Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina

Trip Start Oct 15, 2011
Trip End Oct 26, 2011

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Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Saturday, October 22, 2011

We got up at 7:00 and left the cabin by 7:45. We stopped at the office but they didn't open until 9:00 so we just dropped off our keys and a survey.  We stopped on Walden’s Creek Road to get gas and then headed to Smokies Pancake House for breakfast.  When we arrived there was hardly anybody there.  We got a table right in front of the fireplace.  Derek had researched all of the pancake places in Pigeon Forge and this was the most highly rated on Trip Advisor.  Larry got Pecan pancakes, Derek got blueberry pancakes and I got Hawaiian pancakes.  Larry and Derek each got four huge pancakes.  Larry’s were covered in pecans and they gave him two small glasses of pecans with pecan syrup.  Derek got so many blueberries on his pancakes that they were rolling off the top.  He got blueberry syrup with blueberries in the syrup.  My Hawaiian pancakes were thinner like crepes, rolled and filled with fruit pie filling, fruit filling on top, topped with pineapple and whipped cream.  There was so much neither Larry or I were able to finish them.  Derek ate all of his.

We drove straight to Clingman’s Dome.  It was cold at the top and there was still snow there.  There was even a tiny snowman outside the Visitor’s Center.  On the way up to the tower we saw lots of bear scat (poop).  It was obvious that the bears had been eating red berries, from the mountain ash tree.  We walked up the mile to the top.  There was snow and ice on the ramp going up to the tower but the view was magnificent.  We could see Mt. Mitchell, 73 miles away.  The valley below us where Lake Fontane was was filled with clouds.  We were way above the clouds.  We stopped at the Visitor’s Center where I got my Passport stamped. 

We stopped at Mingus Mill and walked back through the woods.  It was really cold.  When we got into the mill there was a potbelly stove putting out some heat.  The mill is in the process of being repaired so it was not working, but they still had whole wheat flour and cornmeal for sale.  The second floor was open with exhibits.  This part was never open before when we were there.  When we saw the sluice that brings water to the mill, Derek remembered being there when he was 10 in 1982.  Next, we stopped at the Oconaluftee Visitor’s Center.  There is a new center that opened this year.  I got my passport stamped there too.  I bought a novel to read called Smoky Mountain Magic and Derek got a book and a T-shirt.  We went out and toured the Mountain Farm Museum that included a house, barn with period tools and equipment, sorghum mill, pig sty with pigs, meat house, apple house, chicken coop, spring house, garden, gourd bird houses, and a woodshed.

We left the park and drove into Cherokee, NC.  We went to several junk shops and got some ice cream for lunch because we were still too full to eat a real meal.  Then we got back into the car and went back into the park and got on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We stopped at several overlooks and at the Water Rock Knob Visitor’s Center where I got my passport stamped again.  Derek finally found a couple of magnets.  We drove the Parkway until US Rt. 23 just like in Ohio.  We headed south on 23 to Rt 76 in Clayton, GA where we headed east to Westminster, SC.  We got to Magnolia Manor Bed and Breakfast about 4:30 and checked in.  It is a really old house with white columns out front.  We literally just put our bags in our room, called Pat and Regina, and headed to Seneca.

Regina, Mica and Breezy their yellow labs, Willow their Cavalier King Charles spaniel, and Mr. Tibbs the cat, welcomed us.  Pat was at the store to get more barbeque sauce.  Regina gave us drinks and then took us on a tour of the house.  It is really nice with an open kitchen/living area/breakfast area.  Pat returned from his shopping and we sat on the back porch and visited.  All the while the dogs kept us entertained wanting to play.  For supper Pat fixed pulled pork, cole slaw (that you put on the pulled pork sandwich, yum!), corn on the cob and fruit salad.  We shared stories and talked about what Regina has planned for us to do tomorrow.  It will be a full day but sounds very fun.  At the end Regina said she had brownies and ice cream but we were too full.  We left about 9:30.

Derek was tired of driving, so I drove back to the Manor.  We parked out back behind the banquet facility and went to our room.  Our room has a queen bed and a day bed.  I took the day bed because it is too short for Derek.  We tried to get on the internet but the password didn’t work.  We think the network is down.  Larry watched football, Derek read, and I wrote the blog.
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Toni on

A couple of years ago we spent the better part of a week in Cherokee. the museum there is great and there are a lot of those junk shopw, but ifyouhave hte time, you can find dome really nice places that sell authentic Native American made items. There is also a shop called Bearmeat's Indian Den that we stopped at while driving the Parkway that has the best local and handmade soaps and lotions. Enjoy!!

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