We have returned, mostly intact, from a quickie jaunt to the mountains. I think we should have taken one more night, but we saw what we went to see, plus more.
Tellico Plains, TN. It's an adorable little town. I'm usually pretty lucky when picking hotel/motels on the internet, but this was the first time I'd rented a cabin. The Cherohala Skyway is fairly remote, running between Tellico Plains, TN and Robbinsville, NC so there wasn't a lot to choose from in the way of name brand hotels. Then I got to thinking about how popular the Skyway is with motorcyclists, and nothing against them, but people who sit on loud machines all day tend to forget that there is a such thing as an indoor voice. But I was very happy with our cabin. Very clean, very beautifully decorated, very remote, very quiet. Not the greatest view I've ever seen, but nice enough.
We tooled around the Skyway. Drove through a cloud or two at the top elevations. I just think that's the coolest thing ever. Jump out of the truck and dance around saying, "Ewwww, I've got cloud on me!" Okay, I'm easily amused, I thought that was already understood.
Photo by Jason Zwiker
We also went to see The Lost Sea. It was an hour long cave tour, complete with a pontoon boat ride on the largest underground lake in America. Only marred by condescending home schooling mom (not all home schooling moms, you understand, just this one particular one) who was trying so hard to make this educational for her children who were so starved for contact with a human who wasn't their mother that they practically sucked the air and blood from our darling tour guide. Condescending home school mom annoyed me personally when we were getting on the pontoon boat and she told, TOLD, did not ask, suggest or imply, Jason that he HAD to sit on the other side from me so the boat wouldn't tip over. The words STFU, B were still forming on my tongue when Jason just did what she said. Then she really pissed me off by ever so snottily asking our sweet 17 year old guide who had the most adorable accent I've heard in forever, "This is billed at the Lost Sea, but you keep referring to it as a lake, why is that?"
Snottily. Condescension dripping from every word. At that point I soooooooooo wanted to point out that she was WRONG earlier when asking her daughter which were the "stalagtites"and which were the "stalagmites". It's stalactites and stalagmites, you idiot, I wanted to say. Just don't want little Miss Sunshine there getting it wrong on her SAT's someday.
But I digress. That was only one hour of disenchantment. The rest of the trip was pure fun. The leaf color was pretty spotty down low, but on the higher elevations, it was just getting good. A word of caution, the locals say that the drought has been very bad this year and they don't expect a spectacular season, that there may be a lot of early leaf drop. So if you are planning to go look at the color, I'd check in with the locals where you are heading.
Coming home, we did something that I love to do: took the backroads. Added a couple hours driving time and we were both pretty danged happy to finally see I-85, but it was fun to wind through mountains and small towns and see the farms and homes and moo-cows and town squares and all the little unique things you never get to see from the interstate.
More pictures will follow, but Blogger or my computer is being extra slow in uploading them and I'm starving half to death. So to tide you over until I can get back to the computer:
Thor sez: We wanted to see the cave.