Big thunderstorms last night. Just a soaking rain all day, and now more rain. But that's a good thing. The fourth of July is my biggest worry every year. I can think of nothing that could blast me off the top of this mountain except fire. Over the fourth of July weekend, we usually have hundreds of tourists camping in the national forest. They light fires in prohibited areas. They walk away from campfires when the wind is blowing. They go for hikes on the trails and leave their camp fires blazing, no one there to watch it. They bring fireworks into the brittle dry forest and then are amazed when the bottle rockets, etc set fire to the underbrush and the pine needles.
At least this year I won't have to have my scanners tuned to the county emergency management net, the Sheriff's Department, the Department of Natural Resources, the EMT, and the Fire Department. But I probably will anyway.
I'd hate to miss all the activity. Little groups of 20 or so motorcyclists, on "crotch rockets" will come up here, driving as fast as they can. They will go around a steep twist on a mountain road, and the first two or three won't be able to make the curve. They'll hit the guard rail, go over it, and go flying off into space, ending up 400 feet down the side of the mountain on the rocks. Then the next poor guy who comes innocently driving by with a winch on his truck or Jeep will get commandeered by the State Police to haul the corpses back up the mountain. There are literally forests of little white crosses on the road over the big mountain here, but those motorcyclists never seem to make the connection.
Out at the lake, tourists who have hauled their huge motorboats all the way from Macon and points south will speed full tilt across the only wide part of the lake, and they'll ram into other boats because they are too drunk to steer. Small sailboats are their favorite prey. Then the divers have to come up from Atlanta and get the bodies off the bottom, unless the floaters get stuck in the weir at the dam. That's usually on the EMT freq and the Sheriff's Dept freq. There will be fist fights at the campgrounds, more as the day rolls on and usually coming to a glorious crescendo just before the fireworks display. Put a lot of city dwellers full of pent up frustration and rage in an environment where they think they can do anything they want, fuel it with boozing all day, put them in enforced proximity to other people like that on tiny camp sites, and the wives won't be able to keep a lid on it. The jail will be full by sunset on Friday is my bet.
Have you been watching "Alone" on History Channel? I've been amazed by the lack of moral fiber in some of the contestants. The policeman called for a pickup after his first night in the woods. The Floridian, whom I expected great things of, wet himself when he heard wolves at night and was gone the next morning. Clearly a poseur. I was embarrassed for him.
Then the Canadian lost his fire bar (the little ferrous rod you hit with a knife blade to strike sparks) and decided he couldn't survive without it, so he called for rescue. I mean, for God's sake.
Next a guy heard a bear outside his tent and had them come get him in the middle of the night. All these people make speeches as they are picked up about how it's not worth "risking their lives." Maybe they should have considered what they might run into before they wasted everyone's time.
The Georgian is still doing well. I am hoping he lasts out and gets the $500,000 prize. A couple of strange things, though. One contestant is shown chopping down trees with his ax (or at least, chopping at one), whining about how hard it is. Then we are shown a massive tree coming down, but it has clearly been cut with a chain saw, no ax mark on it. What ho? Have the kindly woodland elves been helping out on the sly?
The guy who got bear scared and called for rescue in the middle of the night had an interesting anomaly. Both the contestant and the rescue crew were supplied with top of the line GPS gear, and the contestant had a GPS marker that made him easy to find. But much hot air was wasted on the difficulty of finding him, and dear me, can we reach him in time to save him from the dreadful bruin? Dramatic music throbs in the background as they discuss this peril.
Well, it's tv but really, if they are faking it they should at least try to do a good job of it. You can tell the difference between the arm chair survivalists who have never been in the woods, and the real deal like the Georgian, who is comfortable there. That's not faked. The other thing I notice is that some people are taking it day by day, staying positive and they are doing well. Others spend all their time sharing their "emotions", boo hoo, I miss my family, etc, basically whining and they tend to be the guys who find some B.S. excuse for calling for pick up.
Attitude in adversity really does count. Staying positive matters. Those aren't just cliches and if nothing else, this show has emphasized that, however unintentionally.
When my son was young (and I was young) we used to go off into the national forest to explore. Those were some of the best times I've had. We used a compass and a topo map, GPS wasn't around in the hand held versions they have today. We would stay out three or four days. Sometimes we moved every day, and sometimes we would find a particularly good spot and just stay there. We went out into parts of the forest nobody had been in for a very long time, way off away from any roads or the Appalachian trail. When you are out in the woods where there's just you and nature, it's the most peaceful feeling you can have. No bosses. No aggravating people to have to interact with. It's tranquil, particularly by the camp fire. Sounds like a canard but it's the truth.
Anyone who knows me knows I am very careful to stay informed about events , especially now that my own homeland is under attack. But I heard not one word of the events in this article, not on the news web pages and not on the MSN on tv or radio. It took a friend forwarding this article to me from a British paper for me to learn of it. That speaks volumes of just how firmly the news media is in the grip of the leftards in this country.
Link posted below: