In Search of Big Tom
Last night, there was, without question, the BIGGEST lightning storm I have ever experienced. Lightning was all around the “Owl’s Nest” cabin---cracking and thundering…and needless to say, every loud pop made me think of every Stephen King movie I have seen in the last five years. The rain poured on the tin roof---which is fine with me because I love the sound of rainstorms.
After an Ambien-induced, blissful couple of hours, I awoke around 1 a.m. to an INCREDIBLY loud clap, a blinding spark and a long, loud “fizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.” Evidently, lightning struck a transformer just above the cabin I was staying…part of my power was out for a while (not a big deal) but it did really jolt me awake. I think that is the closest I have ever been to a lightning strike in my life (and of course, it sounded as if it were right on top of the roof---and I thought for a minute lightning had struck the roof itself. ) I then heard what I thought was the outside glass light fixture shatter (there was the loud sound of breaking glass) but upon not finding anything in the morning, I wrote it off to imagination.
Today I went to Mt. Mitchell and went through the museum display that features my great great grandfather (I learned it was two “greats”--I had erroneously reported three earlier). There was a life size wood carving. The rangers allowed me to go through the Mt. Mitchell archives for a while. They were incredibly nice and professional.
I had a little hang time, hooked up with a nice couple from Waynesville, and went about one hour into the Balsam nature trail. About halfway in, it started to rain, then pour and then really pour, and by the time I got back to my car, I was pretty soaked.
Animal count: 7 wild turkeys in my driveway this morning 6 wild turkeys met on the parkway (clarification--I’m not talking about people, these were actual turkeys.)
I got back just in time for supper (food here is fantastic!) and went back to my cabin to settle in for the evening. I’m starting to feel overwhelmed because the information I got today was complete sensory overload, and for the first time in ??? I haven’t checked my e-mail all day….I’m sure that’s good for me and character building and all that jazz.
BTW---I highly recommend the restaurant on Mt. Mitchell, along with the cool Balsam gift shop there. It is a great place to get small gifts for people who are generous enough to help out with work so you can take the week off (wink, wink, nod, nod).
Enjoy these photos: of me with a woodcarving of Big Tom on Mt. Mitchell---