Greetings, to fellow hikers and to all, who are thankful for family heritage! My 186th hike, on House Mountain, was last Wednesday. This brief preface mentions yesterday's “life, such as it is,” situation. All, eventually, will be well.
Late yesterday morning, Mike, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's good first cousin, had arthroscopic surgery. Thankfully, the surgery went well, and Mike was discharged from the hospital, to his home, today. Thanks, Lord, for caring for Mike! I had planned to join my sister-in-law, who'd taken Mike to the hospital. The plan was for both of us to await the results, in the surgery waiting room. My plan to be there was forestalled.
Earlier yesterday morning, before my planned departure to the hospital, two large, dalmatian dogs invaded our property. The illegal invasion occurred, while I was talking by phone, with my sister-in-law, who was with Mike, at the hospital. One of the dogs attacked Molly, before I could stop it! Molly stood her ground and fought back. The aggressor dog nipped Molly, on her left ear, which bled. It's a puncture wound. In time, two neighbors (who have the same first name of Chuck) and I handled and secured the two invading dogs. I treated Molly's ear with peroxide and an antibiotic cream, which helped stop the bleeding and cleansed the wound. Thankfully, Molly is back to her usually playful personality. Later, a neighbor told me that a man, in a red pickup, got his two dalmatians. The neighbor didn't get the man's name. My plan is to drive around, looking for a house, with two dalmatians and a red pickup, in the yard! I want to give that man a righteously indignant, but sufficiently polite, piece of my mind! Yes, my Irish dander is still up!
Now that the “life, such as it is,” preface is behind us, let's move on, to enjoy our House Mountain hike, on Wednesday! How many times have you hiked along with me, by reading my articles about previous hikes? I've lost count.
This article takes you along, on another virtual hike. The next section is about the hike, with three photographs. Afterwards, the video that I recorded, on the west bluff, is about family heritage. Before the conclusion, I coin the phrase Hiking Wednesday! The conclusion ends, with the purchase of a gallon of milk!
Come on. Let's hike!
The 11/29/2023 Hike (with three photographs)
I wish that we'd not started so late. The time is 2:18 PM, when I tap the marker, near the covered picnic area. The morning low was 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The sky is a crisp blue and sunny. The wind is blowing, in gusts, at times. (That means rain, in a day or two.) The temperature is about 45 degrees. The T-shirt and long sleeve shirt are sufficient. Who needs a light jacket? Not me!
As we hike up the west trail, my usual route, we keep thinking about turning around, at one of the four lower or six upper switchbacks, to hike back out. I need to get a gallon of milk, before returning home, after all. Jesus' words, in Luke 9:62, come to mind: “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (NIV). In other words, we started this hike, to get to the west bluff. We have time. Don't look back. Let's finish what we started!
We meet Maurice and Angela, again! (They are hiking down, on the same west trail that we are hiking up.) The article of 10/26/2023 mentions that fine couple, in high regard. We won't reach the west bluff, in a good time now. That doesn't matter. We had several minutes of enjoyable conversation, with Maurice and Angela! I hope that we can keep in touch.
At 3:06 PM, we finally reach the west bluff The hike up and across was easy enough. We must have talked about 18 minutes, with Maurice and Angela. It took 48 minutes to reach the bluff. We made it in 30 minutes, on our last hike, on 11/16/2023 (as mentioned in the 11/19/2023 article).
I took the following photograph, at 3:09 PM. The view looks west.
Minutes ago, we had just climbed up that rocky area, to the right (or north) of the rock outcropping.
A minute later, I took the following photograph. I'm standing at the same spot, but I turned, to face northeast.
Caves and underground water must be beneath the mountain. The indications are all the rock protrusions. Also, I know where underground streams come out, on certain areas, on the two main trails that lead up (or down).
Thanks for your patience, while I record the video, which I started at 3:12 PM. (The video is in the next section, below.) About 3:25 PM, we are starting our careful hike back down the same west trail, up which we'd hiked. Why is my cell phone ringing? Once we're standing in a flat area, just below the west bluff, I see that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had called. I call her back, two minutes after she'd called. Well, she's on her way home, from work.
Let's make tracks! I still need to buy a gallon of milk, on the way home. Pausing, at 3:42 PM, I take the next photograph.
I see my shadow. Where is yours? We're hiking east, just under the ridgeline. The sun is behind us. Rock outcroppings are all around. As we continue, using hands and feet, we edge our way down what I call the near vertical rock formations.
Before we reach the first switchback, going down, we met and conversed with Seth, a young man. (We'd met an older man and him, on 5/4/2023, as mentioned, but not by name, in the 5/5/2023 article. Back then, Seth saw a tick on my cap.) That fine conversation will delay our hike back out. It doesn't matter. Seth seems to be a fine young Christian. I hope that he stays on the right trail in life.
As we are almost out, we meet a young man, hiking in. He has a very good camera with him. As we chat briefly, he knows that the sun will set, in about an hour. We're glad that he has a headlamp, to guide him, on his hike out, in the darkness. It reminds us of Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (NIV).
At 4:39 PM, I touch the marker, near the picnic area. Two hours and twenty-one minutes in the woods is better than not having been there!
The 11/29/2023 Podcast Episode (on the West Bluff)
This section presents, on Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (YouTube), my recorded comments, on the west bluff. The episode is: “House Mountain Hike 186, 11-29-2023: Thankful for Family Heritage (published 12-1-2023; episode 24).” I started recording, at 3:12 PM. I spoke three minutes and forty-four seconds. The description corrects three verbal errors. The brisk and cool wind, which the recording picks up, must have caused my mental stumbles!
I speak, in honor of family heritage. My Mom (Betty Lou Wood Ferrell) was born on 11/24/1932. This year, the 24th was the day after Thanksgiving. Papaw Marion Ferrell got the marriage license, on 11/24/1908. Granny and Papaw Ferrell were married, the next day, on 11/25/1908. Granny Ferrell was fifteen, turning sixteen, on 11/30/1908. The article of 11/30/2022 has a more complete mention of Granny and Papaw Ferrell.
I am thankful for the godly heritage, on both sides of my family. Are you building a godly family heritage? I hope so!
Who started Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Sofa Sunday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and Weeping Wednesday? I smell marketing gimmicks!
What little online research that I did indicates that Black Friday started, in 1869, when two investors caused a market crash of 20%. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, changed the meaning of Black Friday, to mean tourism and shopping. In the late 1980s, Black Friday became widely known as the frenzied shopping day, after Thanksgiving. It's called Black Friday, not Red Friday, since accountants use red ink for financial losses and black ink for financial gains. American Express started Small Business Saturday, in 2010. Apparently, Sofa Sunday was coined by someone. Years ago, when I first heard it, I thought that it meant to buy a sofa (or couch, as folks in Appalachia call it) on Sunday! Well, I figured out quickly that I was wrong. Sofa Sunday means that folks rest at home, in their pajamas, and do some online shopping. It's like Cyber Monday light, as I reckon. I hope that folks don't stay home, from church, on Sofa Sunday! The National Retail Federation (whatever that is) started Cyber Monday, in 2005. The 92nd Street Y (what and where ever that is) and the United Nations Foundation started Giving Tuesday, in 2012. Those folks wanted to counter the crass commercialization and consumerism of the Thanksgiving season. Weeping Wednesday was coined, for the day that a person realizes how much he or she had spent, in the last seven days!
Near the end of the video recording, I decree that the Wednesday after Thanksgiving is Hiking Wednesday -- not Weeping Wednesday! Henceforth, if you hear anyone talking about Weeping Wednesday, please correct them! It's Hiking Wednesday!
Thanks, fellow hiker, for hiking along virtually with me again! I'll see you later. I've got to get to the convenience store, which used to be called House Mountain Market, to buy a gallon of milk! My 2006 Frontier didn't want me to pause, to photograph him, this time! He knows that I'm in a hurry!
Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was already home, when I arrived. Handing her the gallon of milk, at the door, I went back to my truck, to get my canteen and cap. Once I was inside, she never did ask where I'd been, when we had talked by phone. It's our little secret! We were coming down the trail, not far from the middle bluff! Don't tell her!