Mar 1, 2008
Dreams play an important role in many tribal cultures, providing a revered source of advice, enlightenment and law. Our rendition "The Dreaming Tree", a considerably "trunk-ated" version of a folk mini-saga from Brazil, illustrates how seriously indigenous peoples take this nocturnal activity. It also makes use of the tree as a symbol of wisdom, a motif common to many folk traditions. And there's a reminder that even a good thing can be carried to dangerous excess.
This story about a potent tree seemed especially appropriate because we recently got a very good bird's eye view of some very nice trees, not to mention beautiful Snake Creek (which we just mentioned) at Historic Banning Mills, near Whitesburg, GA. It's called Historic Banning Mills because historically there were mills here (textile, paper, wood and others), and the ruins still stand. But now there's a rustic lodge up on the hill overlooking the creek, a serene location for a romantic getaway, a conference, or a wedding. At certain times of the year, the place is also abuzz with all manner of outdoor activities, including hiking, horseback riding, golf, skeet shooting (what did those poor skeets ever do to us?) and kayaking. And there's a very intriguing-looking ropes course on the grounds -- or rather in the trees. (If you don't know, a ropes course is a series of physical obstacles that involve climbing, designed to challenge your courage and tenacity and resourcefulness. If you don't know the ropes when you start, you'll learn before it's over.)
But the piece de resistance is what they call the Canopy Tour, a guided walk through the treetops on bridges too narrow even for ballerinas (though Kimberly did a pretty decent impression of one) and even, in some cases, a single cable. But oh yes, we almost forgot. There are also four ziplines, which are cables stretched from trees and/or towers on which the truly daring and/or truly insane soar at speeds up to 60 m.p.h. at altitudes of up to 220 feet. And you don't even need a pilot's license. It was the most exhilaratingly terrifying experience we've had in ages, and we can't wait to do it again -- this time with Zephyr, who was off in Massachusetts at the time.
The Inns at Historic Banning Mills, and the Canopy Tour, are family owned and operated, by some right friendly folks. We highly recommend this place. (Note: When you visit their website, we recommend the multimedia tour, which uses an exquisite arrangement of a haunting Civil War-flavored waltz to provide a perfect mood for the slide show.)
In celebration of Dr. Seuss's Birthday and Read Across America week, we are bringing you this special podcast on a Saturday, even though Thursday is our typical air date. Find out what we are reading as we drive across America. How are you celebrating? You are invited to call in and share what is on your reading list(206) 202-3976.
Dennis (Jaguar Man and Grandpa), Kimberly (Narrator) and Zephyr (Fernando and Pedro)
Recommended Podcasts: Brazilianisms and
Read a longer version of this story The Sleep Tree