September 24, 2012
I don't think I had been on Glade Top Trail in over 20 years. I've been sandwiched into between metro and tourist cities in a rural covenanted subdivision for so long that I kinda feel like I'm caught in a rat race. I lived on hundreds of acres near national forest during high school, so yesterday was awesome to get out and really breathe, even if it was only metaphorical. My histamines shot through the roof, so I had to crank up the benadryl a little.
My dad is one county over. The countryside from here to there is like night and day. This is still pretty tame a little over halfway to his house.
Most tourists come through the Ozarks and think they're seeing rugged and beautiful, but it's usually from the comfort and safety of people milling around a theme park or zipline. Seeing 'the woods' from a highway isn't the woods. My first 14 years were spent in New Mexico thinking that 'woods' were the pine trees in the Colorado mountains. I couldn't imagine the kind of woods in "Where the Red Fern Grows", more like jungle growing right up out of steep jagged flint, the bones of the earth. We moved to the Ozarks when I was first hitting high school, and we lived in The Woods, creepy and magical, just like in fairy tales. "Wild thing from the wild woods, what do you want?" (Kipling, Just So Stories) Our dog was part coyote, one of our cats was half bobcat. I know because I saw that thing born from a stray cat out of the woods, the hugest ugliest tailless kitten we ever saw, and only room for one. I don't know how that birth didn't kill the mother. That kitten was bigger than she was when it was only half grown and never would tame down. Also, have to add this, us kids walked a mile one way just to get on a school bus, regardless of the weather. One day we stepped over a black snake stretched across the dirt road, well over 5 feet long. Never catch those and keep them in a jar, by the way, they really smell bad.
You don't properly leave 'metro' until you've passed this point, the highest elevation for miles before a twisty plunge into another world decades behind this one. It's kind of like traveling back into the 1970's for me, but back in the 80's it was like going back to the 50's. Every time I travel through this countryside I imagine Hobbits traveling by pony to far away places, and how hard it would be for me without the highway. I think we take highways way too for granted nowadays.
And at that point I passed a house that has never had electricity. That's a pretty rare thing, even in the most rural areas, and it's right on the highway. I've been in that house, the people are sane and normal, they just like living without distraction. I doubt they have the kinds of anxiety issues that plague nearly one fifth of American adults, including me. The United States of Anxiety
We picked up my sister before we went to Dad's. She lives down this magical road. Do you believe in fairies and pixies?
Don't worry, she's a big believer in electricity, even though she's hand quilting a project from scratch. I don't have the patience for that. I noticed she's got a bumper crop of persimmons, the equivalent of deer candy.
Dropped a bunch of homemade goodies in my dad's freezer (it's his birthday, he's 83 now) and put him in the front with the atlas. All us kids grew up with an atlas, learning to 'navigate'. We're all sort of obsessed with maps because of that, me to the point where I took a cartography class in my resource planning degree program so I could learn the history of how they are made, and even make one myself. I loved visiting the big map room in the college library, but back to Dad. He refuses to join our modern age, so it was all about that atlas, although he eventually got so fascinated by the Tom-Tom that he couldn't put it down.
All roads lead to Rome, they say, so it wasn't long until we were driving over the historical Rome bridge, originally built in 1913 and closed to traffic for a time in 2007 for severe structural deficiency. But little things like that don't stop anyone from driving over it. Never saw a warning posted this time.
We overshot and wound up way on the other side of Glade Top, thanx to a sign being shorn right off a metal pole, possibly from a tornado that skipped through awhile back. We had to turn around and go back up this highway. Can you imagine how beautiful this scene will be in a few more weeks when the foliage turns?
We eventually arrived, and x marked the spot on the map.
There are plenty of places to stop and take in views all around.
We probably saw a hundred squirrels and a couple of wild turkeys, but I was more focused on trying not to look down the sheer drop offs along one side of the road. My sister's girl made up a ghost story during a field trip to Glade Top about a young married couple who plunged to their deaths in a Model T, and the story gets retold to this day. Kinda makes you wonder if most ghost stories are started by kids, and they're around so long it becomes 'fact'. That was almost 20 years ago. Note of trivia- my sister's mother-in-law's family owned the Glade Top property until the government incorporated it into the Mark Twain National Forest.
I've always had a hard time driving along steep drops, so I asked my sister if she remembered how we'd ask to ride in the back of the pickup when Dad took us up mountains so we could plan on bailing and leaping out before he slid off and rolled down a steep mountainside, and she totally remembered it. Dad would drive as close to the edge as possible so he could get a better view, and more than once we felt a tire slip. I utterly trust my dad, he has never ever let anything bad happen to us, but more because he walked the line of faith than held an arm in front of us. I grew up feeling like I need to be ready to bail in case of utter disaster and annihilation, even though it never happened. To this day I feel safer in the bed of a pickup than I do in the front seat, and I still have nightmares about driving up 90 degree inclines and clinging for dear life to the steering wheel and praying the whole vehicle doesn't just fall off the road backwards. Come to find out, so does my sister... It was very hard for me to sit through watching the Titanic sinking because I know what hanging onto the pickup felt like going up and down steep hills. As I got older I realized I could get out and walk, and I did, far enough away so I'd be clear of where the pickup might roll. But it never did.
That atlas gave us stuff to bicker about several times. Dad was like a robot caught in a logic loop over the 'missing' road numbers (take a plat map if you go!), and my sister finally grabbed the atlas and became the navigator. I knew before I ever got to Dad's it would be like this, having grown up with the guy, so I got a big kick out of the whole thing. And it turned out I was right, we had crossed over into Taney County, and then cross back into Ozark County as we twisted around the little mountain.
Missouri still has execution laws.
Finally reached a nice picnic area near the top. They keep it fixed up because there are so many local groups and activities on Glade Top, including the Foxtrotters (horses) and the annual Flaming Fall Revue: A Barbecue and Music Event. You can see the old fire tower still standing. When our kids were young, people would still climb it, but I think now they've got warnings on it now because it's getting too old.
After Glade Top we went out a different way to Theodosia to eat lunch at Cookie's by the marina. Scott couldn't resist the homemade malt.
Then we cut back through around Glade Top. I found the whole drive to be very satisfying after a hectic year in my own life.
And I'm a little envious of some of the people living on the rolling land around there. You never know where people will lose themselves when they've got the money to live the sustainable life, and I was a little surprised at a few of the 'mansions' tucked away in the hills.
For those who read the pre-drive post and are curious, no, Dad never did start building his coffin yet. In a couple weeks it'll be 3 years since Mom died, and it's really hard being alone after a long marriage. I'm also thrilled that this drive experiment went so well, I've barely been able to travel or sit in a car very long for about 5 years, and apparently the stuff I'm learning in physical therapy and strength training is working really well. I was able to control my pain levels just by getting out of the car every little bit and doing certain extension exercises, and if I can maintain that kind of control, I might be able to start traveling again. #veryexciting
:edit: I caught my sister on video talking about when she stayed at a cabin at Star Valley Retreat right there at Glade Top Trail, so if anyone reading this post is wondering about where to stay if they come scout out the Glade Top Trail side of Mark Twain National Forest, you can keep up with their current events and specials at Star Valley Retreat on Facebook.
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Everything I have in this blog
- 1127 January 27, 2016
- Zev vs Xev August 27, 2015
- Pope Giggy- Giggerota, Part 4 July 12, 2015
- It's Good to be Queen- Giggerota, Part Three July 12, 2015
- gettin Giggy with the afterlife: Giggerota- Part Two July 12, 2015
- Giggerota the Wicked, Part One July 12, 2015
- Heresy in the First Degree- Thodin of the Ostral-B Pair March 29, 2015
- this is a test March 19, 2015
- Are You Lexxperienced? February 8, 2015
- 790 spotted at a comiccon September 15, 2014
- Lexxperience August 19, 2014
- Bunny July 5, 2014
- Whatever happened to the Line Major? June 18, 2014
- googled7648688230920ba.html June 11, 2014
- ugmo June 1, 2014
- Lexx on twitter May 15, 2014
- Where can I watch Lexx? April 15, 2014
- I Worship His Shadow- part 10- the bug bomb March 13, 2014
- Lexx is not dead March 5, 2014
- Valentine Lexx February 4, 2014
- Last of the Brunnen-G: Sci-fi's Favorite Zombie February 3, 2014
- The Dark Zone and the Cycles of Time January 17, 2014
- Lexx fans video chat December 13, 2013
- But the dark zone is full of depravity and evilness and darkness November 6, 2013
- Lexx 2.0- coughing through the dust cloud September 4, 2013
- Lexx- Season Two August 26, 2013
- Print Your Own LEXX Magazine June 17, 2013
- LEXX WATCH PARTY 6-15-13 June 13, 2013
- Stargate Pie May 21, 2013
- the coolest LEXX t-shirt in the world May 14, 2013
- in which I thought T'Pol was a goner May 2, 2013
- Please Don't Bring Merlin Back April 27, 2013
- Lost Lexx Art April 12, 2013
- The Runelord April 12, 2013
- The Dead Do Not Snark April 9, 2013
- early monthly update April April 4, 2013
- Lexx actors on twitter and facebook March 28, 2013
- Old Fashioned Chicken Stock March 26, 2013
- the making of Lexx March 24, 2013
- Why Lexx Is Personal March 23, 2013
- The Lexx Revival Project March 19, 2013
- Lexx Twitter Challenge March 18, 2013
- monthly update March 2013 March 14, 2013
- 3-13-13 March 13, 2013
- How big is the Lexx? February 26, 2013
- the day after Q February 22, 2013
- wrath of Q, sort of February 21, 2013
- diabetes and steroid meds February 21, 2013
- monthy update February 2013 February 15, 2013
- campfire scrambled eggs February 12, 2013
- Stanley Tweedle February 3, 2013
- the sounds of LEXX- info, downloads, soundtracks January 25, 2013
- I Worship His Shadow- part 9- Thodin January 10, 2013
- glitchy guestbook January 9, 2013
- Group LEXX watch twitter party January 5, 2013
- The Nerdist Wimp January 1, 2013
- You Can't Handle Watching LEXX December 30, 2012
- Loca Chili Bake December 29, 2012
- surprise! December 29, 2012
- Lexx- wallpapers, icons, pix December 27, 2012
- Kai on the River Kwai December 23, 2012
- Lexx on Netflix December 23, 2012
- End of the World December 21, 2012
- pleasant surprises December 18, 2012
- Happy Decemberween December 15, 2012
- Holiday Lexx December 14, 2012
- Lexx traffic December 12, 2012
- Why Lexx Is Important December 7, 2012
- Prisoner Zero December 7, 2012
- Lexx ecards December 4, 2012
- I Worship His Shadow- part 8- Zev Bellringer December 1, 2012
- What, NO Lexx??? November 28, 2012
- chicken herd November 27, 2012
- sausage king of Chicago November 27, 2012
- Da Lexx- Rapdicted November 27, 2012
- Lexx on Droid November 25, 2012
- I Worship His Shadow- part 7- Termination November 25, 2012
- Lexx and psychological health, perhaps November 20, 2012
- in between times November 19, 2012
- Any particular reason why Florida? November 18, 2012
- Holidays with Diabetes- Easier Than You Think November 14, 2012
- this year has been intoxicating November 13, 2012
- Lexx- opening sequence November 13, 2012
- Daycation November 9, 2012
- I Worship His Shadow- part 6- The Big Bug November 7, 2012
- Wabble- online Scrabble game November 6, 2012
- and, sadly, no rooster around to make this worthwhile November 2, 2012
- Team Nerd November 1, 2012
- Saving Mr.s Thompson- the secrets October 31, 2012
- I Worship His Shadow- part 5- The Time Prophet October 30, 2012
- autumn peak in the Ozarks October 29, 2012
- happy birthday! October 24, 2012
- I Worship His Shadow- part 4- His Divine Shadow October 22, 2012
- 172 October 20, 2012
- how to give to charity, Charlie Brown October 19, 2012
- 173 October 18, 2012
- John Deakins- Barrow October 18, 2012
- 174 October 17, 2012
- 175 October 16, 2012
- 176 October 15, 2012
- Italian Chicken Fingers October 14, 2012
- killing time in between thunderstorms October 13, 2012
- I Worship His Shadow- part 3- Stanley Tweedle October 12, 2012
- prisoner transports over a stadium... October 11, 2012
- why am I taking so long posting more Lexx?!?! >=( October 11, 2012
- stunt double October 9, 2012
- professional yard cleaning service October 8, 2012
- really good chicken soup October 7, 2012
- a meandering kind of day October 5, 2012
- The Nerdist Way October 3, 2012
- Saving Mr.s Thompson October 2, 2012
- I Worship His Shadow- part 2- The Cluster September 29, 2012
- mmm, rocks September 29, 2012
- Glade Top Trail September 24, 2012
- it's Halloween all year long with us September 19, 2012
- cackleberry factory September 16, 2012
- Lexx 1: I Worship His Shadow, part one September 13, 2012
- putting our purple on September 9, 2012
- restaurant quality alfredo sauce September 7, 2012
- The Lexx September 6, 2012
- visitors September 3, 2012
- blueberry buttermilk applejacks September 1, 2012
- Saving Mr. S Thompson August 29, 2012
- LARPing the night away August 24, 2012
- Marcel August 22, 2012
- ready for some peace and quiet August 20, 2012
- sex is wrong, or coming out of the pandimensional closet August 19, 2012
- ok, let's drag Lexx back out of the closet August 17, 2012
- in which I nearly saved Wil Wheaton's life August 16, 2012
- brain melt August 9, 2012
- molten lava cake could also equal love August 7, 2012
- the zombies got sitemeter August 7, 2012
- I married a zombie August 5, 2012
- feed me, Seymour August 4, 2012
- SAVE FERRIS July 29, 2012
- if there's time to lean, there's time to clean- ug July 28, 2012
- on a cicada-free night, you'd think we'd sleep July 28, 2012
- I have this chicken thing July 23, 2012
- Is anybody else watching Lost all over again? July 19, 2012
- zombie apocalypse July 13, 2012
- I did the unthinkable July 12, 2012