Autumn In The Smokey Mountain Foothills

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We were very surprised when the sun rose on our first morning at Rivendell Cabin in Franklin, NC. I woke up around 7 AM and it was still pretty dark in the woods. As the sun began to rise, I told Honey that the leaves looked funny as if something was on them. As he peered through the window to get a closer look, he replied, “yeah, they’ve got something on them alright!!! SNOW!!!” We had a good laugh. Neither of us like snow all too much. But since we had no where to go, we could enjoy the beauty. So we did, until the afternoon sun melted any evidence of it’s arrival.

The cold snap not only brought with it the first snow of 2008 to Franklin, but also brilliant colors!!! I’m afraid my point and shoot didn’t really capture things as well as the naked eye.

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The view from the cabin porch was beautiful as usual, but it was way to cold to sit and enjoy the colors for long. However, every morning when I’d get out of the hot tub, I’d sit for a spell to cool off.

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I love it when the mist hangs over the valley in the morning.

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Our little hill. Every where you walk in NC is up and down. Since planning our trip, we found out that I had Hemolytic Anemia and my energy was far from par. I was only able to go on two “walks”. The climbs were just too hard for me. I didn’t have very many “good” days while we were at Rivendell, but it was a good time to rest with no responsibilities.

It seemed as if my health was turning for the good towards the end our our second week. Since arriving home, I’ve felt wonderful. I’m waiting another week to have my blood work done, because I think it will show tremendous improvement.

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This was the little hill Rivendell Cabin is on. The unnerving part of driving these mountain roads is that they are one lane gravel roads. So when you meet someone coming the opposite direction……someone has to back out!

This was our third year of returning to Rivendell Cabin. I highly recommend it. You won’t find a nicer “Inn Keeper” than Nina. And you can’t beat the price for a quiet week away from the rat race. And let me tell you the rats in the DC metro area just keep getting bigger.

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It was just good to be together.

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Me and my Honey! That fresh mountain air does a girl good!

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One day we drove up into Nantahala National Forest to have a picnic lunch. We drove up and up and up, cutting back and forth to climb the mountain. Once we reached a certain elevation, the road turned wet and there was evidence that salt had been put down due to the freezing temp’s.

This is the second year of a severe drought in NC and you can see that the lake is very low. The lake was lined with some pricey homes, however there was evidence of “locals” too!

The ride back to Franklin was even more interesting than the one to Nantahala. Rt 28 cut over the mountain to the north side of Franklin and it was one hairpin turn after another. And since Honey likes for me to drive, well it took days after I got home to stop having nightmares. My first night home, I had a dream of Honey pulling Nelly in a trailer on one lane gravel roads with Mac Trucks!!!! Boy am I glad to be back to the “level lands”! (the shots from the cabin porch are the mountains that Rt 28 comes over)

I do love those mountains though and can’t wait till we can retire somewhere around the Great Smokies!

When that happens, I’ll for sure be singing….”I’m so dizzy, my head is spinning” (remember that oldy?)

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This lake was completed in July 1942 at the start of WWII. When the lake is full it is 1605 acres!

The hydroelectric from the lake which at a max output is 4400 gallon per second to turn the turbines, was used during WWII to supply Alcoa (Aluminum Company of America) with electric needed to produce aluminum for the war effort in building aircraft. The dam here at Nantahala as well as Hoover dam were guarded around the clock due to Japanese spies and the risk of sabotage.

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Once we got to the lake, we realized that it was “prohibited” to picnic, so we ate our lunch in the car while reading these signs. Honey was quick to point out this was a National Forest not a National Park.

Now we’re back to the “level lands” and back to work. Honey has more than enough to do at work this morning and I got caught up on some much needed house cleaning and organizing. It’s good to be home. My dawgies missed me somethin fierce! They wouldn’t take theirs eyes off of me for a couple days. We’re all back to normal…in and out, in and out! Is it time to eat yet???? Can you scratch me behind the other ear???

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