Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina
Trip Start Oct 15, 2011
12Trip End Oct 26, 2011
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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 ½ 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
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
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.