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Under the Neon Carnival Lights

When the sun sets, and the glowing lights flash on, the fair becomes an entirely different world..
..A strange neon sort of world, almost like stepping into an alternate reality.  With distorted colors and sounds, everywhere you turn.
A world where time seems to stand still. Full  of bizarre sights, illuminated by strange colored lights, little stands selling peculiar food, and dizzying rides towering high above.
The cheerful pastel land from the day, has become a little more sinister.
The neon lights flashing rainbow colors, illuminate the dark shadows where I stand, away from the crowd. Capturing the eerie atmosphere of the traveling carnival.
The crowds lessen as the night goes on. I’d like to stay until everyone goes home, and explore the vacant carnival grounds.
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You Never Know Who May Be Watching

Coming home from work, after a long and crazy Monday.

 Finally home. 

I came home to a completely destroyed back door. 

 I saw it from the outside. I didn’t dare go in. 

Whoever did this at least closed the door to the back porch. Cloud was prancing around the scene of the crime, and I saw Chester running around inside,  scared. Since the cats hadn’t escaped, I didn’t worry about much else.

I peered in the windows as I was on the phone with the lady who answered the emergency call. I told her everything looked in place..

But wait my computer was gone.

My camera is still there though.

I bet they broke in just to get my computer…. You could see it through the window..

I realized she didn’t need to know all that so I hung up and waited for the cops in the front yard. Cloud screamed at me though the living room window. She wanted dinner. 

When the police man came, Cloud showed him around the house. 

I bet she saw exactly who did it.

 I watched the cops take finger prints. I once wanted to be a forensic scientist, so this was a bit exciting. 

Chester was traumatized and hid under the covers for a long time. 

Jeeves could not be found. We thought maybe he had escaped after all. But then finally found him..

…Wedged behind the TV stand! 

He stayed there for hours and eventually we had to move the TV to pull him out. 

Then it was off to Lowe’s to buy a new back door!

A pizza was ordered and the door was installed by midnight. 

The house was back in order, except for the empty space where my laptop once was. The stylus and mouse left behind.

It was apparent that some freak trekked all the way through the back yard and peeked in our windows and decided they really wanted my computer. And it all happened in broad daylight.

Unfortunately my external hard drive was plugged into my laptop. With all my pictures on it…. 

Something that means nothing to them, but everything to me.

Luckily most were saved on my old computer. I only lost the last six months worth. 

It’s been almost two weeks. I have a new computer, but it will never sit on my desk unattended. I also make sure my new hard drive never stays plugged in, so it won’t get taken along for a crazy ride like my old one did. 

  I keep the curtains closed now, because you never know who may be watching..

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To the Mountains!

It was time again, to go explore and get lost in the mountains. We left work early on a Friday afternoon and the weekend was packed with adventures. 

Barely an hour down the interstate and the Blue Ridge mountains suddenly appear straight ahead.

I had picked out a new trail to hike this time, one that leads to the top of one of the mountain ridges. I recognize the mountain peak as we drive down the interstate. The one to the right in this picture. 

 It’s higher than I expected. 
It’s going to be a really big hike.

Highway 80 is the curviest road I’ve ever been on. It goes straight up the side of the mountain, with steep drops straight down.

It was perfect timing for the tree’s best autumn colors. We headed down the Blue Ridge Parkway to one of our favorite stops, Craggy Gardens. 

We ventured through the craggy trees to the top of the little mountain, as the sun began to go down. 

But we didn’t stay for the sunset because it became too crowded with people taking selfies.

We were tired and hungry by the time we got back to the motel, so we walked in the cold night air up the road to a little German restaurant, where  we ate a bunch of hearty junk. 

I ate spaetzle for the first time. Also some breaded warm cheese bites. Wow. 

After dinner I sat out in the cold and took pictures of the sky. 

The next morning, I drove for the first time, on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

It was a bit fun, and a bit scary. I screamed a lot. 

I drove us past an apple orchard to the town of Little Switzerland where we explored an old bookstore.  

The next stop was the BIG HIKE.

We turned down smaller and smaller roads, until we eventually came to a narrow dirt road that led to the hiking trail. We ventured down the path, which got steeper and steeper the further we went. 

Soon we were climbing over boulders, nearly straight up. I wondered if the big hike was a bad idea.

After an hour we made it to the top. We could see for miles.

The big hike was NOT a bad idea!

After being way up in the clouds, it seemed like a good idea to go way deep underground.

 In a cave.

That night we drove along the parkway at night, stopping at overlooks to take pictures, while I freaked out at what could be lurking in the dark.

On the final morning of our mountain adventure, we watched the sunrise before traveling up the parkway to see what else we could find before returning home.

Our adventures led us to Linville falls, a place we had been to a few times already, but this time we decided to hike a different trail, one that was less busy. 

Back on the road, we ended up finding another trail that winds around under the parkway and around some huge rocks. The trail was very long but we didn’t have time to walk the entire length. It will be first on the list next time.

I started reminiscing about this trip as soon as we returned back home. The memories are so ingrained in my mind.

I don’t think it will be long before we return to explore the Blue Ridge mountains once again.