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25 June 2007

I almost died and then I climbed a mountain.

Sorry it has been a while. My computer decided to suck. And I have such fun things to report!

On Saturday, after two weeks of bad parenting, I finally was able to take the Beazer on a hike. We drove out to Stone Mountain (a few miles from VA) to test our skills and mountain-conquering. Things went well ... once we actually got there.

As I was driving down 40 and 77, I noticed that the car was doing a little shimmy. I chalked it up to the fact that my car needs an alignment and a tune-up. I was about twenty miles from the park (i.e. 2 HOURS from home) when the car began shaking so hard that I could barely maintain my speed and the Sirius radio port was ready to bounce off the windshield. I pulled over into an empty parking lot (keep in mind that it is currently around 9am and this podunk town is abandoned!) and checked under the chassis and glanced at the tires. I had no idea what I was looking for, but it seemed to be the correct thing to do. I happened to pull into an auto sales place and a sales guy happened to pull in in his pick-up as I was walking around the car. I figure that auto sales people need to know about cars, right? I figure I'll ask him to help me out. Plus he had a lip full of chaw, so I was pretty confident in his vehicle-analysis skills. He looks at the car (doing the same exact thing that I did) and kneels next to the right rear tire.

"Well, thar's yer problem."
I walk around the car to check it out.
"Ya snapped a cable."
Huh? Tires have cables?
"Put yer hand raight here. Feel that?"
He was talking about the tire, although, taken out of context, that could be naughty!
I see this slight bulge on the side of the tire. "Oh yeah," I say. "What do I need to do?"
"Ya need a new tiar."
Duh. "Can I get home on this one?"
"Not if ya don't wanta wreck." Thanks for the insight. "It could break further and cause a total blowout. I'm surprised it didn't blow already. "
"Is there anywhere in town that I can do this today? I am about two hours away from home."

He then kindly gives me directions to two different tire place next to, you guessed it, Walmart. I thanked him and drove very slowly to the shop. The kindly gents there threw on my spare in like ten minutes and charged me $5. I was pleased that I didn't get gouged and that I was able to continue on my adventure.

Bailey and I continued up to the base of the mountain, going no faster than 50 mph the entire way. We finally arrived and began our ascent.

It was amazing. We were literally sitting on top of a giant rock mountain. The summit is 2500 feet above sea level and the granite dome is 600 feet above the ground (I'm not sure how that works, but, long story short, I was really fucking high!). The first mile was literally a vertical climb. Both of us were panting halfway up. It totally kicked my ass (and B's), but the feeling from the top was absolutely amazing. Spectacular. Breathtaking. Humbling. Frickin' wonderful. I'd let the pics do the talking, but my computer sucks and won't let me upload pictures right now. When I figure it out, I'll post some. You can rest assured.
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