I'm very thankful for this little house here in Arlington. I can walk around, take in the new paint job in the bedroom, gawk at my imported Christmas tree or sit out on the deck with the chiminea roaring warm and just smile. So as I'm sitting here smiling I figured I'd take a few minutes to type out the events of the last 12 days since they were a total blur of travel and fur.
Jump back to last Friday when Emmac had the brilliant and bold idea to travel to the snowy North to get a Christmas tree from my buddy Dave who sells them at Chuck Corby's dairy. It's a solid 6 hour drive but sometimes an impromptu road trip is in order. The sunset outside of Harrisburg was amazing.
The drive up went smooth until the snowy, icy roads slowed progress to a maple syrup pace. I was stressed about deer as we took the back roads along the finger lakes, I've never hit a deer before and I didn't want to break my record on a snowy road with a cliff on one side and thick pines on the other. It's a bit of a gauntlet but we made it through unscathed. I knew where to find Dave and surprised him at Thirsty's (one of only 2 bars in town). It was great to see Dave and par for this time of year he smelled of fresh pine. He spends about 12 hours a day, every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas at his stand loading cars with tress and tying wreathes. After a couple of strong bourbon's we headed back to his house and warmed up around the wood stove as the snow fell outside.
Dave showed off some of his new chainsaw carvings. His bears are green - sporting solar powered lanterns.
Next morning I called my Mom and told her to look out the front window as I pulled into her driveway. She seemed pretty happy since she was just about to go out and finish raking the yard. I was stoked to help her get the job done.
Next it was off to my Dad's place in Brockport to surprise him. His reaction was the same tho he chooses interesting words to show his emotions (when he saw my truck pull in he yelled into the phone "You Asshole!"). It's no wonder where I get my flair. Luckily his raking was all done which left time for lunch. I'm often very forgetful with the camera and left w/o a photo of Pop and I. Instead...
I was too preoccupied with my large doughnut scored at Tim Horton's, a Canadian chain that has infiltrated Upstate. I have to remember to get a photo of me and Pop at Christmas. We bid him adieu and hustled back to Dave's stand at the Dairy.
The place was packed like I've never seen. Amidst the construction on what will be a new dairy, Dave was loading up trees with a few of his helpers.
Left to right is Ginger the cow, some stoked little kid, a chubby guy in the background, Dave making obscene hand gestures, soccer-mom Julie, a proud new wreath owner and another stoked kid.
Dave is a true craftsman and artist - from chainsaw-carved bears to stick deer and rabbits, eagles and beavers,
big wood benches
to little birch ornaments
This dairy is legit, sporting the friendliest cow you've ever met. Here's Ginger greeting Emmac.
Feeding cows kicks ass.
But the slobber is a bit nasty.
I got to the business of picking out my tree. This is my "I just drove 400 miles for this tree" look. Dave's dog Tommy oversee's the loading process. "It's a real beaut, Clark."
Doug was there helping out and proud to show me his newly made ice-board. You know you're hard core when you windsurf so much you won't let a little ice and frigid temps stop you. This thing was sick, I have to give it a try when I head home again.
Take a look at the blades on this machine. SIIIIICK!
My Mom showed up and I remembered to get a photo of us.
I wanted to leave before sunset to make it through the gauntlet before dark. It wasn't to be. I was cruising down rt. 21 along Canandaigua towards Naples when the first deer appeared. It ran fast from my left across my path so I counter steered to the left to miss it. I watched as it safely outran my right front bumper. But I didn't see the one following it. The left bumper dispatched that doe at about 50mph. The truck was skidding with a steep drop to the left and a large rock wall to my right. I took off the breaks and felt the animal slide under both wheels. I was shocked as I jumped out and ran back to see if it was still alive. I don't think it was but the twitching was unbearable. Luckily another car pulled over to see if we were ok. This stranger was totally cool, first calming my nerves about the animal having suffered "...it died immediately, I'll call some friends to see if they want the meat. Don't worry, it didn't suffer..." then in helping me pull the bumper out from the tire. No friends of his wanted the carcass so I reported it to the State Troopers and hoped they'd get it to the nearby raptor center to be put to use as bird feed. The stranger helped me drag the deer off the road. It's legs were still warm. We left it on the side of the road and I drove away. I felt terrible the entire drive back to DC. Still sucks to think about it.
I've run over my allotted blog time for the day but I'll continue the story tomorrow.
On to Texas and saving dogs!