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Storms Over Manhattan

 

The first day my friend Alex and I spent wandering around New York City, the sky was dark, with storm clouds floating ominously above.

Our wandering led us to the very tip of Manhattan, where we boarded the free Staten Island Ferry to get a view of the city and to rest our feet.

And also to escape the rain!

The little storm made it’s way across Manhattan and over to Brooklyn, as we watched, safe under the cover of the ferry.

It was an incredible sight. What a perfect time to ride the ferry!

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Weekly Journal: Desk Jungle

My Spider Plant at work has been making babies like crazy, and now it’s babies are making babies. My desk is on it’s way to becoming a jungle.  Pictured to the left is a coworker threatening to cut them all off, to avoid said jungle from forming.

Usually my work lunches consist of whatever food items I can manage to shove in my bag in the last 10 seconds before I go out the door. This week however  I managed to make a pretty great sandwich three days in a row. Unfortunately I didn’t notice the cat hair until now 🙁

Saturday consisted of exploring a few favorite antique stores.

Overall it was a pretty OK week.  I finally started exercising again for the first time since things got out of wack a while ago. It feels like I am starting all over again from scratch, but I am hoping my muscles will quickly remember what they used to be able to do.

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Falls in the Graveyard Fields

I love discovering new places on the blue ridge parkway. Some places are a long and difficult hike to get to, others are just a quick walk down some wooden stairs.
The quick walk down the wooden stairs at Graveyard Fields led to a peaceful rocky stream. I would have liked to stay here and wander around in the shallow water, but as this had been a quick little 24 hour trip to Asheville to see a concert, I hadn’t packed the right clothes for playing in a river!

 

The goal was to hike to the big upper falls of Graveyard Fields, but we got turned around and ended up back in the parking lot!

The story of that adventure is here.

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Two Guns Ghost Town

Just off of interstate 40, formally the old route 66, is Two Guns Ghost Town.
The land where this ghost town now sits, holds many stories.
A group of Native Americans were killed by an enemy tribe that set fire to a cave where they were hidden.  After that tragic event, the area is now known as the Apache Death Cave. Years later the beginnings of a settlement started to appear as construction began on a railroad and bridges over the Canyon Diablo where the Apache Death Cave was. But this new settlement was a town of outlaws and bandits. Reportedly a group of men once robbed a train, stealing close to $200,000 and then buried it somewhere near the canyon rim.  It has never been found.
Eventually a man named Harry Miller, who referred to himself as Crazy Chief Thunder, began the major construction of a town he wanted to call Two Guns.
The town included a small zoo with mountain lions, snakes, and other interesting creatures. He also apparently sold the skeletal remains of the Native Americans who died in the cave nearby.
Crazy Chief Thunder skipped town eventually after shooting a guy to death with whom he’d had a disagreement.  The man’s widow kept the town going and opened a gas station, tourist store and campground. Unfortunately the gas station burned down in the 70s, and Two Guns slowly declined into a ghost town.
Now it sits, right next to the interstate, just some lonely graffiti covered buildings in the middle of the empty desert.
The setting sun was casting extreme shadows over the crumbling buildings as we arrived at the ghost town one chilly February day. The wind was tearing across the flat open land. No one else was around.
The desert is such a strange and mysterious place.
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Weekly Journal: Back

Things were weird for a bit, but I think it’s getting back to normal now.

The first event that set things all out of wack was acquiring the plague for two weeks.  Once that was nearly gone, I was randomly contacted about a job in NYC that set my brain on a spiral out of control. It was coincidentally right before my friend and I took a trip to NYC where the city defeated us and I was exhausted for a week afterward. Then my feet where in pain for what felt like an eternity so I just sat around waiting for them to heal. I’m blaming that on wandering around NYC for days. There was also some crazy stuff happening at work that added to the mix of weirdness.

Finally, with all that weirdness in the past, I think life is feeling normal again.. I have to work a lot this weekend so I took Friday off and cleaned the house like crazy, along with my little vacuum robot. I also switched this blog back to WordPress since it seemed to be dying a slow death over on blogger. The reason I left WordPress in the first place is because I couldn’t figure out how to redirect from my old blog to this one, but now that I have that figured out I am pretty happy with WordPress right now.

I’m glad to finally be getting back to normal!

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Back in the Vegetable Garden

Last year my vegetables grew great.

Until my garden was suddenly overcome by weeds and then the vegetable plants got so overgrown and mixed with the weeds which turned into a giant green jungle and I got so overwhelmed I couldn’t look at it.

This year I really wanted to avoid that. So I make sure to spend a few moments once a week pulling weeds and taming the vegetable plants as they grow bigger and bigger.

My camera did a good job with this picture. Check out the detail!

I planted okra for the first time!  But I’ve never cooked with it before, hopefully I can make something good with it.

This year I bought all my plants at a nursery instead of starting them by seed indoors during the winter. It was a lot less work but it took forever for them to get big enough to start making vegetables, so next year I’ll go back to starting seeds indoors.

So far I’ve managed to avoid becoming overwhelmed, and I’m glad to be excited about my vegetable garden again!

You can check out past veggie garden posts here. It’s been a while!

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Just (2000 Miles) Down the Road

The interstate in my backyard, if followed long enough, will eventually lead to the small town of Holbrook Arizona.
It’s a little town that the old route 66 used to run right through until it got bypassed in recent years by the construction of big interstate 40. Holbrook also inspired the little desert town in the movie Cars.
The people behind the scenes of the movie Cars apparently spent some time in this cafe, planning out the movie.
(For some reason we didn’t eat there?!!)
We rolled into the town of Holbrook on a chilly late February afternoon, after spending the day wandering through the Petrified Forest. Old neon signs lined the streets, and big dinosaur statues guarded the many little gift shops scattered around.  I wanted to walk around and explore the shops, but it seemed everything was closed. There was nobody around, except for a random car passing by here and there. With the cold wind blowing through, Holbrook felt like a bit of a ghost town. Or at least on its way to becoming a ghost town.
I dreamed of what it might be like, in the hot summer weather, and what it had been like many many years ago.
I still find it amusing, when I listen to the cars on the interstate behind my house, that this little town lies way down the road. And then I dream of racing off, back to the desert.  It’s just 2000 miles down the road!

 

 

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The Lost Beach

Cape Lookout Island.  Only accessible by Ferry, and with no paved roads.  It was once a home to a small fishing community but is now owned by the National Park system.
A short walk away from the tourist area, down the lonely shoreline, and remnants of the island’s past begin to appear.
Barnacle laden debris from the houses burned down by owners who refused to let them become acquired by the government.
And maybe parts from an old car that became engulfed in a sandstorm, only to appear again some time later.
Conch shells, still inhabited by their original owner can easily be found in the shallow waters.
 
This beach is different than others. A beach forgotten.