When Deb and I returned to Ernie and the dogs last night we stopped, dropped and flopped. All we wanted to do was kick back and smile about our first Thanksgiving Day on The Mountain.
There would be no Ubi Libertas Blog post yesterday.
Wednesday night brought rain heavy enough to disquiet my girl Scout, who ended up in bed with us. She turned 11 years old yesterday, and as she’s aged she’s lost some of her nerve. I can relate.
By morning a stiff wind was rocking the bus. The air turned much colder for the holiday, too. We dressed for it, packed an extra layer (just in case), loaded up our contributions to the Thanksgiving table and aimed Mercy east.
After making a quick stop for gas on the way out of town — $3.039, by the way — we quickly covered the distance to our turn in Yellville. Traffic was light, naturally.
The final stretch up The Mountain, with the oaks having shed most of their leaves, treated us to views of neighboring ridges we’d not seen before. We stopped around the halfway point, lingering so that Deb could snap a few pictures.
Eight of us gathered in the small cabin to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving. Americans that we are, there was food enough for an army. Conversations were easy and warm. We watched the sun set and the stars come out.
The best of times.
Deb and I don’t often drive after dark anymore — there’s rarely need to — but it definitely was dark when we left around 7pm. Easing our Jeep through the blackness toward the county road reminded us just how isolated the place is.
That trip also told us that Mercy’s lighting leaves much to be desired, especially since we intend to spend a lot more time on The Mountain. Even on the highway we found ourselves outrunning the headlights at the posted limit of 55mph. Only Deb’s attentiveness kept us from taking out a whitetail doe crossing US 62.
On these remote Ozarks roads we’d feel better with a lot more throw from the headlights (on the highway) and a wider pattern from auxiliary beams (when we’re traveling more remote roads). That’s something we’ll investigate soon.
Today? Maybe — or maybe not. Our calendar is clear.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.