"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hard Rain

I wish I had captured a screen shot of the weather radar from Wednesday night.  We had family and friends calling us to see if we were all right, and at the time they called it wasn't even raining, even though the radar said it should have been.  There were tornadoes moving rapidly from the southwest in our direction.  It wasn't until about midnight that torrential rains like I hadn't experienced since living in Florida came crashing down on us.

Praise God that nothing else came crashing down with it.

I am always in awe of the power of water and gravity together.  We can get a lot of rain up here on this mountain, but it usually comes down at a rate that merely creates a nuisance in high volume.  Early Thursday morning it came down in enough volume to move hundreds of pounds of gravel many feet.

The pictures can only do it slight justice, since, without stereoscopic vision, you can't see how much of the gravel is heaped up down at the end where it is spilling over into the grass.  It took me many trips with a wheelbarrow to move it back up the hill and dump it into the washout areas. I'm still not done, and it's Friday morning.

The deepest part of this gully was more than 12 inches deep. I actually wish I had gotten out of bed and taken the flashlight out to try to see how much water was flowing past the house to move that much gravel. Many of the large pieces of granite you see in this picture are nearly two inches wide or long.

Along the steps where the Japanese iris are, it has been washed out to a depth of nine to twelve inches and what little amount of gravel was there got washed nearly forty feet down to the chicken coups.  For this to have been the only "damage" that we suffered makes me feel mighty blessed.  The good thing about where we are located is that we are to the east of the biggest mountain in Georgia, Brasstown Bald.  Twyla and I went up there recently.  You talk about a strong woman.  In spite of having Fibromyalgia and Lupus, she climbed the path from the parking area to the observation tower.  That's six tenths of a mile horizontally and about a thousand feet vertically.  Even I was sore the next day.

Historical marker at the top of the trail, just outside the observation tower.
The reason this makes our location so special is that it puts on the leeward or sheltered side of this big mountain.  We are actually kind of nested in the curve of a horseshoe shaped ridge of mountains.  So a weather system that comes rushing at us from the southwest has to slam into Brasstown Bald and the entire ridge before it can hit us.

You can't see our house from the observation deck, but you can see part of the Bald Mountain Park that is at the entrance to where we live.

Home is actually somewhere below that label in the picture.  Our house is at 2600 feet elevation and where we are standing on the observation deck taking that picture is about 4,800 feet.  And while the distance as the crow flies is just over 2.2 miles from there to the house, the shortest driving distance is 16.7 miles.

Someday soon, I might take my little GPS unit and try hiking a straight line from our house up to Brasstown Bald.  Can't say whether or not I'd be successful, since I don't know what obstacles might be between here and there.  I'm hoping to one day find a wild sassafrass sapling that I could transplant in our yard.  That's some of the best tasting tea you'll ever have and it's medicinal to boot.

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