Sunday, June 21, 2015

Southeast Road Trip, Day 7

After our good, dry night's sleep in a hotel, we decided to go back to Smoky Mountains since we were still so close.  We went to the Oconaluftee visitor's center.  This gave us a chance to stop and take an entrance sign picture
I also got to pick up a few more passport stamps from the eastern side of the park
Oconaluftee was much less crowded and Sugarlands.  I'm not sure if that was because it was in the morning or if the traffic is just heavier at Sugarlands with Gatlinburg being so close by.  I get the impression Sugarlands just gets more traffic.

I enjoyed the visitor's center at Oconaluftee much more though
There were quite a few hands on exhibits for the kids, as well

What?  You don't teach your kids about making moonshine on vacation?
The mountain farm museum was pretty cool too.  They pretty much had anything that might have been on a farm at the turn of the century set up to look at
This kind of stuff is always amazing to me.  My great granny was born in 1906 and she lived until I was 25, so I got to know her really well.  To think of the amount of change she lived through is just mind boggling.

Farm house
Blacksmith shop
The farm has real pigs and chickens too!  The pigs couldn't be bothered to quit rooting in the dirt long enough to take a picture
Plows stored at the barn
Learning to work the corn sheller

Homemade hinges
Inside the farmhouse
The kitchen side of the farmhouse
Leaving the national park and entering the Cherokee reservation
Then we were on the road again!  We went through Asheville, NC, which was not quite what we expected.  More populated and urban than what we pictured.  We made a stop at Vortex Doughnuts for a treat

I don't remember which donuts we ended up with.  A chocolate iced (that ended up being a dark chocolate), a chocolate coconut, and maybe a plain vanilla and a honey ginger?
The atmosphere was cool, the people were nice.  The doughnuts were good but not out of this world.
And then.....finally.......we arrived at Josh's parent's.  We were able to set up our tent so it would dry out (and the storms were following us, so some pretty strong winds dried everything in about half an hour)
And we got to sit down to a dinner at a table, with real plates, and no fire to tend!
A leaky bin had left some of our food soggy, so we also got a chance to unpack all of that and let what could be salvaged dry
We once again enjoyed showers and beds and, for the first time in a week, laundry, a little TV and limited computer access (we didn't take our computers with us, but we had reliable internet on our phones here).

We were looking forward to staying put for a bit.  We had two nights to stay with Josh's parents and then two nights to stay with his brother, who lives about 30 minutes away.

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