someone on one of the smaller lakes already drove a truck out onto the ice before it was thick enough and the truck went through the ice and sank. Anyway, ice-out is fantastic ... there's a magic day in April (usually) where the ice cracks all at once into thousands of smaller sheets and bergs and makes a series of cracks loud enough to echo. It takes some commitment to catch it and mostly you just have to be lucky, but ... fun artifact of the conditions here.
  8. Speaking of that northeast storm... as promised... I have photos! I am with my parents in the northern end of the Lakes Region, near Moultonborough. This was a tricky storm. We had 90% snow here, but there were definite periods of rain, ice, sleet, and I don't even know what else spewing out of the sky. Some photos ... first, pre-storm! Little bit of snow on the ground in shady, cool places. Second pic is how we woke up yesterday morning, roughly the same view! Third is a view from the back - note the second-growth forest (shorter, thinner, different trees than we have in Georgia where the conditions send trees soaring for the skies in few years) and the pre-colonial rock wall. In the quieter, pastoral parts of the world up here, these are everywhere and very old. This particular wall is on-and-off home to weasels, which will have their white winter coats on now. You almost never see them but you will see their tracks in the snow. You can sometimes follow the tracks into the field uphill and find where they catch something. Fourth - snow is great to look at, but better to play in! This kind of sled crash is what we call a 'yard sale' because of everyone and everything strewn across the landscape. Finally, snow's winding down this morning and the temp is rising a bit, but this frames what we got - for where we are, this is a routine storm and we'd see several of these in a winter. Happy New year to all of you, I am grateful for this site, and I hope to bring just enough of this back home to Georgia with me!
  9. I was thinking along similar lines the last few days - I do a lot of trail running and between the quality of the light and the color of the leaves, I've never been happier to be such a slow runner :) Visiting my parents for a week between Christmas and New Years, so should have some nice photos from a very stark winter. If I can, I'll take a day and go skiing at the place next to Mount Washington, where you can see the rockpile from the lift; just as a contrast to Sarasota.
  10. Keep in mind, backwoods New Englanders are broadly obsessed with weather, so you'll be in high demand...
  11. Thanks, I think! I'm up there a few times a year. If you go the last weekend of July, come to my family's house - the town my parents live in contracts a lobster fisherman from Maine to send a truck full of lobsters ($4.99 a pound), we buy ~ 40, and have a huge get-together. Day swimming, fishing, kayaking at the lake cabin, followed by an afternoon eating ridiculous amounts of ribs and lobster overlooking the big lake. Open invitation, last Sat of July! northgeorgiawx + 1.
  12. Hahaha, I figured that's what you meant - happy to provide advice and guidance! having a local perspective transforms an experience. Baltimore is really its own thing; we were sad to leave but the city will break your heart every so often with some of what happens there. It toughens you in some good ways, I guess, but its good to leave before you get too hardened against things. Its a shame. IIRC, Jefferson called Baltimore 'a beautiful woman in a dirty dress' and its still true today. Cant remember if I mentioned that in earlier posts. We visited Ireland this past year with my kids and family, and while over there, met an Irish guy who was coming here for a wedding in DC. But he was a huge fan of Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia and he wanted to walk around Philly neighborhoods and visit corner bars. I tried to convince him that this was actually a terrible idea but I'm pretty sure I failed. I wonder whatever happened to him.
  13. Ha, that place I recommended in Baltimore was the nicest and safest place to stay in the city. I lived there for nine years - it's an acquired taste and not for everyone. I'm originally a New England country boy (yes, we exist - for real); I can tolerate and enjoy Boston for a while, but NYC is beyond the pale. Having lived here for a number of years, I can't imagine what it must be like to be from down this way and go visit up there. My family and I have gotten accustomed to southern manners and sensibilities very quickly, and anytime we travel up north, its a matter of minutes before witnessing some event that has us shaking our heads and muttering that we aren't in Georgia anymore. My kids, who have grown up here, can't make sense of any of it. I digress. There is plenty of natural beauty up there that is worth experiencing and with a few adjustments, itineraries that will work for you. First, if you're going to fly, fly into Manchester NH. There are direct flights from ATL. They will be a little less frequent and more expensive than flying into Boston, BUT, car rentals are stupidly expensive in Boston. Ridiculous. When you factor in flight + car, MHT is less expensive and light years easier than doing anything in or near Logan. You will also be through MHT security in minutes, out of the airport in minutes, whereas Logan's security is frequently well over an hour long, the rentals involve a shuttle, etc. Stay out of Logan! There is nothing that makes a Bostonian happier than telling someone from out of town 'you can't get theah from heah' or some variant of the same sentiment. You could spend a lifetime visiting small New England country towns. The Maine coast is remote, rugged, and staggeringly beautiful. In NH, North Conway and Mount Washington, Portsmouth, Jackson, Keene / Dartmouth, and if you don't mind a long drive, the first Connecticut Lakes up at the border are incredible. In Vermont, any of the ski resort towns will be fun, even in summer, with Stowe probably being the best (although Killington or Mount Snow will have the most off-season stuff - stay away from Okemo and Stratton as it they will be filled with largely abhorrent humans). Burlington is a nice little city worth at least a day ... but it has a lot of ... how to phrase this? Patchouli-burning barefoot "interesting people" selling cheese sandwiches out of the backs of ancient Datsuns to fund summers following Phish around the country. Nice town, don't stay too long. If you like history, travel south of town and visit the Shellburne Museum. My great grandfather grew up in the actual settlers' cabin they have on display there (although they altered it in ways that are not historically accurate; my dad got upset and refuses to go there). Staying anywhere on the Vermont side of The Lake will be lovely. You're also not too far from Montreal, which is always worth a visit (and if you go, make sure you eat poutine and enjoy an Equinox du Printemps beer from Fin Du Monde). Quebec or Atlantic Canada are entire itineraries themselves - Montreal, Quebec City, and the Gaspe Peninsula will make your jaw drop to a point where it may never return. Ditto Atlantic Canada, on the eleven days a year when it's not socked in with fog. South of the Mass Pike, New England changes considerably; Newport RI is worth visiting. The islands - Block, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket are all worth visiting. Those aside, stay in northern New England. Nice visiting... but after our years here, we do so very much love coming home.
  14. That's phenomenal! And Jeep trails, no less. I am so totally impressed. I typically drive past the main gate on my way to parts unknown, although there's access from the west as well. Wow.
  15. That's some view ... wow! Good luck with the house selling/buying process. Big Canoe is surrounded by some beautiful (and rough) country. Been past it a number of times to go trail running, hiking, trout fishing, and waterfall hunting. There are some real gems quietly tucked away up there if you're willing to wander off the beaten tracks a bit.
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