It takes roughly 15 minutes to cover six miles from the state highway to The Mountain. Rarely do we encounter other traffic, whether we’re coming or going. Today those country roads were downright jammed — we saw three vehicles on our way in, three more on the way back out.
Well, it is a Sunday.
This would be a different kind of day for us. We didn’t do an any real work. We didn’t go for a hike and we didn’t run the Ranger up and down the trail. We didn’t treat this like a visit at all — we just showed up and acted like we belong there.
It was a spectacular day to do that.
While Deb’s cousin chased electrical gremlins in the crawl space under his cabin, I borrowed a patch of floor in his garage (and a few of his tools) and assembled a sturdy steel cargo basket that’ll attach to Mercy’s hitch receiver. We bought it for fetching gasoline from Yellville or nearby Flippin, allowing us to keep fumes and spills outside the passenger compartment. I can see us using it on the UTV, too, for hauling firewood and tools, supplementing the buggy’s bed.
We did take the Ranger out, first driving it down the road and marking a few points. (See yesterday’s post.) Then it was back to the cleared area, where I dropped Deb off and continued on toward her cousin’s place.
It was an exercise we’d been planning for a while. Communication, whether routine or critical, is a top priority for us, and we wanted to see how well our Midland GMRS handhelds would perform on The Mountain. (We already use a pair of basic GMRS walkie-talkies, by the way, when maneuvering the motorhome in campgrounds.)
As I rolled up and down the road I keyed the mic and called out certain landmarks. Deb acknowledged each one. From the top to the bottom, even with terrain in the way, transmission and reception were loud and clear.
That’s a big deal. We’ll do more testing, probably to and from the summit and maybe the southeast corner, but the most important checkout is done. We’re thrilled with the results.
Tomorrow promises to be another clear and unseasonably warm day, and I believe we’ll take full advantage. It may be our last shot at returning to The Mountain before a blast of winter weather arrives later in the week.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.