Saturday, July 5, 2008

Riding the Slios

All work and no play gives Bozo a sore back. We vary the woodcutting and whippersnipping with occasional forays on the bicycles or in hiking boots.

The Slios a Briochan [‘SLISH A BROCKAN’] is the name the old Gaels gave the place along the eastern slope of Kelly’s Mountain from New Harris toward Big Harbour. The ancient road is too impassable now even for Leo in 4-wheel drive so we thought this would make an excellent traffic-free bike route. Indeed it was. Once past the last house we didn’t have to share our surrounds with other humans. Warbler and flycatcher song filled the forest. A brave mother ruffed grouse attacked Dennis, causing such a start he nearly fell off the bike.
A splendid male pine grosbeak paraded from the top of a tall spruce. The road grew rougher and knocked me butt-over-bugle on a steep, washed-out, bouldery section; I was still game to carry on to Big Harbour but the others chickened out, opting for a picnic lunch in the cool of a shady brookside grotto at the foot of Beinn Scalpie. Wimps.

Lobster season winds down. We’ve had three big boils already and converted leftovers to a gratifying plethora of chowdahs and sangwitches [those are not typos but Bob Nagel’s preferred pronunciations].

Yesterday being the Fourth of July we did a big chicken in the smoker-cooker, bellowed out a rousing arrangement of the Star-Spangled Banner and produced a bonfire to give the Boston Yanks a fireworks display to remember.


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