The Crooked Arm  12/11/11

 There seems to be a crooked one amongst us, a true outlaw.

We gathered to celebrate the birthday of one Luke Loveday, on the right.  His brother, Clint reminds him that he will never, ever be big enough to whip him, though and if he starts to get uppity, there was going to be another Loveday Smackdown, downtown, on the Crooked Arm.

The water was a ragin' as we ascended the Rich Mountain Loop on this fine December day.

I could've maybe gottena bit closer but...I didn't.

We climbed into what remained of the snows last week.  It was indeed chilly atop the hill with temperatures in the middle twenties Saturday evening. 

These tents all belonged to us.  You see, most folks don't use the Smokies backcountry whatsoever.  In all our years of utilizing this particular spot, and I'd dare say I've stayed there 25 or 30 times, we've only once had company.  That is the norm for the SouthernHighlanders in the backcountry of the Smokies.  I am told that Ditmanson now admits that, "Perhaps overcrowding was the wrong argument to use."  I'd say old Boy,  I'd say.

The Cades Cove loop was overcrowded, though.  Sunday, the sun glistened off line after line of non ambulatory vehicles.  Those vehicles need roads and policing.

As the sun set, we decided to break with tradition and have a campfire. It was, after all, Lukes birthday so what the hey.   We went all in.

Joey would've been proud.

We even had a Ricky Bobby driveby and a Will Howe sighting.

Will is a veterinarian.  A doctor of vet medicine.  That does not give him the right to criticize one of our two true Highlander veterans, though.  Jerky Mike says that the next time Will calls him "Baby Killer" he will drop Napalm on his Hubba Hubba, whatever that means.

One thing Will does like to do, though, is give thought provoking and insightful seminars on animal husbandry to the collected Highlander clan.  Saturday evening was no exception.  We were all very captivated until the demonstration portion during which Bobby admitted feeling, "somewhat uncomfortable."  In response to your inquiry, Bobby, I don't know if he ever coached a team or not.

Jonathon opts out of the demonstration citing a pre existing condition.

Sally Dumplin says,  "That's funny stuff!"  Now do dem dishes!

There was some type of transaction here to which we were not privy.

Here, Jed Clampett sees if he can attach a few more things to his pack.  How about a seat for Granny, there, Jack Huff?

And we depart our respective ways, into the beautiful weekend that has characterized our Fall backpacking this year in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It has been a splendid year, with great company and indescribable weather.  I hope that everyone enjoys the holidays, we will be breaking from the Smokies next week to visit another National Park.  Cheating on our mistress, so to speak.