Paddle Faster, I Think I Hear Banjo Music II

After a day of driving, we had planned to spend Monday relaxing around the campsite, but a camping stove that refused to work (resulting in granola bars for breakfast) necessitated a trip into nearby Waynesville to replace said stove. I like Waynesville. It reminds me of Mayberry, from the old Andy Griffith TV show. I mentioned that to one shopkeeper and she gave me the hairy eyeball, so I guess they don’t care for the comparison, but it evokes that “small town” quality that I always imagined when I thought of Mayberry.

We came back to the campsite, had lunch and a nap, and then spent the remainder of the afternoon hiking the trails in and around the campground. Pictures are here (not of lunch and the nap, but of the trails).

Tuesday was the day to visit our property on Sheepback Mountain in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. We spent about an hour and a half there at mid-morning, walking the property and taking pictures. Cindy collected a little of the water from the creek that runs along the western edge of the property to bring back home, and we envisioned where the log cabin home would be placed and how it would be oriented on the property. We finally settled on a placement that would put Cindy’s candle workshop and my writing den on the side closest to the creek, with the front outside deck and inside living room facing toward a mountain peak a few miles away. During the Spring and Summer, trees will obscure the view of that mountain but in the Fall and Winter, when there are no leaves on the trees, it will be a gorgeous sight. Pictures of the property are here.

Afterward, we met our realtor, Kelley, and our contractor, Dennis, for lunch. We agreed to meet at Maggie Valley’s famous Snappy’s Restaurant, but discovered they no longer open for lunch. On Kelley’s recommendation we drove down the road to Nico’s Cafe and enjoyed a delicious lunch as well as a chance to catch up on each other’s lives and to talk a little “shop” about the planned construction of Casa de Wetherington in about a year. After lunch we all drove to a couple of log cabins, one that Dennis had just finished and one that was about a quarter completed, to get an idea of what to expect. We also looked at various plans and settled on the one we think will suit us best as a place to live for the rest of our lives.

We said our goodbyes to Kelley and Dennis, then drove over to Cherokee, NC, about 20 miles west of Maggie Valley, to visit the Museum Of The Cherokee Indian. Pictures are here. I thought the roads through and over the mountains to Cherokee were winding, steep and narrow, until we left there to drive to Cataloochee Valley, about 20 miles north of Maggie Valley, to see the daily appearance of the wild elk (which were reintroduced into the park in 2001) at sunset in part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, THEN I discovered truly winding, steep and narrow mountain roads. You drive up and over the mountains on a single lane road with hairpin turns, drop offs that descend hundreds of feet and NO guardrails. Driving up is tough on the transmission, down is equally hard on the brakes and both will test your nerves. I would not want to drive an RV or even tow a trailer on those roads, like this guy did. But it was definitely worth the drive and pictures are here.

Wednesday was a day to relax some. We drove to Maggie Valley to mail out our Mother’s Day cards because Cindy wanted them to have a Maggie Valley postmark, and stopped at a little used book store just outside of town (THAT is a story of its own) before returning to the campsite to read and rest the remainder of the day.

More to come, including the explanation for the title of the past two posts, in case you haven’t guessed it yet.

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