50th Anniversary-Part 3

13 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

April 11, 2021 Day 3 Pigeon Forge, NC

We woke up this morning to sunshine and cool temperatures. A perfect day for the short hike we had planned, the Cove Hardwoods Nature Trail located in the Chimney Tops Picnic area, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Here is a description. You can read more HERE

Short but very sweet, the Cove Hardwoods Nature Trail is a self-guided interpretive footpath that serves as the perfect introduction to one of North America’s richest ecosystems: the Southern Appalachian cove hardwood forest. In spring, the woods here serve up a truly spectacular wildflower display: one of the most lavish and accessible in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

There were two signs at the start, one describing the wildflowers we would see, the other a warning. The man(teen) caused 2016 fires were devastating to the forest as well as humans.The fires ripped through mountain homes forcing fleeing residents to endure harrowing drives through the fires. We drove through one of the affected neighborhoods and were horrified at what the people must have experienced. In broad daylight the steep narrow road set my nerves on edge.

The loop trail was.9 of a mile with some up and downs, but overall was a fine trail.

It was good to see families on the walk. Watching the young ones scamper up the path brought to mind hikes with our children. So much energy! I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. We did see flowers too.

After our walk we ventured into the picnic area. We were surprised to discover the Park service had closed a whole section. We were even more surprised to discover they had also closed ALL of the restrooms. There was only a two door portable toilet! But when one is desperate, you do what you have to do. Fortunately the line was not too long and thanks to Covid, I had plenty of hand sanitizer. After lunch we decided to try another nearby short hike, The Sugarlands Valley Trail.

This trail is more of a stroll than a hike and the cool thing is that it is 100% handicap assesible. This is the description from Alltrails.com

Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is a 0.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

I am a history fan and my imagination kicked into high gear as we walked past river stone chimneys and old foundations. The settlers were forced to leave their land to make way for the National Park. I can imagine their sorrow leaving the beautiful community.

There was a couple power walking and I wondered if they were “locals” who walked there frequently, They passed by us several times as we strolled, but we were content and thankful to be able to enjoy it at our own pace.

Back at the time share, we began to think about supper. Fresh air does that! My plan was to dine at family owned restaurants but the ones we saw,for the most part, only served breakfast and lunch. The main road, known as The Parkway was lined with restaurants but we weren’t excited about endless traffic lights and bumper to bumper vehicles. When my daughter and I had been shopping previously we discovered a road parallel to the parkway with less traffic. Surely there would be restaurants there too. And there was! We chose Texas Roadhouse. The meal was delicious and no cooking and washing up for me! When we returned to the time share, the temperature had dropped. We turned on the gas logs fireplace and settled in to watch a television program before turning in for the night. Tomorrow we would be visiting one of our favorite places, Cades Cove.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

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