Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vacation Photos

I can't believe that this time last week, I was packing my things, we'd reached the end of our vacation!   We'd been gone a week, and I was ready to get home.    I can't believe how quickly this week has passed by, either. 

Vine on Clingman's Dome

Our trip was wonderful, other than our first night in Bryon City, NC, where we spent the night at a “Bates Motel” type of dive, a very creepy place on a hill, complete with the Grandpappy of all Granddaddy long legs, no phone, an unlit shower, holes in the wall, and holes in the blankets…I mean…the blankets were so thin they were extremely holey!   When I opened my curtains for my “scenic view” I was promised online, my view was a solid dirt wall approximately two feet from my window.   Did you see me say, “no phone?” My room didn’t have a phone!   Granted, I never use hotel phones unless I’m calling the front desk because I need something…oh wait.   We definitely needed things!   The towels were much like the blankets! 

Cade's Cove.  (No, this isn't where we stayed!)

Why did we go ahead and stay there?   We made the reservations online, and we were just going to be there for one night.   It had good reviews.  I am certain now that all the good reviews were from the owners themselves!  But we had precious few options because we got a very late start, rolled into town late, and didn’t see much else that looked better.   I hardly slept a wink!   At 4 a.m., I woke having nightmares of killers being in the dark bathroom; after that, even dozing was out of the question.   I got on up, took my dark shower, and was ready to not only leave the hotel, but leave Bryson City, and I don’t believe I’ll be back…ever.   Thankfully, there was no Norman Bates to compete our visit.  We left before the sun came up.

Blue Ridge Parkway
Our scenery after leaving Bryson City greatly improved.  The above is from the Blue Ridge Parkway.   Have I ever mentioned I love the mountains?

There were plenty of scenes like this along the roadways and on the trails, too.  Notice there's no fall color on this particular photo.   We saw everything from pre-peak to past peak.  

If you will remember, last week Oklahoma had a huge dust storm.   On Friday, much of that dust storm had settled over East Tennessee, and gave the name "Great Smoky Mountains" a new meaning.   Even with a cloud of dust (which looked much like fog) the mountains were gorgeous.

Ole Boy on Balsam Mountain  
As you can see, the scenery was pretty sharp.
The trees were brilliant, too.  ::::grin::::
I don't know what kind of seeds these were...

I was a little surprised to see a butterfly on top
of the mountains.  This was from Clingman's Dome.

And this little guy was on Balsam Mountain.

Maggie Valley, NC was beautiful!

Cataloochee Valley

I thought this was pretty cool.   It's one of those unintentional shots.
I got a picture of me in the side mirror, and a shot of the scenery
behind me, while snapping a photo in the Cataloochee Valley.


  1. Great photos, as usual.

    Our first trip to the Smokies was about 15 years ago. Bill and I drove the entire Blue Ridge Parkway from beginning to end....on our motorcycle. :}

    We stayed in a little cabin in the Shenandoah Valley, VA. It was actually quite clean, the blankets were nice, the bed comfy. Even the tiny ceramic tile shower was clean, although a bit dark...seeings it didn't have a light in i. The plastic shower curtain lit some in, tho. :}

    We saw no bugs. And I looked. I looked a lot.

    The thing is that it was probably built in 1940 and had never been renovated. As we entered the cabin, we noticed the bullet holes in the clapboard. :o

    Surprisingly, we slept well--once we were willing to close our eyes. After 10 hours on a motorcycle, it takes a lot to prevent sleep, I guess.

    I remember that part of the trip vividly, because after we survived the night in the shot up cabin, we went down the mountain a bit into Luray for breakfast.

    Oh, dear. We saw a diner--an old fashioned silver, train car shaped diner. Bill loves diners, so in we went. Since I'm a bit claustrophobic, I'm not a huge fan of narrow, train car sized diners, but i played along.

    As we sat in the red vinyl booth, looking out of the window at the little houses (which looked much like our cabin) across the road. The house most directly across the street from us was pretty sad looking. It had a saggy wooden porch and peeling paint. As I was looking at it and trying to figure out what I was seeing in the yard that had barely there grass, out came a woman---in a calf-length thin cotton nightgown--to hang up clothes.

    At that point I figured out what was in the sparse grass. It was chickens! And a little dog. They all ran around her ankles, there in her nightgown, as she clipped her clothespins on the line.

    I have no recollection of what I ate, whatsoever, but I will never forget that cabin or that woman hanging clothes in her nightgown amidst chickens.


  2. LOL your motel you stayed at your first night on vacation sounded like a motel we stayed at during our honeymoon all those years ago, filled with bugs in a shady part of town; we checked out at 2 a.m. in the morning and drove home (it was our last night of our honeymoon; I was never so glad to get out of a motel!)

    Beautiful gorgeous pictures!! Very pretty area you visited! I can see why you do like the mountains!! That picture of the butterfly was so exquisite!! I love the last picture too of you in the picture unintentionally!!!

    Vacations do go by so fast don't they? It is always good to get home, but always good to go on vacations too! May you have another one so very soon!


  3. Margaret, you are a phenomenal photographer!! Seriously. I really like the picture of the "Cataloochie Valley" river/creek. Very nice.

  4. Hope you had a nice vacation and I like the 3rd picture with all the beautiful blue skies.


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