Monday, July 30, 2007

Successful Fishing!

So last Friday, our friends from home and Julian & I went to Cherokee (again) to see if we couldn't get lucky fishing on the reservation. We bought our one-day licenses & worms and found a great spot on the ponds just outside the KOA campground.

Not long after we arrived, we saw the hatchery truck dumping fish into our pond. We certainly hoped that this was a good sign. Lots of fish in the pond must mean that we'll catch them, right?

Barbara and I took the chairs and found a nice, shady spot on the bank. Certainly you didn't think we'd stand, did you?

It wasn't too long till Larry had a bite. He even hooked that bad boy - or so we thought. We did see it - as it escaped his hook just before he got it onto the bank. No really, we did see it. I'd guess it was about 6 or 7 inches long. But tricky enough to get off his line before it was too late.

Julian was the winner, though. After we had lunch, he reeled in the one and only fish of the day. But that counts. One fish is better than none. One is better than being skunked. One is better than we'd done there last week... or last year for that matter. Wanna see the big honkin' prize-winner? Look closely!

You may want to click on this photo and see it in it's larger format. The big bad fish is hard to see in this reduced picture.

Julian says he's been catching fish in the creek behind our coach. He even kept one, hoping for more and enough for a meal. But when they stopped biting, he nursed the one back to health and released him back into the creek. I know he's been catching them. I believe him! He just hasn't been taking his camera so that he can prove it to everyone.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Day Trip to Cades Cove

Since the last posting, we've been doing some of the more mundane things of life. We went out to dinner one evening. We did laundry. We cleaned house. We took our walks and just generally enjoyed our place in the world.

And then on Monday afternoon, our neighbors from Leesburg arrived. They will be here for two weeks and it will be fun having them around to do stuff with. They got their motor coach shortly after we did and this will be their longest trip out in it so far.

We’ve had lots of rain this week and have had to dodge the storms to do anything. Yesterday turned out to be no exception.

We took off with our friends at about 10am. We drove through Cherokee and the Smoky Mountains into Tennessee and had lunch at Gatlinburg.

From there we drove west to take a tour of Cades Cove. This is a beautiful area that has been somewhat preserved since the 1800s. It was very interesting to see how the people lived in that era. I’ve always said I would not have made a good pioneer and seeing these homes and buildings surely reinforced that.

Our first stop was at the John Oliver Place. As you can see, we had a bit of a hike to get up to the house.

The house itself was just one room with the big fireplace on one end. There were steps to the second floor, but they were pretty steep, so I didn’t go up. The guide book says that’s where the sons of the household slept. Everyone else on the main floor.

This is the back of the house, with Julian and our friend, Larry, to the right. Looks like they had some heated debate going on.

We passed by three different churches, two Baptist and one Methodist. As time was getting short, we didn’t stop at any of them. We did stop next at the Cable Mill and Visitor Center. This is a shot of the house there, which was built in 1879 and enlarged over time.

This is the grist mill, which still works.

Here’s the Cantilever Barn.

They had a demonstration near the barn of different toys the kids played with back then. It was like sitting in grandma’s house! They had the button on the string, only they used small wooden disks cut from branches and with two holes in them. People were amazed by these things and yet I remember them so well from when we were kids.

This is the smokehouse. It still smelled smoky in there.

Here’s proof we were really there. This is in front of the house, which was little more than three rooms and an upstairs.

From there we headed back out of the “park”. It’s a long, slow drive on a one-way, narrow road. And people kept stopping in the road to take pictures of the deer. But we managed to be almost out by the time the rain started to pour down on us.

We drove back home by a different route, which seemed to go faster than the way we had come over that morning. It rained on us the whole way home and then for a couple hours more. Poor Heidi, who hates water of any kind, had a hard time of it. And her dinner was late, to boot!

So far today we have sunshine and nice weather. We’re a bit tired of the rain, so we hope this weather will hold up for a few days.

Until next time, happy trails to you all!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

First Stop: Creekwood Farm, North Carolina

In spite of it taking me a week to get this first entry, we did arrive here in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina on Monday, July 16, after spending last Sunday night in a quaint little RV park in Canadys, SC. Arriving here at Creekwood Farm RV Park was a little like coming home. We were both very excited and happy to get here. Here’s a look at our “home” after we got fully set up and settled in.

We’ve been walking about 2 ¼ miles most days since being here. We’ve been to the casino in Cherokee – with no luck. We’ve been enjoying the weather here. After the high-90’s of Florida, the mid- to low-80’s here feels fabulous. We’ve had rain most days, but that’s been kind of nice, too. And Tuesday evening we had cocktails on the creek.

It was reminiscent of last summer, but our friends aren’t here this summer. So we invited the ducks.

On Thursday, we went onto the Cherokee Reservation to do some fishing. We’d heard good things about the fishing there, but weren’t able to prove any of it. But we have proof we tried!

Julian’s been fishing on our creek here at the campground and has had some success. Nothing big enough to keep, yet, but there’s always tomorrow.

While on the reservation we found Mingo Falls. I should have taken a picture of the steps we had to climb to get up there! It was a long way up, to say the least. But the trip was worth it. The waterfall was very cool.
Saturday was waterfall day. We drove south into Transylvania County in search of a few falls to enjoy. We got our fill by the end of the day and got more exercise than we’d bargained on in the process. Here are the five that we stopped at, starting with Sliding Rock Falls. Anyone could get into the water and slide down into the pool at the bottom. It looked like it would be fun on a really hot day.

Next was Looking Glass Falls. I don’t know why it’s called that, but it was nice.

The next one we stopped at was called Connestee Falls. Unfortunately the viewing was from the top and we were not in the mood for what looked like a very long walk down (and then back up) for a better viewing. So this is as good a photo as we got.

Heading down the road and into DuPont State Forest, we got to see two more. The first was Hooker Falls. In spite of signs posted to the contrary, some teen-ager was jumping over the edge into the lake below. He was just plain crazy!

From there we had the hike of the day. We probably wouldn’t have done it if we had known ahead of time. The guide books said “hike upstream about 1000’ on level ground.” Well, there wasn’t anything level about it – all up hill. But in the end, it was worth it. Triple Falls was the prettiest of those we’d seen all day.

Those are the highlights of our first week of this three month adventure. We’re having a great time. We hope you are enjoying your days as much.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Where in the World?

Where in the world are the Coles? Well, we are at home, packing up the coach for our three-month adventure. But tomorrow morning we will be taking off. We'll drive about 350 miles and spend one night in South Carolina. From there, we'll make our way to Maggie Valley, North Carolina. After we get settled in there, I'll be posting more pictures and stories. So check in from time to time to see just where in the world ARE the Coles?