I am very happy to announce the newest addition to the clan down here in Alabama. Kloe Chyene Gallups (I am sorry if I don’t have the spelling right) was born April 27, 2008 at 1:52 AM at Shelby Baptist Hospital weighing in at six pounds, eleven ounces.


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View the album at http://picasaweb.google.com/buffspics/Kloe

Congratulations to Shane, Caroline, Chelsea, and Summer to their new addition to our family. Samantha and I look forward to spoiling this one rotten too!

After we got finished visiting with our new niece, Samantha, Tammy, Quintin, Paris, and I decided to head over to Oak Mountain State Park and check out the Previne falls Samantha’s boss had told her about. There was a short, one mile hike to the falls and it should have turned out to be a great quick hike in nature.

And it was. But not until we had walked almost three miles with two children and almost killed each other about four times. Really the absolute worst part of the journey (and it was a journey both physically and mentally) was the first mile. It was a treacherous uphill battle with gravity and mother nature. I had a tough enough time in tennis shoes, the girls were doing this hike in sandals. We had no water and no idea what we had gotten into.

After cresting the hill and thinking I was having a minor heart attack I had an epiphany; this was it. I had reached my limit and I would not go any further up the mountain. But the girls convinced me it would be OK. And we continued. And after another 20 minutes on a much more flat trail we arrived at the falls. They were pretty and you can see the pictures below. I apologize for the poor quality but thats the best my cell phone can do. Samantha was so hot she actually jumped in clothes and all. The boys played and fun was had by all.


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View the album at http://picasaweb.google.com/buffspics/OakMtnHikeApril2008

Then a horrible reality began to sink in. We made it to the falls…now we had to get back. So we climbed out of the falls and got back to the parking lot. The group consensus was to try walking out on the road that lead in to the falls rather than return the way we came on the hope that a concrete road would have a much more gentle slope and less tree limbs to climb over. So we began walking again. And walking. And walking. It was about the third walk that I remembered I could use my phone to get a GPS map of where I was and how far we had to go (thank you Verizon). So I booted up the program and downloaded the map and saw nothing but green and a wavy line going through it. I zoomed out and the wavy line was name Pervine Road and the green was the state park. Pervine Road was about three to four miles of switchbacks to the main road that cuts through Oak Mountain. I think Tammy broke down at this point. It was also at this point that a stallion came to our rescue. Tammy shouted “Stop,” to a Mustang that was driving by and I was chosen (I did not jump in to go swimming and there for the “driest”) to ride with these strangers back to the main road, or our car, which ever came first. So I rode with the real hero’s, Mark and Abbey back to the truck. Mark has a hip-hop band and Abbey was very nice. They didn’t kidnap me and dropped me off curb side service. As I waved goodbye I reached into my pocket and had one last terrifying realization. After walking three miles, one of which was strait up a mountain, listening to two children complain and fight (bless you Mom and Dad, how did you do it?), and hitchhiking with strangers I had absolutely no keys in my pocket. Samantha drove us here and she was three miles back up the road I had just come down. I was screwed. My truck has one of those handy keypad locks so I quickly opened the door and found my wife’s purse and frantically searched through it to no avail. Then I remembered last time we came to the Oak, she had left the keys in the door…yes now the whole world knows where our keys are in the truck (With great power comes great responsibility)…and I triumphantly cried out “Sweet”. As I drove through the switch backs faster than the posted 15 mph I came across four of the biggest smiles I had seen all day. They piled in and we booked it out of that wild place. The rest of the day has been spent enjoying not being in the woods, technology, and the amenities of home.

I told my wife we were to have a month hiatus from the wilderness. No outside for us, just the wonderful joy of air conditioning and alcohol. So as I finish off my night cap of the last of the Vodka and OJ I want everyone to remember that the outdoors are great. But you can’t get lost in your own house.

Brian

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