A photo’s worth

In yesterday’s blog post I wrote about a view we look forward to when returning from The Mountain, a brief glimpse of peaks southwest of our route. I illustrated my description of that landmark with a topo map.

Later it occurred to me that it deserved more than a map. I wasn’t sure if we’d ever snapped a photo from that perspective, so I dug through our images from the last several months.

I found only one, shot on a snowy day in mid-January, and it appears here and as today’s header image. Deb snapped it from Mercy’s passenger seat while we were rolling, so it’s not perfect but right now it’s the best I can do.

Behind the trees and the utility pole on the left side of the road you can see the silhouettes of Boat Mountain, Pilot Mountain and Sulphur Mountain. The peaks are between eight and ten miles away, their summits roughly 1,100 feet higher than the point where this photo was taken.

Those mountains are home to the headwaters of Crooked Creek. But that’s not all.

There’s a topographic principle known as “parentage,” and within that is something called “proximate parentage.” A given peak’s “proximate parent” can be defined simply as its nearest higher neighbor.

Stay with me.

Right next to what we’ve christened “The Mountain” in Marion County is Hall Mountain. This morning I learned that Hall Mountain’s “proximate parent” actually is Pilot Mountain, the more conical peak to the right (north) of plateau-like Boat Mountain. The summits of Hall and Pilot are 24 miles apart.

Given the adjacent relationship of Hall Mountain to The Mountain, I’m fairly certain that the former is the latter’s “proximate parent.” You know what that means, right?

Pilot Mountain, a landmark peak we notice every time we drive west on US Route 62, is The Mountain’s “proximate grandparent.” And yes, Boat Mountain is its “proximate great-grandparent.”

(Those aren’t real topographic terms, by the way. I made ’em up.)


The sound of falling sleet is inescapable — loud inside the bus and, believe it or not, downright deafening outside. I had to dump both waste-water tanks this afternoon, a job that can’t be dodged or postponed on account of weather, and I’d have to say that these are my least favorite conditions for being outdoors.

Over the last 11 months I’ve done the dumpin’ deed in all kinds of weather. But a still-air temp of 17°F with a wind chill of 7°F, all while being pelted with tiny balls of ice, takes the grand prize.

I don’t choose the weather, of course — I get what I get. I’d still rather be here in The Ozarks than anywhere else on Earth.

See, when you find a place that feels like Home, you deal. That’s not merely a choice — it’s a rule.

And we’ll be dealing with this icy nonsense a little while longer. We’ve dipped into the last third of Ernie’s propane supply, which should be enough to get us through the wintry snap. It’s possible that we’ll have to replenish it next week.

Beginning this weekend, and over the next couple of weeks, both our activity and our focus will shift. We’ll need to become productive in different ways, involving The Mountain as well as the motorhome.

By the looks of the forecast, weather will cooperate. Spring is coming.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon