A Beautiful Birthday Weekend

What could be better than a trip to Crowders Mountain on a perfect Saturday afternoon?

Both the weather and our camera this time was good enough–and we’d just finished our second photography class that morning–to get some vague shots of Charlotte. Out zoom lens (55-200 mm) isn’t quite zoomy enough to really compress the distance, but it was fun trying, especially when we needed to manually focus or do a focus lock.

Instead of just doing the 0.75 mile trek to the top and back (which includes 300+ damn stairs), we decided to hike some of the back trails. All in all, I think we covered 5-ish miles, but my goodness. The Rocktop trail mentions that you’ve have to climb over some rocks. Very nice of them to warn you.

What they don’t tell you is that you’ll be facing a 4 foot wide stone “crawl way” (no way I was walking on that) with pretty steep drops to either side.

I don’t do heights well, and I’m not a super-great climber, so I was shakily crawling on hands and knees over it. Unfortunately, I was too damn nervous to take any pictures of it.

Let’s not mention how often we had to check for blazes to make sure we were still on the trail. I’m sure one of my Boy Scout buddies wouldn’t have had a problem, but I was foiled by being amongst real nature, and Muad’Dib gets lost when all that temperate climate flora starts showing up.

My shoulder was in great form that day, meaning only once or twice (including coming down off of the above catwalk) did I overextend, but it never buckled or truly hurt. Full recovery by Monday morning, too.

Aside from that, the trail was long and not really the kind of strenuous I was expecting. It was loose rock-and-clambering strenuous, not steep-hills-and-roots-to-trip-over strenuous. I’ve faced worse at Reedy Creek on my weekly runs, and I’m really in much better shape than I was two years ago.

(Can I just say what a pleasant season this is? My birfday, our six-month married/6.5 year together mark, and our engagement anniversary.)

Blissfully, neither Greg nor I were sore on Sunday, although I pretty much fell asleep in my wine on Saturday night.

I spent Sunday making a knitting needle case, which involved lots of cutting, binding, and general sewing. It was a blast; I haven’t sewn anything in ages, and had plenty of fabric sitting around (although not in many colors). I’m more than glad to get all my damn knitting needles in one place. I haven’t yet accidentally bought duplicates of anything, but it’s been a close call. Plus, you know, I haven’t been able to find what I need, resulting in much flapping.

Greg and the cats get scared when I flap with 14-inch knitting needles.

Sunday night was amazing Vietnamese at Lang Van and dessert at Amelie’s. Sweet curry with huge chunks of sweet potatoes, pork and basil rolls, and excellent company. I’ve had a taste for them for months.

A plethora of photos are available.

Also, I finally talked to my mother for the first time since the wedding. We’re terrible about not keeping in touch, despite the fact that we truly like each other.

Hello, age 27. Let the party begin.