Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumn in Tennessee and North Carolina

These two photos were taken as we were leaving Look Rock Campground on Sunday morning.
Old Friends...

Here we are with the campground host, Fred Griffin, whom we met while camping here in September of 2009. Fred and his wife Millie have hosted at Look Rock for ten years now and have always made us feel right at home.

Jim Whaley (on left) and Mike Berry (on right) who are firefighters with the Alcoa, TN department. We met Jim and his wife Karen, Mike and his wife Audrey, and Mike’s parents, Dottie and Ken during our 2009 trip.

And New...
Hello to Jane and Hank Caruso, who were so kind to invite us into their home and make us feel so welcome. They have a beautiful house with a great view of the mountains on Flats Road just below the campground. We had a wonderful dinner with them and Hank shared his secret for the tasty pork roast. Thanks Hank! Donnie and I enjoyed meeting the Caruso’s neighbors, Ellen and Lesley, who joined us for the meal. I wish I had photos to post from the visit, but I forgot my camera. Maybe next trip...

Of all our travels since we have retired, the people of Eastern Tennessee are the most warm, friendly and welcoming folks that we have ever encountered. We should know, as a portion of our 2009 trip was spent in New York and near the Washington D.C. area, where none of our fellow campers would say hello, let alone talk to us! So... Hurrah for Southern Hospitality!!

On Wears Valley Road this old truck with the trees growing out of the bed really caught our eyes. Obviously it has rested in this spot for quite a few years. The owner was nice enough to let us take a few photos, even though we interrupted him while he was watching the Tennessee Volunteers football game.

One of our favorite drives was Miller Cove Road between Walland and Pigeon Forge, TN.

More scenery from surrounding country roads.

The kudzu vine was introduced to the South from Japan in the late 19th century as food for stock and to stem erosion on worn-out farmlands. Though we find it beautiful to look at, everyone around here sees it as more than a nuisance, as it grows at an alarming speed. In the South, Kudzu has been spreading at a rate of 150,000 acres annually.

On the way home from the Cherohala we stopped at this Bryson City, NC Drive-In for a late lunch. It is called Na-Bers and has been in business since 1954. We chowed down on the best fried chicken and good old southern veggies.

Burning Bush shrubs in Bryson City. Almost every Tennessee and North Carolina yard has these beautiful plants, which have no blooms just brightly colored leaves.

Another day trip to the Cherohala Scenic Skyway in TN/NC

Aunt Becky’s house in the Cable Mill area of Cades Cove.

This was our third and final tour of Cades Cove in the Smokies.

Hey Rylee and Parker, these photos of Grandma and PaPa's visit to the Gatlinburg Aquarium are for you guys. We think it is one of the best aquariums that we have ever seen. One of the neatest areas was the giant shark lagoon filled with 750,000 gallons of water. A moving glidepath (sidewalk) took us around three sides of the lagoon and through an underwater tunnel. We saw really large sharks, sawfish, stingrays and thousands of other fish.
Below are photos of the lagoon.

I love this ray's "face". Looks like he is smiling for the camera!

Blue Tang and Clown Fish.

A Sea Urchin....Oh wait, that’s just PaPa!

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