I tried to post before but the hostel computer I was using decided to quit on me. I'm now using P's new laptop. Let me tell you what we've been doing....
We left Saturday morning at 1:30am and drove through until we got to Caryville, TN. It wasn't too bad and I even drove through Chicago around 10am. We took turns sleeping in the back of the car, there was *just* enough space. We ended up staying at some cheap motel which wasn't too bad. In the morning (Sunday) we left and drove down through Pigeon Forge to the Smoky Mountains. It has no admission and was therefore free but boy was it BUSY. Pigeon Forge was so commercialized, and yes, it's where Dollywood is. We stopped and picked up some food for a picnic. Our goal this trip is to eat better than our trip last year. Fruit,(wonderful strawberries) veggies, salad and etc. P also picked up a swimsuit at the store that must not be named, she couldn't find hers. The picnic was at the "quietest" picnic site but it sure was busy. We pretty much left after we had lunch. We drove to Morrisville, NC and stayed at a wonderful Priceline Holiday Inn. It was a great price and included a pool and cook to order breakfast (which unfortunately we missed having because we didn't check the hours they served).
Monday after a late start, we drove to Boone, NC. We drove through the mountains on small steep roads, just not what this flat Minnesota driver is use to, thankfully P was driving. We were trying to get to Turtle Island Preserve by 3:30 at the latest, but we didn't get there until 4pm. 5 miles in NC is very different than 5 miles in Minnesota! We started in a paved two lane road, then to a paved single lane and lastly 2 miles on gravel around turns and up and down into the hills. We made it and promptly used the squatting privy. I wish I had found the sitters. Eustace showed up and we had a really wonderful 2 hour horse and buggy ride. Eustace has an amazing voice, so soft and kind. He drove us around some of the preserve, showed us some wild life, the various plants, trees and etc. I loved the Tulip trees and the one that smelled like mint went you scratched the bark. The rhododendrons were in such bloom! Amazing! We stayed for dinner and it was so good! Chili, cheesy beans and cauliflower, greens and cornbread. Apple crisp for dessert. I think we probably could have gotten the chance to throw up our tent but they didn't have electricity and P needs it for her Cpap, We had discussion about her picking up something that would provide a battery for that for future trips. I think we'd definately go back again. Perhaps stay on for a few days and work there. We drove back to Boone to find a place to sleep, attempted to stay at this little private motel but they didn't answer their locked door even though it wasn't before 10pm. We did find a old Red Roof Inn which cost more than the wonderful Holiday Inn from the night before.
Tuesday we stopped at a cute little coffee shop in Boone before hitting the road for the Blue Ridge Parkway. We took a nice hike down to see small waterfalls. Stopped for an old cabin. Camped at a really wonderful campground at Dan in the Meadows
This was really amazing to set up camp, lay low a bit and just enjoy it. I think we could have stayed another night.
Wednesday (P's birthday)we broke camp and drove into town to get a little breakfast before we hit the road. We went to this little store that had all sorts of tourist stuff and produce, little deli and etc. I found a few things to give to A and my sis(for her care with my cats and etc) This lady came up to me and started talking to me. I have such a hard time once they start talking to stop and leave. This was a delightful little old lady named Zadie who told me all about her life. It was pretty interesting....she's been married for a long time to a man who is a womanizer, alcoholic and gambler, He also looses things and expect her to find them even if he's set them outside. He thinks she talks too much and she loves dancing with her girlfriends even though she doesn't get around so well anymore. Her mother died and she had to leave all her furniture in the house when she left and she never had anything in her life because her husband gambled it all away. I loved listening to her but P was waiting ever so patiently but I couldn't pull away from her. We eventually left after picking up some homemade treats. P wasn't so sure she knew what she wanted to do, I didn't care. She was thinking she wanted to drive to Arcadia National Park in MAINE! We decided that we would in fact go to Harper's Ferry as orginally talked about. For lunch I stopped at White's cafe but the waitress thought I ordered 2 burgers when we intended to share one. We took our leftovers with us. We drove to the hostel and checked in and ate our leftovers.
Thursday we decided to stay 2 more nights at the hostel. It's been mostly a quiet day, we gave a AT hiker a ride to the trail, had great breakfast and now P's reading and I'm catching up on my LJ. P has had a dream of doing the AT, I think it would be cool too. I think we're planning on hiking on it a little bit to at least say we did it, probably later today. We both need to be in better shape in many ways in order to do this. Perhaps, we can do it in bits and pieces. There's a very large family staying at the hostel in the other family room, 6 kids and 2 parents. When we got back from our morning time, we discovered that there's a group of kids sans leader(I think they're waiting for them to show up) they have hiked for about 20 miles total over 3days. What a fun adventure. We went to the AT conservatory and read through the book and looked at the pictures. It sure inspires you to want to do it. I'd love to plan something like that but probaby not a walkthru, it takes 6-8 months and with me probably closer to the longer end. P's excited but she's feeling bummed out because of her health. If we could both get back in shape, perhaps we could both do it. I'm thinking sections would be our way to go. I know this has been a LONG post, sorry!
Friday (my and setfiretolife
's birthday) we'll go to DC to check out some of the Smithsonian museums and Saturday we'll be checking out Historic Harpers Ferry.