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The water at Laurel Springs flowed quite enthusiastically after the previous night’s rain. We crossed safely, but it seemed a little iffy. It provided good crowd control, as we had the trail to ourselves from that point on for most of the afternoon. Shortly after crossing the foot bridge, we entered into a “bear activity” warning area. While stopped to eat lunch, we heard some suspicious grunts. We never saw anything, but I suspect a bear was near.
Ramsey Cascades topped the next day’s agenda. Getting to the Ramsey Cascades trail head involved a drive over some narrow gravel roads. Said roads featured some interesting potholes, but the car came out unscathed, thanks to my stellar 10mph driving. When it came Matthew’s turn on the way out, he upped our speed to a whopping 12 mph.
The 8-mile RT hike to the Ramsey Cascades was lovely, with many water crossings along the way. I wore my new Five Fingers for part of the hike — much better than those horrible hiking boots I wore in Glacier (bemoaned here and here).
Why yes, I did mean that literally. And yes, I am wearing socks with my sandals. It’s what all the cool kids do, trust me.
I hugged this tree on the Ramsey Cascades trail. Logging companies stripped most of the original trees from the area that became Smoky Mountains National Park. This old growth tree, and a few others, stand as a reminder.
Turns out, I was in good company with the tree hugging thing.
Just found out that the case against the uninsured AND unlicensed driver who hit my husband was, “dismissed on payment of court costs.” Ah, our justice system at work, complete with sleazy traffic lawyers.
I wonder how much the court fees cost. I’m paying over $800 a year to drive my car around legally, but I might be on to something here — drop the insurance altogether and pay the court cost if I happen to be caught driving without insurance. And a driver’s license? Apparently I don’t need that, either! If you can’t beat ‘em . . . .
Meanwhile, our SUV driving friend, who SHOWED NO REMORSE when he hit a bicyclist, is probably out there driving around, right now. Watch out, St. Louis!
Think you’re safe where you are? I recently read that, nationwide, at least 1 in 7 (and possibly as high as 1 in 4) drivers are uninsured. Now, my thoughts on car insurance (cough-SCAM-cough) would be the subject of a whole other post, but the fact that some of us are buying into it, while a large chunk of people are not? That’s just wrong. And I wager that most of the uninsured drivers are some of the least responsible and most dangerous vehicle operators out there.
Now I must go take deep breaths and think happy thoughts to reign in my blood pressure. Good thing it’s ridiculously low to start, or I might really be in trouble!
I recently read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. Pollan recommends eating “real” food, which he defines in detail (if you want the details, read the book). It’s a safe bet that eating real food will be better for you and better for the planet.
Enter the health fair I worked last week. Since I knew I would be working late, I lack a good excuse for being ill-prepared, but I found myself in desperate straights, food-wise, with a bag of Sun Chips in my hand. There I was, a health educator, working at a health fair, eating chips. Suffice it to say that I consumed said chips surreptitiously.
To further torture myself, I could not help but look at the nutrition label, which broke Pollan’s, “less than five ingredient,” guideline by, oh, about 30 ingredients. This included some special ones like Yellow 5 Lake (artificial color) and the ever ubiquitous, “natural flavor” — ingredients that clearly put this “food” outside of the real food realm.