Last of the beautiful Smoky Mountains

Oct. 26, 27, 28 & 29:  Rain!  Yep, shut in for 4 days.  Nothing exciting happened except Bill worked & I did laundry, cleaned, read & worked a bit on our house.  Oh wait!  There was some excitement.  At about noon on Wednesday the power went out!  We of course have propane for heating, so wouldn’t freeze or anything – but no electricity.  We have a battery, but didn’t want to use it up.  Oh well, we went out to dinner!  Ha!  There is a nice Mexican restaurant down the road aobut 10 minutes away.  When we returned, the power was back on, so all good!  Apparently the power goes out regularly in the “mountains”.

Oct. 30:  Steven Usher’s 59th birthday!  Alas, I sent him BD wishes this morning, congratulating him on his 61st.  ACK!  My math skills are terrible – I worked it out from the date “1956”.  😦

Nonetheless, it is a beautiful day with clear, sunny skies!  High about 19C.  We retraced some of our previous steps onto the Blue Ridge Parkway, then looped back north.

image

The colors are fading fast.  Tops of the mountains are mostly bare now.  As usual, we drove through some fog this morning and there was 1 fog bank left lying in a valley.

image

This valley had only trees with red leaves, some confers & the rest bare.

image

Even bare trees are attractive.

image

There were still a few places with lots of color.

image

Lovely light did make a difference.

image

Lots of beautiful close-ups – here…

image

…and here.

image

What fun to run into a couple from Connecticut who were making a big loop around the country, including Michigan, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone & the many parks of Utah.  This little “Bambi” is a 1964 model, completely restored inside.  They were kind enough to let us walk in & look.  It is beyond cute!

image

There are not many rocky outcrops in these mountains, but this is a famous one.

image

Many of the roads are cut through the stone however, and cause “weeping walls”.  This one was doing some heavy sobbing.

imagex

Just another lovely valley.

image

At the end of our day, we headed a little south of our destination turn-off & revisited the gate which Bill didn’t get a complete picture of earlier.

image

When we got back, Bill took a few photos around Cardinal Ridge Farm, where we’re staying.  Here’s our truck & trailer amongst the colors.

image

Along with a fawn rescue, free-range chickens, & exotic geese, they raise honey.  You may not quite be able to see the little yellow sign, but it says:  CAUTION:  HONEY BEES AT WORK.  The little white boxes at the bottom house the bees.

Oct. 31st – HALLOWEEN!  A cloudy day, but we decided since there is no rain, to try the Great Smoky Mountains National Park again.  It’s been a week since we visited it with Dana.  We thought since the colors are waning, there may not be as many people on the road – which was chockablock last week!

image

Oh not so!  Still lots of traffic – pretty colors still can be found.

image

There are some spectacular individual trees.

image

In places it’s like a impressionist painting with little dots of different colors – such a lovely soft peach color.

image

Against the gray tree trunks.

imageSometimes black, sometimes gray — tree trunks.

image

Last week when the weather was nicer, we saw quite a few butterfiles.  Wildflowers grow along the open viewpoints where people stop.  Flowers are still blooming – including these pink ones, which I couldn’t find the species.  (If you know – please write to me!)

image

Last for today.

One other thing I should talk about is boiled peanuts.  There are lots of produce stands in most towns.  They often sell boiled peanuts.  So, being curious, I bought half a tall, styrofoam cup of them to try.  YUCK!  So absolutely terrible!  They are either boiled in a salt brine or sometimes cajun spiced.  I bought plain, salted.  The shells are very soft & pull apart – but so are the nuts!  That includes the papery brown inner shell.  Soft, mushy & taste a bit like squash (but not the good sweet taste of squash – maybe a bit “off”)!!!  Both Bill & I tried them.  Had to eat mints to get the taste out of our mouths!  So be warned all ye who travel here!

Shut in again for 5 days.  Bill had more work which was fine since it rained again just about the whole time.  Only outing to the grocery store.  Ah me (sigh).

Nov. 5:  Supposed to be a cloudy day, but there were a few sunny breaks.  We took our last trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Of course most of the leaves are gone, but there is still some pretty sights.  We both remarked today that with a breeze blowing today, this has been the calmest visit anywhere we’ve travelled – for a month almost no wind every day.  There is an American flag on top of the ridge just outside our kitchen window  it usually just hangs limp!  Amazing!

image

Most of the tops of the mountains have only green confers left – the rest of the deciduous are bare.

image

But there are still a few places showing off.  Sun and cloud made interesting patterns on the hills (oops – mountains!).

image

“Old yeller”.

image

Yellow & red are pretty.

image

A nice backdrop for a bare oak tree.

image

These little bushes turn many different colors – from yellow to pink to orange to purple.

image

A dramatic border.

It was great to get out!  We don’t like being cooped up.  However, it promises to rain tomorrow & Saturday.  Sunday we leave to Fayetteville to visit Jerry & Dale Swanner!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s