"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

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


  1. Wow...what a week and so glad that storm at Defeated Creek was the week before y'all got there.
    it was sad the devastation around the Gatlinburg area from all the fires. We went to Yellowstone a year or 2 after the fire there and it was quite noticeable as well as sad to see.
    Glad you had a good week even despite all the rain.

  2. I thinking that was more than an "adventure".....Living on the edge there Buddy...Glad that all is well...Looks like a awesome area...one of these days I need to follow the compass East instead of always having a western bearing...Thanks for the update and terrific photos..Safe travels my friend...oh as you I also have seen a lot of those items in my youth that are on display at the Commissary :))...Horst sends

  3. Oh how I miss a good farmer's market, and accessible fresh fruit. The pancakes look mouth watering. But the slide, maybe if the water was warm. Someday I want to visit Biltmore as my ancestor landscaped it. Always sad to see the burns yet looks like there's new growth. Hope things start looking up around you and glad you avoided the disasters.


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