up Englishman's Creek Gorge again Tuesday, April 20 2004
This morning the dogs and I showed Gretchen the Englishman's Creek Gorge, which is basically across the street, concealed all these months by a neighbor's yard and dense forest. To get there, we used the route I'd taken the first time I went there a couple weeks ago, heading first down the valley and then crossing Dug Hill Road to enter the gorge below its steepest-walled section. Last time I'd stuck to the creek at the floor of the gorge, but this time we climbed the other side of the valley and soon found a well-maintained logging road (though it looked like it was being maintained exclusively for bicyclists and pedestrians). This kept us far above the bottom of the gorge and we completely missed out on the spectacular cliffs I'd seen last time. The topography was so steep both above and below us that the landscape seemed out of place here in the East. Mind you, at the time we were only a quarter of a mile away from where I type these entries.
I knew from the topo map and hearsay that there was a sort of a waterfall on Englishman's Creek. When I heard the rushing water, I came down from the trail to have a look. It wasn't so much a waterfall as a steep set of rapids. Englishman's Creek had cut through a 30 foot-thick deposit of soft bluestone like it was wedding cake but then it had bottomed out on a hard layer of sandstone. The sandstone was so solid and unweathered that it looked like a manmade structure.
We crossed the creek and came up out of the gorge, which (above the falls) wasn't a gorge anymore. Eventually we found our way to a big hideous new prefab McMansion being constructed in the middle of an absurdly treeless clearing in the forest. A sign at Dug Hill Road claimed it to be "Another Lincoln Log Home." Our route today can be seen as the brown path on the following map.
This evening I rediscovered TransMac, a program allowing me to mount Macintosh volumes on a PC. I'd known about this program in the past but something had made me forget. Perhaps it's the restrictions that it suffers from when you don't register it. I'll bet I didn't know about Astalavista.box.sk the last time I used it. Anyway, TransMac is going to make Muskrat into the ultimate benchtop computer, because now I can use it to salvage Macintosh hard drives as well as those that come from PCs. I've never actually had to do this without also having a disassembled Mac to help me, and I was dreading the day when I'd have to take apart my iMac just to recover some poor sucker's lost volume. Now that day never has to come.
Given the enormous pressure on this administration in an election year, all the news out of Iraq these days is suspect. I have to believe a good fraction of it is made up purely as psychological warfare. Take, for example, the news the other day that "leaders in Falluja" are negotiating with insurgents so that maybe they'll play nice and hand over their weapons (though nothing was said this time about handing over the rapscallions who mutilated those Halliburton guys). This was touted as big news and a sign that we're "turning a corner." But who exactly are these leaders? Are these the guys that Americans consider leaders? If so, do they even know any insurgents? My guess is that such "leaders" are living fat and happy in Baghdad's Green Zone, far away from the besieged city of Falluja. They're screwing hookers, playing poker with Chalabi, and occasionally placing phone calls to the guys handling their bank accounts. These are the guys Republicans think should be running a "democratic" Iraq.