Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Mountain Yak, Part I

Yeah, yeah, so I missed a week.  I was busy.  I was actually busy in an entirely different state, one with legitimate, discernible seasons.  And (live) trees that were red, orange, shocking yellow and this deep purple, winey color.  And mountains.  Real deal mountainous mountains.

I let some of the more adventurous (and sadistic) in-laws talk me into hiking to the top of a few of them, too.  My knee wasn't too happy about that, but peer pressure says you gotta go up, and up I went.  In so doing, I burned up most of the marital capital I had accrued over the summer to hike up to the AT and nap on a Thermarest in (melting) snow with my bare feet in the sun.  But dude, there was a mighty steep toll to get there.

Like say, a yakstravaganza:

We packed up and prepared to skip town bright and early one Saturday.  Everything was ready.  I mean everything.  We were going to walk out the door in 5 minutes, and had planned on eating a proper breakfast during our layover in Dallas.  The bags were in the truck, and I was waiting downstairs with a tremendous caffeine buzz.  Great Smoky Mountains, here we come.

Then I hear Majesty yell, "Jack is sick!" from his room and I rush up there.  In the darkness, all I can see are spatters of red all over the bed (and uh, Jack).  It looks just like blood.  I mean, just like it.  Great.  An axe murderer has chopped up my son into carpaccio.  Really great.  Or he's been juggling with my carving knives.  But no, thankfully (?!) we've got yak everywhere.  It has to be what, 1,000 to 1 odds that he'd get sick the morning of the big family vacation, right?

Lessons:  Grape tomatoes look all innocent and cute sitting there in the produce section, twittering at you in little voices that they may not be as big as a regular tomato, but their flavor sure is, buster.  Know this:  those shiny red little suckers have a sinister side.  And apparently that side is unmasked when you eat about 6 pounds of them along with your breakfast-for-dinner.

Thanks to my double super secret weapon flight app, I'm on the phone to American in minutes.  They gleefully extract an easy $150 for rearranging our flights and I was glad to pay it.  So we sit there watching The Little Mermaid with a (now generally clean) Jack sitting on a beachtowel on the sofa.  Y'know, just in case this ain't "over" over.  The disgusting load of bedclothes in the laundry room spins and hums.

But hey, watching TLM with a caffeine high is delightful.  Sebastian?  Pretty darn talented.  It does bug me that King Triton is that ripped at his age.  Does he pump weights with the bullion that falls to the sea floor?  And the Sea Witch reminds me of my fourth grade math teacher, no kidding. 

I've lost all notion of what I was talking about.

Oh yeah, we did make it to the mountains, with no more er, projections from Jack.  He was in great spirits on the flights up there.  To celebrate, we stopped for some authentic, local, mountain-type food.  The kind the Indians and first settlers to the area would have enjoyed...

Homemade fudge.

(Going native is delicious.  Don't let any fool tell you otherwise.)

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