Realm Makers Flash Mob!

One thing I've noticed about a lot of people in the writing community is that not only are we avid readers & writers, but many of us are also musicians of some sort or another.

So, for Realm Makers 2021, I want to propose a sort of "Realm Makers Flash Mob" thingy-thing.

For the night of the big dinner, let's get as many musicians together as we can, and play a song together in the book room while waiting for the dinner room to open. Or out in the lobby and freak random people out. Or in the dinner room after all the announcements and things have quieted down. Or whatever works, whatever people want to do, whatever we are able to do.

I'm thinking of "In Dreams" (from The Lord of the Rings) as many people will know it (though I am very open to options), and finding sheet music will be simple (I know someone who has copies). And it gives instrumentalists a chance (either melody or backup), as well as vocalists, to shine!

Sarah and I are driving to Realm Makers and will be able to bring extra instruments for those who can play but are unable to bring their own instrument. I also will put together some sort of communications thread for those planning to participate so we can work out instruments, the actual song, and the time. Messenger, google chat, email list, what have you. (I promise I am actually sort of decent at planning things.)

If no one wants to do a fancy flash mob thing, I will happily "settle" for a casual jam in a corner. :) I just thought that everyone getting together in costume to play a song would be EPIC!!!! (Cuz who doesn't want a bunch of people cosplaying all sorts of characters playing/singing a LotR song!)

SO if you are a Realmie musician or happen to know someone who will be there who is a musician PLEASE contact me. There's the fancy little contact button on the left-hand side of my blog. You can also send me a message over Instagram (@julian.daventry).

So whether you are going or not, please share my post! Let's get some musical Realmies hooked up, and maybe plan something awesome! *salutes* Look forward to seeing y'all at Realm Makers! <3

Leatherwood Mountains - A Review (or a Warning?)

Last week marked my 7th trip to Leatherwood Mtns. This is a place close to home where you can camp with your horses or rent a cabin and all that cool stuff. Almost everyone in the area knows about it, and they either love it or absolutely hate it.

I understand. Completely.

First off, they have a MAZE of a trail network. Like, just LOOK AT THIS.

Secondly, not only do they have a maze, but they have almost ZERO signage. And the signs you do come across are often unreliable and downright WRONG.

Thirdly, they do a poor job w/ maintenance. So it's not uncommon to plan your route, only to come across a wash-out, downed trees, or some other reason that makes you have to turn around.

First Trip, December 2010. Brought 4 horses and stayed in a cabin with a barn at the top of the mountain. My dad planned out all the routes we were going to take, and as far as I know, we didn't get super lost (or maybe my dad just pretended he knew where we were going the whole time??). We did, however get snowed in, the non-4WD Suburban got stuck in a ditch on the one-way road in the snow, and we at least got to ride the horses in the mountains in the snow. So that was nice.

The only picture of someone on a horse we managed to take (we weren't skilled at taking photos while on horseback then, haha).

Snowy mountains (view from our cabin).

Horses in the snow.

Second Trip, May 2012. Brought our crappy first camper (the one that caught fire)(not on this trip, though)(which I think I forgot to mention in my fire post...tragic) and our 4 horses. We stayed at the river campground with horses in the barn across the road. Nugget fell off the mountain (because he has no brakes and was a bit cooky in the head) and ended up lame. Had to take him to the vet when we got home and put on stall rest (he did eventually heal fine).

The Ambush Trail (super fun).

Camping right beside the river <3

Nugget doing his thing....NOT walking.

Third Trip, May 2015. For my "graduation party slash birthday party" sorta thing, we went with some friends and did a big ol' horse camping trip. Stayed at the campground with a total of 8 equines. This is the first trip where I know for a fact that we got lost on two seperate rides and ended up just finding a road and taking it back down the mountain both times. Spirit choked on his grain and had to be taken to the vet mid-trip (he came back later that day and was fine, though we didn't ride him out on the mtn again).

The barns (view from the campground).

Heading out to the trails!

Tip-toing around the rocky creek.

Fourth Trip, December 2016. Just the family going for a quick trip. Rented a cabin at the far, far end of the mountain, and kept the horses down at the main barn. Pretty laid back and short trip, we did some new trails. A decision was made that Cord was getting too old for trips like this. Another decision to buy some breeching was made when Pepper's saddle ended up at his ears on a long downhill.

Up on the mountain in the dark, looking down at the lights from the trail barn at the bottom.

Taking a break on one of the steeper portions.

Running along a ridgeline.

Fifth Trip, May 2017. Me, Mars Evan, and Sarah went on our own for a "riding and writing retreat". Stayed in a cute little "cabin and barn" combo building which was really cool. Found a trail that went straight up and ended up turning around half-way bc it kept GOING UP. Actually had a lovely time, though getting a 4-horse trailer turned around in the tiny mountain cabin driveway was rather challenging and left a nice dent in the red trailer. There was a obstacle clinic going on at the main barn at the time, and they let us ride our horses through the course....bc we showed up that evening while going for a quick bareback stroll....

Tree down on the trail - Mars and Sarah lifted it up while I led the horses underneath it.

Going up another steep climb.

Coming back down the mountain.

Sixth Trip, May 2020. Due to covid, I was no longer working, so a friend and I planned a trip. We rented a cabin down at the main barn and went for a few days. Got lost once, and got re-routed due to poor trail conditions almost every time. My mom came and hiked along with us once, and Sarah and Joe came up for a run as well. Our two horses were very well behaved and we enjoyed the trip.

Letting the young-un's go for a ride.

Coming down the hill.

Our little cabin down at the bottom of the mountain.

Seventh Trip, March 2021. Camped at the trail barn across the river (for the first time). After the first ride, Shadow coliced and I stayed up late into the night watching him before deciding to drive him to the vet in the wee hours of the morning. After the vet said he was good (but would need to stay for a few days under surveillance) I went back to camp, had breakfast, and we went out again (but one horse short). We took turns walking and/or riding double. But otherwise, had a good trip. (And Shadow is home now, doing quite well.)

Pulling into ride camp across the river.

Whoops!! We just went down a "double black diamond" trail! (In our defense, there wasn't a sign at the other end....)

Our awesome trail mount line-up!

So, what'cha'll think?? A place you'd like to come experience? Or pass up? MWAHAHAHAHA