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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Second Day in Tennessee--The Smokies and An Old Friend

Good evening from Newport, Tn once more, Trekkies. It is Feb 14--hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day--605 pm and we are at the Comfort Inn. Retired at 10 pm last night with the light of an almost full moon shining on our bed. I love when that happens--I find it so relaxing, peaceful and beautiful. Having slept a good nine hours last night and since it started out as a beautiful sunny day, I decided it would be a terrible waste not to go to the Smoky Mountains. Bill had purchased an adorable Valentine's card which lay on the desk and I opened very first thing. Then I quickly checked email and FB before eating and dressing for the day. On FB, a high school classmate of mine had commented on the Bush truck picture that we were nearby. Seems she lives in Cosby, through which we drove to get to Gatlinburg this morning. So we arranged to stop in for a visit on our way back from the National Park. Almost all of Rt 321 South between Newport and Gatlinburg is filled by one resort, trailer park resort, golf course or condominium village after another. They are packed foot to jowl on every free spot of land. It is terrible. But as ugly and awful as that was, Gatlinburg itself is disgusting. I cannot imagine a place so full of shops of every kind, hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, condos as this is. I hate places like this and the mob scenes they produce. Just a mile outside the town limits is the National Park--as you are leaving the park and stopped at a traffic light, the road funnels you right back into the mess. The park itself is such an oasis of serenity in comparison. We did not go very high into the mountains--the roads are narrow, twisty and have many drop-offs--they are mountains after all, as the young ranger told me. She grew up on a 100 acre farm in Cosby, Tn. Cosby near the school is pretty devoid of the touristy glitz but it is not far away and I'm sure the plague will eventually spread the 10 miles distance. Even without climbing high up, these mountains are impressive, if only for the row upon row of heights like waves climbing to the sky. Oh, those folded mountains. We backtracked to Cosby and stopped to visit with Karen, who graduated with me from St Mary's Academy in Glens Falls, and her husband, Bill. I thought I'd met him at reunion but no, he wasn't there. Later, I realized I recognized him from pictures on FB. LOL Oh, technology. Bill M is an organic gardener, who sells watermelons and blueberries primarily. He and Karen relocated here from Warrensburg , NY. They had specific factors for choosing a place to go--sort of reminds me of my BIL, Larry, who also had things, including a waterfall that had to be present for him to buy a place. For Bill it was good soil, he carried a shovel when looking at locations, water in the form of a creek or brook, mild climate, and enough land for the garden and a home with a greenhouse to face south. He found it all in Cosby and recognized the 20+ bare acres as the place. They bought and built their home with a greenhouse that spans most of the front of the house, facing south. It is lovely. And since both Bills have a real interest in horticulture and gardens they hit is off and went about the property chatting about stuff related to it. Karen and I visited and caught up. After a lovely visit of several hours Bill took us up the Foothills Highway, part of the park in Cosby. We stopped at the pull off where they go with folding chairs to watch meteor showers. Pretty neat. Then we headed back to Newport--Bill went to Ruby Tuesday and I ate in here. Still haven't used the Jacuzzi and not sure I will--maybe in the morning. Check out isn't til 11. I can't do it in the evening--just too tired. I hate not to make use of it, but I'm happy we stopped to visit. There will be other Jacuzzis. Now, to write some post cards and watch some NCIS if it isn't a repeat. Bones, too. The paper and puzzle, a chapter or two and it is off to run through dreams with Mr Sandman. Don't know where we're headed tomorrow--across the state toward the West, I believe. Who know what we'll see along the way to explore. Tune in tomorrow night to find out. " til then--sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" KandB

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