Wednesday July 29th

Definitely getting campy around here! No shower since Thursday; no change of sports bra or shirt layers since Saturday. Reminded me of picking up Ted after a week of boy scout camp – the happiest and dirtiest I had ever seen him. Me: “Teddy, you didn’t change your clothes the whole time!” Ted: “Momma, there wasn’t time!” (Certainly made camp laundry easy.)

Fan-cee me: washed my hair in camp with a jug water, sponge bathed, found some clean clothes. Good to go from my lovely four nights at Cougar campground. Off to the northeast side of the park, about 50 miles, for two more nights in White River campground.

On the way I stopped at the southern end of the park for a walk through an old growth forest “Grove of the Patriarchs” with Douglas fir and western red cedar, some a thousand years old, reaching heights of 200 feet. These ancient trees have survived a thousand years of winter storms, volcanic eruptions, floods and fires. Even though many of the tree tops have died, the trees live old.

With trees six feet and more in diameter, how could this be simply a grove of “patriarchs”? You see, I could not get my arms around my Grandma Hazel Mitchell. One East Tennessee summer visit, Grandma brought out a copy of Reader’s Digest she had been saving to discuss the article on cocaine with me. After “drugs 101” Grandma said, “ I guess I’m too big to wear hippie clothes like you!” (“Everything” I wore was denim and embroderied.) I replied, “Oh Grandma, we’ll just take this bedspread, cut a hole for your head, sew up the sides, and you can be a big grandma hippie!”. We laughed; she liked that idea.

26 Grove of Patriarchs