Monday, October 23, 2006

Marion County, May 2006 (Part VI)

We’ve added another member to the crew, Jason, and his first day is a tough one. The haul up the first mountain is long and steep. Then we go back down. Then we start back up again. I walk a bit ahead and as the day progresses my lead increases. Jason is a smoker, but assures me that within a week he’ll be “battle hardened”; little do we know that it won’t take him nearly that long. As we start our final ascent of the day Jason stops and gasps, “I’ve gotta take a fiver.” I’m about 40 feet in front (and 20 feet above) him, so I sit on a nearby rock and wait. I’m not concerned. I figure he’ll do okay--at least as well as anyone else could be expected to do.

After a few minutes we start up again. When we reach the top of the mountain Jason looks a little peaked. I almost feel a pang of worry, but it quickly passes. The concern I feel for Allison, on the other hand, is steadily growing. She has developed a rash on the back of her leg and has been having trouble sleeping. She’s also been having headaches and experiencing joint pain. I’ve told her that she needs to get checked for Lyme disease as soon as we get back to Knoxville. She's replied, with all the confidence she can muster, that she knows she doesn’t have Lyme disease and will be fine. I ask her to go anyway. In the meantime, we’ve given her the easiest transects, usually the ones closest to the vehicle. On this day, therefore, she’s finished long before us and has been sleeping in the bed of the truck for the last couple hours.

As Jason stumbles wearily up the dirt road I see Carl on a deer stand—more like a deer platform—that someone has built way up in a high-tension tower. He waves and it looks like he’s having fun, so I stop and once he comes down I go up. At the top the platform (a piece of wood simply laid across a corner angle) is small and the footing precarious. It’s a very long way down. I wonder for a moment what hunter would be crazy enough to sit up here with a gun waiting for a deer to pass by below. Then I quickly realize there’s plenty of ‘em. Hell, now I’m up here too.

Alright, there's a little photo trickery here. The first and third shots are from Hamilton County, not Marion. That middle photo is from inside a coal mine in Sequatchie County. Did you know you can die from going in old coal mines? The culprit is known as "black damp." We'll get to that later.


SD said...

Amazing scenery in these shots. However, the rusted bones of old automobiles are still my favorites!

Jmhouse said...

Thanks! I love old, rusted cars too. Did I mention these?:

I suppose I probably did.