This journal entry comes 5 days after the last and talks about our visit to Tennessee. All photos are from the trip. The embedded links are to videos from the trip.
November 12, 2009, Thursday
The sky was very clear last night. You could count a thousand stars in it. I lay in bed for a long time just gazing out the window at them.
This morning it is foggy again. The surrounding mountains have receded. I hope the sun will rise. I want to go to the Ocoee River this morning.
Jay, Ashley, and I left the house around 9 AM to drive to the Ocoee River. It was one of three places I wanted to visit this week. The problem is that before we left the cabin the local news showed a major rock-mud slide on Highway 64 towards Cleveland, Tennessee. That being the exact road we needed to travel to get there, it was up in the air as to whether or not we’d make it.
We didn’t make it. Strike one. The road was closed just 2 miles from the Ocoee Visitors Center. It is 15 miles from the cabin to the Tennessee line and then about 15 to the Center. There were two overlooks just previous to the road closure. So since we were there already, we got out and took a few pictures.
The weather was very cold this morning, in the 30s, and breezy. We discovered how cold while standing on an overpass taking said pictures.
Changing our plans, we decided to drive down to the park on Hiawassee Lake instead. It is another spot I wanted to visit this week. The drive to the lake is very lovely. There are more rolling hills, more farms, and lots of old wooden barns. It is some of the prettiest land around in my opinion. There are also some new housing developments along that road. It is unusual to see housing developments up here.
They had done some roadwork at the entrance of the park, widening a one-lane bridge that used to be there. We turned into the park to discover it was also closed. Strike two.
We changed our plans again and decided to find Field of the Woods. This is a strange tourist attraction with the Ten Commandments written in stone on a mountainside. We followed the signs and the Garmin, only to end up making some wrong turns and getting sent in wrong directions. (FYI, “Wylie Hamby Rd.” will NOT get you there.) Once we righted ourselves, we discovered at one point we had been almost on top of it when we had turned around thinking we’d gone too far.
In any case we found it, but didn’t get out. We did see some more, scary mountain people. I’m talking chest-length beards, fuzzy, unkempt hair, floor-length skirts, and overalls – exactly what you’d think you wouldn’t see, only those people really do exist.
We stopped a few times for some barn pictures and then returned to the cabin to pick up Mom and Dad for lunch. Lunch was at the Happy Garden, an “American and Chinese” food restaurant that is new here. The food was actually very good and exactly as it was described. It had everything from your straight Chinese food – egg drop soup, fried rice, etc. – to green bean casserole and meatballs. Bizarre. The prices were reasonable. My favorite was the crunchy noodles coated in honey and sesame seeds.
After lunch, we drove into Murphy and went into an antique store there (very expensive prices) and then a nearby furniture store (also expensive). The most interesting thing I saw was actually the courthouse. We had gone in to use the bathroom, but that building was something out of the 1920s. It was like walking into another time. I kept thinking about how many people had walked through there.
I had this same thought this week when we came across an antique newspaper for sale. I kept thinking about it being printed so many years ago, and how the news had been current at that time. History is such a fascinating thing to me - all the lives of so many people coming and going.
After a stop at Walmart to buy ingredients for supper, we returned to the cabin. When we were almost back, I saw what I thought to be a chicken run across the drive. Turns out it was a pheasant. This was a nice sight, since I had never seen one before. We have seen so few birds this week. I even bought bird seed and yet haven’t seen hardly a one, just several very fat squirrels who greedily picked all the sunflowers seeds out.
Mom fixed a “leftover chicken” and rice casserole dish. It was actually pretty good. Then she used the last of the biscuits from the other night, some of my home grown pineapple, and frozen blackberries, to make an interesting dessert.
After dinner, we finished the puzzle. It is amazing! I love the moment you finish a puzzle. I wasn’t sure we’d actually complete it, but we did.
The rest of the evening was spent watching TV...
Technically speaking, we didn’t have a strike three today. But I am bit disappointed as to what we’ve seen or not seen this week. We did go to Amicalola Falls, that being the other place I wanted to visit on this trip, but we didn’t hike any at the bottom of the falls. We could have, but we didn’t. I just kept thinking I didn’t want to expend the effort. Missing the other two spots is no one’s fault.
Perhaps tomorrow we’ll go north.
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.
A Brief Note: Email subscribers can reply to any of my emails or blog posts from within their inbox. I receive all replies and will always...
I am excited to have Staci Stallings, a well-established Christian Fiction romance novel author, as guest on the blog today. Staci has a gif...
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is...