Sunday 10 comments

My Trip to the Smoky Mountains

Day 1. From Solon Springs to Champaign, Illinois with lunch and a few stops along the way.   I was reminded how flat the landscape is and how much corn is grown in Illinois.    548 miles

Day 2. Champaign, IL to Sevierville, TN with lunch at the Waffle House in Lexington, KY.  Kentucky is a beautiful state and I'd like to go back and see more of it.  Arrived at the Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede just in time for dinner and the show.  No pictures allowed during the show.  It was a good time with good food and the North won!    525 miles

Day 3.  Our first day in the Smoky's with retired forest ranger Dwight McCarter.  Beautiful day with breath taking views.  Stops at Cherokee and an old grist mill.

Here's an unusual Christmas tree that was in a shop in Cherokee.  Cheddarhead hats and mice on a ghastly red tree!  Eye catching for sure!  

In the afternoon we took the tram ride at Ober Gatlinburg.  This was an awesome ride and view!  I loved it! 

In the evening we had time for shopping and dinner in Gatlinburg.  This is where you go if you want to buy some moonshine...and I did!   110 miles

Day 4. Today we drove to Cades Cove on a very narrow and winding road.  It was another beautiful day to be sightseeing in Tennessee. I'm going to fess up to y'all (see, I really was in the south!).  I didn't take that many pictures because I didn't want to look like these guys. I wanted to see it all with my own eyes.

In the afternoon we were at Dollywood.  I really had to control myself and not sneak some pictures while at Dolly's Museum.  This was my favorite part of Dollywood.  It had many of her gowns, shoes, awards and other memorabilia, but no pictures allowed here either.  Dolly is one $mart lady.  If you want pictures of her stuff, buy the book or postcards.

Interesting story about this train.   Back in the 40's it was used up in Skagway, Alaska when the Alaskan Highway was being built.  At the same time and place my Dad was working on the Alaskan Highway construction.  Made the ride much more meaningful for me. 95 miles

Day 5. Up early and on the road to Asheville, NC to see the beautiful Biltmore Estate.  No pictures allowed inside, but you can take them outside.   I bought the tour book, postcards and wine from the Biltmore Winery.  250 rooms in this mansion plus gardens, stables, indoor pool, winery, bowling alley, you name it!  230 miles

Day 6. Sadly it's time to head home already.  We left early and finally got to our destination in suburban Chicago around 6:30.  Took longer than expected because 3 semi trucks crashed into each other and really screwed up traffic in Indiana. 595 miles

Day 7. Arrived back home around 3:30.  I had a great time, saw lots of new and interesting sites, met some wonderful, friendly people and I'm looking forward to another trip next year. 413 miles for a total of 2516!

Wednesday 9 comments

Good News, Bad News and an Apology

First I want to apologize to all my blogging friends.  I haven’t been doing much commenting or blogging lately.  I’ve been in some kind of funk and I’m trying to get out of it and back into visiting with all of you again.  Thanks to all who continue to visit my blog, even though I haven’t been updating very often.  But like the title of this blog, I have some news.

First the bad news.  Yesterday I went up to take another picture of the view from my blind.  From the back everything looked just fine, but then I noticed on one side the zippers were unzipped.  Hmmm, that’s strange.  Then I could see the front was ripped and my chair sticking out of it.  We’ve had lots of wind lately and it must have caused all hell to break loose in my little blind.  I may be able to repair it with duct tape, but it did sit out in the sun, wind and rain all spring and summer, I think the elements got the best of it.  I’ll be adding a new blind to my Christmas list.  I know, in the big scope of things, this is hardly bad news, sad would be a better word for it.


But now for the good news.  On Saturday, I’m leaving on a trip to the Smoky Mountains!  Jim has no desire to travel and I do!  So I’ll be taking a bus tour and will be gone for 7 days and 6 nights.  I plan on sending pictures to my Facebook page and Google+ as well as adding some here when I get back.  The weather forecast sounds perfect!  Can’t wait to board that bus at 6:05 Saturday morning.  See ya all when I get back.