an excerpt of eMail which covers the last week:
my guy wasn't able to get to my place til about 7:30p fri so i drove us up to chattanooga and we got in around 1 (well 2, eastern time). the wedding was wonderful saturday afternoon and we had a lovely drive up to hazard that evening, checking in around 8p saturday evening. then sunday morning, my guy witnessed a disruptive dispute that was escalating in the hotel lobby, which he didn't tell me about until that evening (just as well, given what occurred later on sunday). we drove east to the breaks interstate park and walked some trails and had a wonderful morning and early afternoon. i made the remark that brenda got married and we (my guy and i) are on the honeymoon!
that sorta changed tho. we pulled out of the one overlook parking lot, i was driving. went around a curve and then there was a dodge ram extended cab truck with a customized paint job (metallic orange and silver with white) jacked up high, with an altered exhaust system that came right up on me, honking his horn and rev'ing his engine and tried to pass me on the twisty curvy steep road (think gatlinburg without the tourist). at every fork in the road, he stuck right to me. so finally when there was a stop sign, i got out and read off his front plate (kht-9398; virginia plates~~as russ may say, kentucky hick thugs, as a possible meaning for the plate, wink) to my guy and when i got back in, the truck honked long and a woman started to yell out to me to "come back here bitch". it was about 5p on a sunday but we had seen the visitor center open earlier so i wasn't sure if they were still open (turns out they weren't) and that was the only place i could think to go. so i went here, the truck pulled in and blocked me in, i saw another car in the lot and thought it might be the woman that worked at the center. before i even got my door shut, the man got out of his truck and started toward me, yelling. he was about 6'4" and huge, fat, big. the woman threw her teenage son outta the truck (he was maybe 13 or 14) and hollered at her three younger childen in the back seat (extended cab) to shut the fuck up. she got over to me and making a fist, walloped me in the left side of my head, drove my glasses into my face, got a hold of my hair and started yanking and screaming at me about having respect for her children (?!?). later i found out that when my guy started to come toward me to be in between me and the man, the man stepped over in front of my guy and said something like, "you don't wanna piece of this" and flipped out a knife. there were some folks that were driving by and slowed but the woman got off me and the cars passed. she got back in the truck while the kids were screaming and crying, "stop it mama, please stop it!! don't hurt her, mama!" The man kept telling me to get in my car, and i said not until he left. he said that he was gonna get his brother (the woman was using her cell, maybe texting) and they were gonna teach me a lesson cuz i didn't know who i was fucking with and on and on. finally they left. (the back of the truck, the rear window said, "TINY'S TOY").
i drove straight to the lodge where i was sure there'd be an office or at least a ranger. i got one as he was getting into his truck and started to tell him. he finally called for someone else who called the county sheriff who came with back up. it turned out everyone except the sheriff knew exactly who it was. the sheriff asked me to write it down and they chatted amongst themselves and to my guy while i wrote. my guy pointed out that if they did this to us, they'd do it again to someone else. the man just got out of prison and had been pulled over within the past week cuz he was throwing gravel with his jacked up truck wheels. when i was thru, i told them all that i wanted to make the formal report cuz if he and his brother and friends were waiting for me when i left that i wanted a record so they (authorities) would know what happened. i told sheriff yates to contact me if the woman did something else and they wanted to prosecute her for other things too. in order for me to press charges, i'd have to find out exactly who she was and go to the magistrate etc. i told them that i wouldn't continue all that but that i did want to make sure the authorities knew. and my guy reiterated that if the folks would do that to us, then what would they do to others. the park ranger people knew exactly who he was and they were very stern and said that they would make sure he did not enter the park again. they asked us to come back. the sheriff and his people said that they would go talk with him at his place.
monday we drove around and looked at apartments. and all day this thing from sunday had left its mark. then my guy told me about the hotel spat from sunday morning. so we got to talking and he is gonna bring this up tomorrow when he meets with the guy at the internship site. cuz it seems like violence is just under the surface around here lots. i know that poverty can have an effect and wear on folks. but ya know, both of us were rattled and my guy is very upset with himself cuz he keeps saying that he shoulda been protecting me and that he should not have backed down from the guy and all that. we stopped at applebee's tonight and after dinner, we talked with the manager about what the folks are like in her opinion. she kept assuring us that we would love it, not to let these isolated incidents bother us but yes, folks here carry guns and most take the law into their own hands and yes, it is a volitile community but really we'd love it and she always felt safe and never felt in danger.
thing is, this happened in a public park with families and children around the corner. in broad daylight. unprovoked. so i didn't even predict it and see it coming. how do you prepare for that sort of thing?!?
anyway, the area is beautiful and other than the violence element, we've been having a good time. my guy met with his folks tuesday and afterwards, we drove to buckhorn lake resort and also saw a huge cathedral of logs, and the oldest building in the county (a log cabin way back on a single lane road that was not marked). we had a wonderful trip and the drive was lovely.
we left wed. stopped to see the cumberland falls and spent a few hours there. it is one of two places in the entire world that a moonbow occurs. it is like a rainbow, but starts with a bright white light at the base of the falls and continues thru the mist; only visible at the full moon with a clear sky (no cloud cover) and fairly dry air. pix can be taken, but you must use a delay so that you can capture enough light and get the phenomenon on film. we had lunch in a lodge right along the overlook onto the river. it was wonderful as we were the only ones there, and there were tons of birds, and squirrels, and a few snakes and butterflies right outside the window. it was amazing!
we got home to my place very late wed. and yesterday, i did lots of errands. a bit confused still, travel-logged! love, debra