Finally sweater weather here in Georgia (at least yesterday and today). The wind was so intense on top of the mountain at sunrise yesterday, gusts at least 35mph, that I braced myself from it behind one of the skylift’s enormous cement foundations. Soon, three other hikers took my cue and leaned against the other block to gaze to the east upon that glowing orb of hot gas rising up behind Alcovy Mountain (1,070’) over in Walton County. We reacted like we were at a rock concert, and, well, I suppose we literally were. Victor offered to take my photo with the sun behind me, like he and his friends were doing. I slightly resembled an underslept leprechaun in my green poncho and was saddled with two bags and a coffee mug, so at first I passed, but then I gave in.
He remodels homes and lives in Lawrenceville, GA and hails from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. We talked about narcos (Walter White’s face from “Breaking Bad” suddenly popped into my head, probably because I had recently binged watched all five seasons of the show). Victor’s mom’s still in Juárez and tells him it’s very dangerous right now. We joked about Donald Trump's “bad hombres” (edited: suddenly not a joke!) and about the 17% of me that Trump would deport if he could (simultaneously my mind went back to October 9th, the day of the second presidential debate, when, just before it, I happened to catch a “60 Minutes” profile of “Breaking Bad’s” Bryan Cranston — my amazing friend Melanie and I were eating Mexican take-out — and, in a split second, an old photo of Bryan Cranston flashed across the screen—presumably from his recently published autobiography, A Life in Parts —posing in front of none other than Stone Mountain (1,686'). How very apropos that the second to the last episode of "Breaking Bad" is titled "Granite State" (that refers to the state of New Hampshire, of course, but still).
Victor and I and eased back into “but isn’t this sunrise sooo beautiful!” Before I left him and his friends I told them to be sure to see la sombra de la montaña on the other side. You can even see all kinds of other mountains from the top of Stone Mountain, I told him, and pointed to them like hands on a clock: Kennesaw Mountain (1,808’), Sweat Mountain (1,690’), Sawnee Mountain (I,946’), and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Especially when wind this powerful clears the sky. You might even catch of glimpse of Walter White at The Rock in the morning light like I did.
Edited: Or, if you were lucky, you saw him make a hilarious cameo appearance as Trump's head of the DEA in last night's cold opener on "Saturday Night Live." (Dec. 10, 2016)