We are just seeing a ton of deer! They are everywhere! The funny thing is, if you are in a vehicle, they don't recognize you as a threat. We can drive up right next to them and they will watch the van, but they won't bolt away. Dad has said he has even gotten very close to them on a sitting lawn mower. They don't seem to recognize the threat. But if one sees you on foot, all you're likely to see isthere white tail bouncing into the woods.
After my last blog, my parents took me to the Wal-Mart of outdoor equipment... Garner Mountain Outfitters. I was given a generous budget and told to go find my birthday present! That was fun! It had an indoor archery range, a gun section larger than Longs Drugs, and camo clothing as far as the eye could see. I ended up picking an unexpected item for my gift. It is a really fancy weather station that will track all kinds of data and will interface with our PC. It will help support me in some of my ham radio activities like being a SkyWarn spotter for the National Weather Service and creating an automated weather station using APRS (as part of Bryan's latest science fair project).
That night we had left-overs for dinner (I prefer to think of them as highlights) and watched 2 tremendous high definition documentaries on my dad's HD Direct satellite television. One was about the first photographs ever taken of a living Giant Squid in it's natural environment, and the other about the racing boat team "Miss Geico" which is the only team to use 2 jet turbines to power their 1860 horsepower racing boat to speeds of over 200 mph.
Today, after my favorite breakfast of Biscuits and Gravy (both made from scratch!) we headed up to Summersville for the day. The temperature had dropped tremendously and was somewhere between 45 and 50 degrees. We started by visiting my grandfather's grave. It was my first time there and I found it very moving. It is a very peaceful location with a beautiful headstone.
From there we went to Carnifex Ferry, the location of a large civil war battle and now a national park. We saw more deer, this time bedded down in a softball field like they owned it. They didn't even get up as we drove by. We got out and quickly found a nearby geocache, in which I was able to give out my last travel bug. From there we went on a short, cold, but very beautiful hike through the woods. Bradley collected oak leaves and I was looking for wild life.
Afterwards, we headed to Applebees for lunch, and then a few short stops on the way back home. At home we relaxed and Bryan and I played another game of NetRunner, a game we have learned to play while we were on this trip. It is a card game where one player takes the role of hacker and the other "The Corporation" and it's all about data security and hidden agendas. Complicated, but I think we finally have it sorted out.
Brad went on an errand with Papaw and saw a dozen more deer.
2 more HD shows (Secrets of Hawaii, and Jeff Corwin's Wildlife Experience) and then the kids and Em are off in bed, watching Chronicles of Narnia on DVD while I catch up on some online updates (like this).
Tomorrow is a down day to relax, but we have some more family coming over for a small birthday party. We're gonna make homemade ice cream! MMmmmmm.... Should be fun.
Saturday is very full, and we wake up to leave for Hawaii Sunday at 2:30am! Yikes! That hurts just thinking about it! Then it's right back to work on Monday (that hurts too).
Peace, Love and Packed Vacations,
(Details in this blog are subject to revision, spelling correction and photographic enhancement when I get home.)