Sunday, May 15, 2011

tumbling shoals

we're in Tumbling shoals in the house of Sam's second cousin Craig and his wife Lee. We're right off of the Greers Ferry lake (?) and it's beautiful here. The house looks right over the lake. If we stay here tomorrow we'll have to jump off the 20 ft bluff into the water. I'm not sure if we'll stay here. I don't  think we've decided. We're headed toward Bill's second cousin's house in Memphis. Lots of second cousins.

The last few days we've been riding through the Ozark mts/ Boston mountains and it's been some of the most beautiful riding of the trip. Lots of hills though. Yesterday we rode 60 miles and thought maybe it was time to start looking for a place to stop and camp. Bill and I stopped to wait for Sam and Hannah along highway 16 and we started checking out this driveway with a sign over it that said "Camp Cody," and we could see far back in the woods a beautiful log cabin. We wondered if we should go ask if either we could pitch our tents around their house or if they knew a place to camp. Bill and I walked down the driveway and found two people around the back of the house. We asked if there was a place to camp and the man said, "You could camp here!" He got down from his ladder-- I think they were putting finish on the cedar exterior of their house-- and came over to meet us. He and his wife were both wearing full body camouflage suits as they worked. It's time for dinner now so I can't write much but their house had maybe 100 taxidermis all from animals either alan or his wife dorris had killed--from antelope, to many many deer, elk, gray fox, porcupine, bear(s) maybe 5, razorback, rattlesnake (that Alan gassed in order to preserve it without a wound), pheasants, geese, bob whites, raccoon, turkeys, pronghorns, bighorn sheep, bobcats (3 or 4) and I suppose fish that I think were taxidemied if one can taxidermy fish I don't know and I couldn't identify them. There were so many animals staring in at us while we ate a huge feast.

Also, there were dozens and dozens of rifles hanging on the walls all very intimidating but also some of them I must admit were quite beautiful like the old "Gold Henry" collection. He didn't open up the gun safe, which was probably good because this would probably have scared me. They had a good laugh when we told them that not one of us has ever shot a gun.

Dinner was amazing. They cooked us steaks, biscuits, corn, salad, french fries and sweet potato fries and hot chocolate. Alan built us a giant fire after dinner and gave us all a couple shots of Wild Turkey (the bourbon) which was warm and delightful. While we sat around the fire we were able to see the two gray foxes that come every night to eat the leftovers that Dorris leaves out for them ("Just tooo cute to kill!") behind the house and we heard whipperwills calling from the woods, which I've never heard. In the morning we had chocolate gravy with biscuits and eggs for breakfast and said goodbye to Dorris and Alan as they drove off to the hospital where Alan works as a doctor in the E.R . 

We had an incredible time with Dorris and Alan at Camp Cody. Yesterday might have been my favorite day/night of the trip. I love the ozarks/boston mountains.