Monday, April 28, 2008

Springtime in the Mountains

It's Springtime in the Smokey’s.

The Dogwoods, Apples, Cherry and Azaleas are wearing their most colorful coats.

White Dogwood

Pink Dogwood

Pink Azalea

We arrived on the 22nd after spending those few nights on the road. When we arrived we found that we had little water when we opened the main valve and turned on the faucets, Oh-Oh. Well we just knew it had to be an aged valve buried in the ground out in the yard, not too much trouble as we had the 'Lance' to stay in and a National park campground down the street if we needed more H2O or a dump. I dug up the valve the next day, do you know how much clay and rocks live in the ground here? Not like the sandbar we live on for the last 35 year. After all that digging I turned on the water in the house and it seemed we had plenty, naw, somebody’s funnin' me. So I turn on the shower that had a small trickle yesterday and there is a nice strong flow, What's Up? You see we have a spring water setup here and it is gravity fed from up on the mountain behind us, so other than a little cleanin' type maintenance, all we have to do is turn on the valve and let 'er flow. I give up all it took was threatin' that old valve to get water. Well now all I have to do is fill in that big hole in the yard, maybe tommorrow, maybe not. We spent the next two days cleaning the house from top to bottom as we had company coming Saturday, almost got it completed before they arrived too. Amy and Randy arrived earlier Saturday than we expected and we were doing some last minute errands. They arrived minutes before we got back to the homestead and almost got to make themselves at home. We spent the afternoon on a little road trip just around the area, some o' the Natl. Park and then home for some supper. Linda was whippin' up some Garlic and Parmesan Chicken Tenders after some brews and conversation. We talked on into the night till all were too tired to go on and we called it a day. Sunday stated with a hearty breakfast and we were on the road again to see more of the local sites. Ya see Amy & Randy moved from FLA to Maryville, Tennessee on across the mountain almost two years ago and this was their first trip over to visit in NC. We took them up the North Shore Road, better known locally as the "Road to Nowhere". You see when the government created Lake Fontana, a TVA project in the 40's to supply hydro electric power to Alcoa, TN for the production of aluminum for the war effort; they flooded many towns in the valleys the lake inundated. In return the 'feds' promised to construct a road on the north shore of the lake through the Smokey Mountain National Park to provide access to the many cemeteries that remained in the vacated areas. Well they constructed about 8 miles of roadway through the park and then halted the project after tunneling through a mountain. The road was never finished and recently I believe the 'feds' paid off this county with millions of dollars instead of completing the project. The poor people that have friends and loved ones interned in the inaccessible cemeteries are at the mercy of the park service to access those gravesites. A ride out Fontana Road travels through miles of beautiful mountains before terminating at a parking area, a short walk down the paved, striped highway leads you to and through a tunnel to the other side of the mountain where the striped asphalt terminates at a footpath, the way it will remain for eternity. "Sure you can trust the government, just ask any Indian".

We then ventured to the Nantahala River west of town to see if any brave souls were shootin' the rapids on the river. Seems there were lots of folks with stronger constitutions than us cause they were a passle o' kayakers and some rafters. Rafting and kayaking is a major contributor to the local economy during season.



"Had to get in the water to get this one"

We then ventured up the road towards Lake Nantahala to see the source of the river, which we never made. On the way we were sidetracked by a nice waterfall and then a forest service road, wound up lost, then made our way back to home. Did I say lost? I meant we took the 'Scenic Route', I never get lost.


After an early dinner of homemade hot dogs our guests supplied from their last trip to Wisconsin, we bid them farewell and a safe trip home to Tennessee. Later that evening Linda and I went for a hike up Deep Creek in the Natl. Park to Juney Whank Falls and the home for a quiet evening together.

Until next time, see ya down the road as we're Dancin' on the Wind.

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