Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1, 2011 – The Thankfully Uneventful Drive Home

      On Sunday we packed up our clothes (dirty and clean), our uneaten perishables (two containers of hummus, four tofu blocks, spicy brown mustard and my bottle of rooster sauce) and our little dog to make the return trip home. The animals at home would be running out of food soon I had received reports of electricity in our area- days ahead of our expectations.

     We paused at Etowah to take pictures of the old train depot and I lucked up and found a geocache while we were there. The parking area of the depot is next to the rear of a local bike shop and there were the bones of what might someday be a really cool ride out back.

      We stopped at Zaxby's near Chattanooga for food and to raid their vending machine with the Domo toys in it. Food snarfed, we set out again.

     A geocache popped up on the radar as we threaded our way down 24 (you exit Tennessee, enter and leave Georgia, reenter Tennessee all before passing over the state line into Alabama. It's pure genius.) I thought it was a cache that I had read about before and hoped it would be a monumental find that would be interesting to everybody. I was mistaken, but it did take us to Gorham's Bluff and the small planned community that surrounds The Lodge. Off one trail was an overlook and a descending staircase running between two large boulders.

     The houses are quaint and idyllic to the extreme, complete with white picket fences and small ponds. They were all untouched by the storms just days before. The only signs were some tufts of insulation in one yard and a W-2 form that Esther found next to a trail that was from Tuscaloosa. Unfortunately, the surrounding communities of Flat Rock and Rosalie were not spared and we drove past families living in tents next to the ruins of their houses amid splintered power poles and burning piles of debris. The most terrifying sight was an aging single-wide mobile home (with the wheels still on) up-side-down and about thirty feet off the ground, held aloft by the stand of pine trees that were themselves either uprooted or bent under the weight of the trailer.

     We arrived home safely to a house with power and phone, but no internet. Hot showers were had all around and the various beasts were tending to. Sadly, we lost one of our sweet little guinea pigs, Blitz. There had been a pig-cage breakout during our time away and Blitzy got her head stuck in the mesh wiring. Thankfully, the cats and dogs had been respectful to her remains. She's buried on the hillside near the Walnut tree, next to our dear goat, Snapdragon.

     We spent the rest of the day unloading and making contact with as many of our friends and family as we could. Phone service was in and out, but it was the least of our worries. My workplace was still closed indefinitely due to an unresolved power grid in Huntsville, which was at the same time troubling, but would mean a few more days of sleeping in and saved gas that I wouldn't have to spend driving to work and back. Considering how bad it was for many people across the state, we really have nothing to complain about.

      It was good to be home.

All the pictures from this day can be viewed here.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry about your guinea pig - this is my first time stopping by - finally - and you never have mentioned it while at work. My condolences.