I honestly believe that I live in one of the most beautiful places in the country, but especially during this time of year. Even when we have the heat on one day and then have to switch over to air conditioning the next, you just can't beat East Tennessee.
Last weekend, CH & I went for a ride in the mountains. I thought we were going to find a couple of places I heard about on a local tv channel, but CH wanted to go somewhere else, and I was just along for the ride.
Technically, we weren't in East Tn. for most of the pictures I'm sharing. I'm not 100% sure if we were in NC or East Tn.; we probably went back and forth between the states several times. CH had us on backroads, so I didn't know where we were. (Which, could've been bad, especially when he mentioned that if someone wanted to get rid of a body, throwing it down the side of the mountain would be ideal...no one would ever find it!)
If the leaves weren't peaking last weekend, they should be this one. The colors weren't as vivid as last year; we haven't had as much rain this year. Last year, it seemed like they stayed pretty vivid for a long time.
And...I'm rambling. We left the house just as the sun was coming up, so we were treated to a spectacular view as we left the house.
(Click on the pictures for bigger views.)
I love how you can see the clouds in between the mountains just to the right of the sun:
This is the kind of road we were on:
But, hey, if you don't go on the back roads, you can't stop and take pictures like this:
And, if you don't take a wrong turn, you miss out on seeing this:
We finally got to our destination: Cataloochee. We ended arriving a little later than we wanted, but we did get to see these girls:
Along with this guy watching over the 4 females we saw:
Families settled in Cataloochee in the early 1800's and lived there until the area became part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are still structures around the area, like this barn:
There was a wedding about to take place at Palmer's Chapel:
There are plenty of hiking trails:
And, again, beautiful sites:
As we were heading back to the Interstate, we stopped at an overlook:
(I was able to get a couple of leaves that were falling in the above picture. You may have to click on it to make it larger.)
On the way back, we stopped at this restaurant where we met OS a couple of months ago. We hit it just right: it was their last day of the season, so they'll be closed until late February. The tourist kayak/raft season is over, and that's where they get most of their business. It sits right on the river with indoor or outdoor seating. If you're in the area, I'd highly suggest eating at Bean Trees Cafe. You can find information on their Facebook Page.
Take a ride this fall and leave the main road...just see where it takes you!