Kota was prepared for a chilly evening with his new scarf.
Steve did a great job on the grill making sure everything was cooked properly. Jason despite nursing a pretty bad cold knocked up an awesome salad and prepared some chicken. We had some issues trying to see our food in the dark while we were eating but that didn't deter us. Jason had thought ahead and wore a head lantern at which the rest of us sneaked some wistful glances. All was going extremely well until Emily suddenly toppled over in her chair sideways. She was on a bit of a slope and unfortunately had to rescue herself since the rest of us were beside ourselves howling with laughter. She lost her chicken and a fork but resiliently restocked her plate and resumed her position by the fire. Amazingly enough she toppled over again a little later, this time losing her mulled cider and a shoe. Jason went to her aide bent double with mirth but Steve and I were helpless.
I did make Emily some more cider while Jason snuck in 40 winks trying to battle his cold.
He felt much better the next morning as I cooked eggs and bacon with home fries and toast. Fully fueled we grabbed our cameras and set off to explore Marshall.
We started off walking around by the railway track and photographing the old buildings and construction materials. There were some huge puddles so I got the others to stand in front of one of them.
There are a few abandoned houses in Marshall which I've intentionally avoided until I had company to explore them with.
This old house was beautiful with some lovely detailing and a decaying charm. The neighbors didn't know its history so I'll have to do some research and find out what happened to it. It's past saving unfortunately, so much of the wood is rotten.
The next place wasn't as old and didn't have the appeal of the first. It was empty inside with old farm buildings tumbling down at the back, one of which was an old chicken house.
The third house was directly across the street and I'd noticed a few weeks previously that junk from inside had been piled up out front.
There was an old shack out the back with a water pump inside which worked . Emily and I opened the back door and went inside. The place was filled with junk and was in a terrible state; a dank gloom hung in the air. We walked through and suddenly Emily realized that someone was actually still living here. A coffee pot had its light on and as she backed out I noticed an electric fire was switched on in the lounge area. I quickly looked around just to check that nobody was hurt and helpless then scuttled out the back after the others. We were all a little quiet as we brooded over the fact that we'd seen first hand how some folks in this day and age still lived in such squalid conditions. It was a sad cold truth and I wondered how that person would cope in the winter. I'll keep an eye on the house from now on.
We stopped at the local deli and spotted these canned drinks which were banned from quite a few states because of their claim to be energy drinks. With high caffeine and 12% alcohol, they proved to be lethal in a few cases by over eager school kids. The caffeine has since been removed but we were impressed by their notoriety and bought one each. My orangeade version was delicious but one can was definitely enough.
I had a quick look in the Crime Times to check Emily's mugshot wasn't present.
We went back to Meadow House and soon everyone left as I was driving down to Gordonsville to chop up some wood at Rob's. He'd got a great deal from a friend and we'd both bought about 2 cords for $125 each, a bargain for me as a cord up here is $200 without delivery charges.
I'll have to get a better recording of Sam honking as he sounds hilarious when going full throttle. Once the wood was chopped we decided to go for a walk. We headed towards where the chair is on the side of the road. I've always called this my chair and taken a few photos of it perched in the the undergrowth, sometimes in full sun and sometimes in the snow. Somebody had moved it to the side of the road and turned it upside down on top of a mattress. It had been there a few weeks and not been taken away as we'd supposed so I wanted to put it back in its original position.
This guy was cutting the grass alongside the road and reminded me of the band ZZ Top. He'd even put flame graphics on his mower and was happy to let me take his photo.
My poor old chair. I did try to right it but it smelled bad and was a bit slimy so I gave up my quest and promptly disowned it.
Rob of course had to stop at some point for a pose.
Warning, Heidi, a bug picture is further down!
On the way back we kicked a large pine cone back and forth. It made it back to the house but had lost all of its seeds and was just a husk by the time we finished with it. We had walked about 3 miles and ended up sitting on the porch drinking beer and munching on peanuts waiting for Katie, Rob's daughter to arrive so we could put the cap back on the truck. This was one job which I was very sure that just two of us couldn't manage.
I couldn't identify this on Google but think it's some kind of leaf cricket. It was about 1.5 inches long.
Rob got me to back the tractor up to the trailer with the cap on it and then take it round to the truck and back up to that. I did a fine job of it. Katie turned up and within a few minutes the three of us had the cap back on the truck, all ready for Friday when we fill it up with my wood to bring up to Meadow House. I won't be cold this winter! Yay!