"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Sunday, June 25, 2017

June! A busy month.

After our arrival back home from our three week journey through the Southern Appalachian mountains, I assumed things would slow down. How wrong i was.

The tenth of the month was our Anniversary.  Fifty years, five decades, half a century.  However one wants to describe it, it’s a long time.  We were married at nineteen, parents at twenty, and a thousand miles away from family and friends at twenty one.  what were we thinking?

We had no plans for a fancy celebration.  Ddn’t want to put our friends though all that.  Just a nice dinner with the kids in Natchez was the plan.  Watch a little LSU baseball afterward, and then return home.

Little did we know that, regardless of the threats, our daughters had booked us into this place for the evening.  Quite a bit different from the Holiday Inn of 1967.

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We had a wonderful dinner with the family, enjoyed our magnificent lodging; and I still got to watch some baseball.

Since then we have spent our time catching up with house and yard work.  Getting those pesky doctor and dental appointments behind us, and looking at the map. 

It’s another week till the Fourth of July.  Once the holiday is behind us, we’ll be on the road again.  The destination(s) haven’t been finalized yet, but you can rest assured it will be Westward.  The East was nice, but……..jc

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Quite a Week


The past seven or eight days have been kind of a blur.  We were at Davidson River NFS campground for seven nights.  We had rain most of the time, making getting out and about less appealing than hanging in the campground, reading and napping.  One afternoon we rode up to Fletcher, NC to visit the new Sierra Nevada brewery there.  All my pictures are on my phone which will not connect to my computer this morning.  Sorry about that, as it was a remarkable facility.  Just a couple of years old, it is the East Coast brewery for the company.  We got the two dollar tour which included a visit to the hops locker, as well at a look at the entire operation.  I didn’t know that there are about as many varieties of hops, as grapes.  And as in wine, there are good vintages and bad.  Recommend the tour, even if you don’t drink.  A beautiful place.

We visited the Western North Carolina farmer’s market in Asheville on another morning.  It was always a treat to visit there years ago when we were in the area.  Lots of fruits, vegetables, honeys, etc.  We only purchased a quart of fresh strawberries, some “real” grits, and a small pack of country ham.  Strawberry pancakes were on the menu the next morning.  They were delicious.

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The famous Sliding Rock waterfall wasn’t far up the road from the campground.  Lots of fun for those so inclined to bounce on their butt down a long rockbottomed slide, and into an ice cold pool.

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During another break in the rain, we visited the Cradle of Forestry.  It was the location of the first school of Forestry in the Country.  George Vanderbilt purchased extensive timberlands around his Biltmore Estate.  Sometime around 1896, he brought in a forest expert from Germany to manage his holdings, as well as teach forestry to something like sixteen students a year.  A lot of the old buildings of the school have been restored.  This was the commissary. I recognized many things in there from my childhood.  I quess that makes me pretty old.

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Many of the original settlers didn’t care much of Vanderbilt.

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All that’s left of what was once a family home, before Vanderbilt’s arrival.

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We left Pisgah Forest on Sunday morning, and traveled to Douglas Dam Tailwater CoE campground near Sevierville, TN.  A really nice cg, just below the dam.  We hadn’t been in that area since 2004, or so.  My, how it has grown.  Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are now like one town.  We did a little shopping, and a little looking, but mostly stayed at the campground.  One morning we had an early breakfast at Paula Dean’s restaurant in Pigeon Forge, then rode up into the park to see the fire damage there, and around Gatlinburg.  If one didn’t know how devastating those fires were, they would assume it was just a few controlled burns.

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These shots was taken from the bypass around Gatlinburg, where a number of people lost their lives.

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Yesterday, we traveled to another CoE park near Nashville.  Defeated Creek is a beautiful campground located on Cordell Hull Lake.  We were lucky and got a wonderful site which someone had cancelled on.  Lots of trees down all around, from a storm last Saturday night.  All these pictures were taken from our site.

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Thinking about it, I guess this could have been called the week of Disasters.  While at Davidson River, we heard the scream of brakes, and a loud collision just across the river from our site.  A woman lost control of her vehicle on hwy 276, hit a tree, and was killed.  At Tailwater campground on Monday night, a gentleman lost control of his car on the boat ramp, and drove into the river.  He was rescued by a couple of campers that happened to be fishing, and his car was recoverd from the river early Tuesday morning.  And, here the results of a major storm.  Glad to say we weren’t a part of any of it….jc