Friday, July 04, 2008


Last Sunday, Clare and I took Anastasia and the Jeep for some joy-riding after Church. Now, I used to be critical of Sunday drivers for no good reason, but these days it seems to me to be the most natural thing in the world. You know, to head out for ice cream, or a snack, and a cruise/adventure after Sunday Mass.

Fate first brought us to Woodstock, Va., where I replaced a dying Jeep battery, probably the original, and threw in some more coolant. Ready for further adventure, I took us to Fort Valley to Seven Fountains Road, where I discovered this incredibly spectacular setting.

I rolled the Jeep down into this mini-valley off-road--without a problem, of course--and snapped the shot you see here. For me, it doesn't exactly the do the moment the true justice it deserves, or capture totally the sheer granduer of the surrounding mountains and seemingly elusive Blue Ridge in the distance. Still, it does reveal something of that moment's greatness. When I hopped back in the Jeep, I victoriously proclaimed, "To go where no Jeep has gone before."

In other news, Clare and I just purchased a Jotul F3 woodstove (used) from a guy south of Charlottesville. In case you are wondering why I drove so far to get this thing, let me just first answer that the price was right for this certifiably kick-ass Norway-approved, Norway-made heat source.

Similar to the scene in the picture above, he lived on the short side of a mountain at the bottom of a majestic valley. To get to his house, I took a gravel road through an Orchard that literally had to have had something like 3000-4000 apple trees. It was incredible, especially shortly before sunset when I arrived. I wish I had pics to show, but suffice to say the view felt like the crowning achievement to a long drive. Being already familiar with this area before driving down, I was more than happy to further justify the trip to myself to see some spectacular views. And am I glad I did.

I will post pics of the stove in the future after the install, but for more information on Jotul (which is pronounced "yo-dul"), check out their website.

Over and Out,