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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Joy of Roy

Sometimes when you are going through a rough patch, life introduces you to someone or something that brings a smile to your old curmudgeonly face... that for me has been Roy Boy.  I have never been around a Bassett Hound until I met Roy in June. My daughter married a wonderful young man this summer and I became an instant Grandma to Roy. Both of the kids work at LeConte Lodge in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you are unfamiliar, it is a remote mountain resort on the summit of the Smokies. Access is by several different  trails varying from approx. 5-8 miles. They stay on the mountain for about 3 weeks at a time and come down for a week or so. Roy stays with me and my dogs.                                      I can stand in my yard and look up at the mountain and sometimes, on a clear day, see the outline of the roof of some of the cabins.
Reservations are made about a year in advance. The season is from mid March to mid November. A good link is if you would like to read or learn more about the lodge. Alyson and Chris Virden are the lodge caretakers. Alyson writes a great daily blog complete with her fantastic photographs.
At the beginning of the season, all the large items such as propane tanks, pallets of canned food and other large items are dropped by air left via a helicopter. During the season, a team of llamas make the trek twice a week to the lodge to bring supplies and to take down laundry and other items.  Many people day hike and visit the lodge area, rest for a while and then head back down. I have done that a couple times in my life before the old devil Fibromyalgia took up residence in my body. I would usually go in Boulevard trail , about 8 miles and then down Alum a 5 mile jaunt. You certainly knew you
had been on a hike the next day, but it was sure worth it. Below is a picture of me and my mom taken in 1984. We did the round trip 13 mile journey that day.
I had my daughter pose in the same area and recreate the shot earlier this year. I would give anything to be beside her, but I am not physically able to go in person, but oh how I go in my mind from time to time. I can smell the pine forest and the distinct odors that the higher elevations produce. I sure do miss the little things of life.
 Note she took my walking stick I have in the picture from 1984. My dad gave it to me in the 1970's. His uncle had made it from a grape vine and it was probably 50 years old at that time.

Today my daughter posted this on her Facebook page:

Yep, what ever mother wants to see... the fruit of your womb out dangling on a ledge. She definitely is her mothers child. But if I were on Leconte I would be admiring the sunset from the ledge too.
 I have totally digressed from Roy Boy.  He just makes me smile on bad days, which have been too many lately. The rain and weather in the south has been hell on us folks with muscle/joint issues this summer.              
 My other doggies, which are smaller and much shorter, dance in little circles while I am making their meals. Roy has been observing this and decided to try it. But considering he is so long, he had to make a large loop to get that body to make a completed, albeit very slow circle. He looked like the slinky dog from Toy Story.
Apparently, from what I can read, Bassett's are the comedians of the dog kingdom. His short little legs and those huge Bassett ears are in themselves enough to bring a smile, not to mention that face.  Today he decided to have a running frenzy in the yard and all I could think of was Dumbo. I expected him to go airborne at any minute and circle over my head. Yes, Roy was a much needed diversion this summer.
Below are a few more Mt. LeConte photographs.
LeConte Lodge 

Courtney and Beau taking a sunshine break earlier this month...lucky ducks!

interior of cabins