Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick, Tick, Tick, Damn Ticks

We are in the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee and while it's not my favorite place so far, its nice. Getting here was easy for once, we didn't get lost once – okay just once and just a little. Somebody moved the entrance to this place and didn't tell no body.

We went on long hikes through the woods where I found plenty of nice rivers or creeks to go swimming in. The water is clear as a bell, well not that bells are clear but the water was.

Our first hike was on Byrd Creek Trail and by the time we made it back, I had to put my leash on and pulled Tom the rest of the way, I tell you it ain't easy keeping him out of trouble. Partially I put the leash on him to pull him, but mostly so he wouldn't get lost.

We had dinner and than he went to sleep, I slept like a rock too, well not that rocks sleep – hey who makes up these expressions anyway.

The next day we went to the lake across the bridge. It is a nice bridge, built a long time ago by something called the CCC to give people jobs during the depression. Longest stone bridge ever built by them too.

I found some ducks and I was looking at them thinking how nice they would taste and I fell in the lake. Tom had to lift me out cause boy that water was deep and I couldn't get my feet on anything. It did feel good though. I thanked him by shaking all the water off me and on to him.

Later on we found this strange underwater set of steps. Why someone built them here I have no idea, maybe after they built the lake the needed them to get out, sounds like something Tom would do.

The next day we found more interesting stuff. There is a rickety old wood bridge across the lake. I made Tom go first. Figure if it held him, it will hold me. Plus if he fell in I could always run back and laugh from the shore.

On the other side of the bridge we found a set of steps.  Steps that go where?  We went up them and nothing? No where. Strange these people.

Oh, the reason I don't like this place so much is the ticks. There are so many and they keep landing on me. Tom picks them off and burns them, but one day he must have gotten seven off me. Nasty little blood sucking bugs. He kept dabbing me with some bubbling liquid, told me it was to get out any nasty stuff. It did, but it messes up my hair, so I made him comb me afterward. I found two on Tom but I didn't comb his hair, not much to comb after all – he, he, he!

Tomorrow we are off again.  This time to eastern Tennessee to see where Davy Crockett was born.  I'll tell you this guy got around.  Davy slept here, Davy slept there, sounds like a cat, wonder if he was ever awake.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Off through the woods we're ridin' along, makin' up yarns an' singin' a song

OMG, put away the puppy papers, Tom actually got us here without incident for once, well mostly. 50 feet before we got here a bridge was out and they said no vehicles larger than 10 feet wide. I think we are 9 feet 11 ½ inches. You want to see someone sweating, you could not drop a cat between us and the edge. Well you could but the cat wouldn't be happy.

The ranger lady here at Davy Crockett Park in Tennessee was nice too, even to Tom. But boy could she talk, yaba, yaba, yaba. We both sort of backed away slow and kept smiling, she might still be talking. We got a nice spot and Tom got us all set up while I explored. It is really pretty here, green, quiet and smells real good.

The next day, Tom and I took a walk, oh boy did we walk. I think we hit the five mile limit. We saw hickory trees, streams and lakes. I had a good time, I was checking out stuff and laying in the streams and sipping water. Tom brought me a bowl and a bottle of water, but we didn't need it. So much in the streams and clean. Tasted mighty good.

We saw wild turkeys in the woods,
I was going to get me some turkey breast, but Tom wouldn't let me. Its okay I guess, we didn't have any gravy with us.

deer, squirrels, a rabbit and the birds were singing.

All through the woods Tom is singing this crazy Davy Crockett song, it gets into your head so bad, I found myself singing it too. I didn't even know Betty Crockett was married.

Now the bad part is that night we got a storm. There was lightening and thunder and oh my. It was close. We turned out all the lights inside and just watched. It kept up until we both fell asleep to the sound of boom, boom, crash, boom.

The next day we met Paul and Shelly. They had two pug dogs, Rudy and Molly. Molly was annoying, but Rudy was okay. Paul told us RUDY IS BLIND! I figured that out Paul, anyone tell you you're deaf and we're not.

Anyway they are nice, you just have to repeat yourself a lot cause Paul can't hear nuthin. I guess after living with him for 90 years Shelly just gave up and talked loud too so she didn't have to repeat herself so much.

The rain kept up everyday until we left. It would rain in the morning, so we would sneak in a walk and it would rain on us. Guess there isn't much sneaking up on rain, we tried though.

One day I ran into some really really big dogs. I mean wow, they were so big. They seemed friendly enough but boy they didn't smell like any dog I ever met. They seemed kind of lazy too. Nobody feeds them, so they have taken to eating grass.  I couldn't understand their accent either

We leave here in the morning. Never did get to see this Davy Crockett. Some one said he was at the Alamo in Texas, but you never know what to believe, I mean they have Avis cars to rent here - why go all that way. Paul took us to the local Wal-Mart, it was sure better than walking 5 miles there. That would have been bad enough but I don't think Tom could handle carrying all my treats back 5 miles. So he drove us there as he had nothing better to do.

Tom wants to stop at the park restaurant in the morning for breakfast before we leave. He said they have a buffet breakfast with chocolate and pepper gravy he wants to try. I'll probably being writing next from the local hospital when he gets his stomach pumped.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Tom told me that no one born after the 1950s would understand my title, but what the heck, dogs like Rin Tin Tin do. Well the way to my next stop was marred as always by my driver. I swear to Toto and Dorothy he should let me drive. It started out well, but went right down on to the old poop pile faster than you can say, “Napping cat's hats are fat.”

We got all our supplies, got our new internet device and do I have to tell you who left the headlights on and killed the battery? So I sit embarrassed in the store parking lot and wait for somebody to come fix it. Than he runs into major accident, helicopters on the road, police cars everywhere, at first I thought they were stopping everybody to get me new driver, but no such luck. Detour into downtown Podunk, narrow streets, up over curbs, down scary hills, another town, another no name.

Another million hours later, a few nasty winding mountain roads, a few stops to splash water on his face to wake him up, we arrived at the new camp in 7 hours instead of 3. That's when all the trouble started. Well of course the place was closed cause we got here so late, but I called the emergency number and the lady told me the secret code to get past the gate. Imagine if he had asked for it, they would have called the national guard and arrested us.

We pull into, no make that backed up into our campsite. 8 foot embankment to back up over, he was sweating and swearing, but I covered my ears. We got in pretty easy I must say. He got us all set up and than Dick Tracy and Tess Trueheart showed up. They are something called the campsite hosts, wanted to know where our reservation sticker was. Tom was nice, told them we just got here would complete registration in the morning. Well they didn't like that much but since Tom made about 4 of them, they said alright.

Bright and early the next morning we go for a walk. A long walk. A real long walk. We got down to the ranger station eventually and Tom finished registering with the nice ranger lady. He told her that Dick and Tess gave him a temporary sticker, so the ranger said, oh, than I don't need to give you one, that one is fine.

We climbed all over the place, but didn't get to the waterfalls yet. Tom said maybe tomorrow or the next day. We are sitting outside my house reading a book that my friend Janina gave him for Christmas and who pulls up in their little golf cart – yup, Tess and Dick. I was watching Tom close like cause I figured he would rip the little tires off their golf cart in another minute cause they were clearly annoying us. They said the ranger should have given us a permanent sticker

Tom told them what the ranger said asked them if they wanted a receipt. They didn't but I could tell they weren't satisfied. So later that night the ranger stops by and plants a permanent sticker on our site. She did not look too happy, Dick and Tess called her to complain. The ranger said they are the worst campsite hosts she ever ran into, think they are the police instead of greeters. Tom called them Junior G-Men which they ranger lady liked.

Guess who showed up the next day? Guess who put their golf cart in fast reverse when Tom greeted them with some word that began with an A and ended in a hole and asked if they came by to have their golf cart wheels torn off. They have not returned. I was going to bite them but Tom seemed to have the matter well in hand. I did bark and growl at them a lot though, they are volunteers and are only suppose to greet you and help answer questions.

We did have a good time in spite of the Elliot Ness Family. I went for several long, long hikes in the forest, chased lots of rabbits and squirrels. On Tuesday we found a trail that led to Laurel waterfalls. The water was so cool on my belly I just laid right down and the best part is there are no gators. It took us so long to find the trail we were both a little tired, but Tom brought water and a bowl for me, I think he wishes he brought a bowl for himself.

On Wednesday we went back to Laurel Falls, but this time we knew exactly how to get there so we could take a shortcut. I took sips right from the water fall and Tom even went in the pool of water at the bottom.

I found out its called Laurel Falls because of all the Mountain Laurel that grows there, pretty.

Today we are beginning to plan out our next stop, I think it is in Tennessee. Tennessee, I don't even know what onessee means.

Just to make it interesting our refrigerator stopped cooling. Tom moved what he could to the freezer and we ate what we could but I think we are throwing out lots of good stuff. Tom found somebody on line he thought might help. The guy wanted to know if it was plugged in. Tom stopped talking to him after that, he told him it was built in and hard wired after mumbling that A word again. He is now trying to fix it himself.

So we might be leaving a day early if he can't get it running again. Yeah he fixed it, we only lost a quart of milk. So we went back to the waterfall and I went swimming again. Its so cool there, zero people, well Tom, but he isn't really a people. He even figured out how to make the camera work on remote control with something called a hook-e-do. He can't aim too good, but I guess its because he only thinks he knows where the camera is pointing. So lame.

Met some more nice people. They had a German Shepard – big puppy, but I scared him good. Growing up with my peeps Mokie and Remy helped me out on that one.

So tomorrow we are off bright and early to go see some guy named Davy Crockett, heard he kilt him a baar when he was only three.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Five Po-gator, Six Po-Gatar, Seven PoGator, More?

Perhaps it has to do with me not sharing my treats with him, but Puppies Preserve me, he brought me to another place that has even more gators than the last place. I told him I will now share my treats, he can have one, well maybe a half for every twelve I have if he knocks off with these gators.

Florence Marina is in the middle of nowhere. How these gators ever found it I have no idea. Better question is how did he find it. He is not so good finding places. You should have seen some of the towns we drove through. Some of them had less than one building.

The first morning he promised to take me for a walk and what does he do? He falls out of my house. Blood? Well, let me tell you if Dracula was hiding out here, he never would have gone hungry. I had to administer first aid. I locked out the step for him so he doesn't do it again. My life - caring for the infirm and slightly insane. Needless to say there went my walk.

This place has Spanish Moss everywhere. Its kinda of spooky, looks like the trees are dripping stuff, don't even want to know what trees drip, know what I mean? I even saw what I think was a Spanish Moss gremlin. I was real careful sneaking up on him, because there is no telling what a Spanish Moss Gremlin can do. It played dead, but I'm not so sure. I smelled breath – phew, breath mints anyone.

We met a neighbor who came just before we left. His name was Robert, I liked him. He came down with his dad to go fishing. His dad was 87, so Robert was no spring chicken himself. He asked Tom if he liked to fish, when Tom told him he did – I think he was trying to get us a ride in Robert's boat, Robert got happy and asked Tom what kind of fishing gear he used. Well I think Tom blew it, he said he prefered a club. When Robert looked confused cause he never heard of that kind of brand, Tom told him, yeah, he liked to stand in the middle of a stream and club the fish when they swam by, he was more successful that way and didn't need any bait. Needless to say, Robert stopped asking Tom questions, he also didn't offer us a ride in his boat.

That night as I was putting on my pajamas, there was a knock on our door. Hello, we are in the middle of nowhere and someone is knocking on our door at night. I immediately picked up one of my particularly sharp chew toys just in case. In case it was that Spanish Moss Gremlin. If it was Dracula Tom could deal with him.

Well it was Robert, he forgot to tell us about the Coyotes that come around at night, said they might gang up on me. I thanked him but told him not to worry cause I'm fast and I'll just trip the guy with the bad bleeding leg, I hear Coyotes are attracted to blood. Gators, Coyotes, and Spanish Moss Gremlins, what's next.

Well I found out what's more the next day.. I'm strolling along on the look out for gators and yikes! Those are some big damn birds and a lot of them too. They must weight half as much as I do. Tom told me they were turkey vultures. Pretty nasty things. Wonder how they would taste with a side of cranberry and some sweet potatoes. Bet they hide out on Thanksgiving.

The ranger lady at the little store liked me. Said I could ignore the no pets allowed inside cause I'm cute as heck. So while Tom is looking around the little store, this nice ranger asked him if it was okay if she gave me some ice cream. Don't blow this one Tom, I'm warning you. I got a strawberry shortcake ice cream on a stick – oh so good. Unfortunately the ranger lady was married she was also kinda old, cause I was going to take her home with me, well if she came with ice cream I was.

So we walked all over the place. Big and empty the place was too. Robert sort of avoided us after Tom's club comment, so did his dad. People began to show up Friday night, but we was leaving in the morning so they can deal with them gators, coyotes and vultures oh my.