Monday, July 11, 2011

Hot Work, Hot Play

Yesterday we worked.  But it was a totally different day.  Gary chose to work 8:30 to 3 and I was left with the 12 to 5 shift.  It was going to be a hot one, and Sundays are usually very busy.  It was very pleasant at 8 am, so when I dropped him off at work, on my way home I stopped at the cemetary that we watched the fireworks from to get some photos.  I like cemetaries (especially at night) and the mist was still on the mountains due to the rain the night before.  Here is a little of the mist left over the Gatlinburg Golf Course, and a couple of child graves which makes me grateful for my three blessings. 

This one has his photo on it.
Around 1802, William Ogle selected a building site for what was to be the first "home" to be built in Gatlinburg. After cutting the logs for the cabin, he returned to South Carolina to get his family. He told them that he had found "The Land of Paradise" in the mountains of East Tennessee. While preparing to bring his family here, he fell ill, probably with malaria, and died in 1803.
In 1807, widowed Martha Jane Huskey Ogle, at age 46 or 47, came to her late-husband's "Paradise" with her five sons and two daughters, her brother, Peter Huskey, and his family. From William's oral directions, they located his hewed logs, completed the cabin, and started a new life. Great grandson Andrew Ogle and his family were the last of the clan to live in the cabin, abandoning it about 1910.  This must be another decendant of the Ogles.

After that little stop, I decided to take a right turn off of Wears Valley onto Highland Springs and head for the hills.  I wanted to explore some back roads and see if I could get from home as far north as possible without hitting the Parkway.  He is a shot I took while parked on the side of the road.  It was very peaceful and I loved the fragrance of the warm fields and cool trees.

I came out way up the parkway, so if it is particularly crowded one weekend, I now know a shortcut!

I did a few chores, before getting ready for work.  I found a little hideaway parking spot in the shade, and clocked in.  There was my hubby - in Sausage Works.  We cooked together a little, and just before he was to head home, our boss asked him to relieve two people for lunch.  Well, that added another hour and a half to his schedule.  By the time he came back to the grill to sign out, I was nearly ready to leave, too.  He left and went to the gazebo to wait for me, we jumped on the bus, jumped in the jeep and headed home for showers.  Phew, we were hot and soaked with sweat.  It reached 95 today, and we felt every degree (even more working around the grill). 

We had a play day today and we had decided to go boating on Douglas Dam.  Gary was excited to finally take down the top on the Jeep, and we loaded the boat gear on the back seat.  I had checked the directions the night before and it was an easy and pleasant ride (once we got off the Parkway - can you tell I dislike the Parkway??)  We encountered our own haboob on Rte 66. 
We passed by where I wanted to turn, but, hey, we had all day, so we carried on and followed signs to the "Tailwater Campground".  It was a County campground right on the French Broad River and had gorgeous sites.  The limit was 21 days, first come, first served with what I call an "Honest Box".  You place your payment in an envelope, drop it in the lock box, and someone comes to pick it up.  No refunds means you pay for the number of days you think you will be there.  There was a narrow gate to drive a motorhome through, but we stopped by a guy having a smoke.  He was camping with his wife and a couple friends.  And guess where he was from - Sarasota!  Ha.  Very small world.  Last week I sat next to someone from Sarasota, and we meet George today.

  George still is working, but has a couple months off during the summer when he tries to get as far west as possible.  He is really looking forward to fulltiming.  We wished him well and safe travels, turned the Jeep around and headed out to the Headwaters CG, where there was a boat launch into the lake.

Here we are pumping up our Sea Eagle, which we love.  It takes about 15 minutes, and then we carry it down to the water, and off we go. 

 We paddled along the dam and along the shore exploring little coves, then back to the right of the launch, where there was a swimming and picnic area right on the shoreline.  Beautiful.  We already made up our minds to come back for a picnic when it gets cooler.

We saw this little bird, an Eastern Kingbird and his mate chattering up a storm along the shore.  He sat and smiled for his picture.

It was really hot and hazy, so I'm not sure you can see the mountains way in the background of this shot.  Eventually, Gary got hungry, so we paddled back to the launch, and dried her off, packed her back in her bag, and headed over to the Dam Store for a cold drink.  Here's Gary with a Gatorade.

After a sandwich, we were itching to go out again, and headed over to the Sugarland Visitor Center in Gatlinburg to visit their museum and do some shopping for a special little girl we know who's birthday is coming up. (In case she is reading this, I can't say what we bought, but she'll love it).  We stopped at a couple pull-offs to see the views and realized that when we were in Haleakala in Maui, we were over 10,000 feet above sea level, and Mount LeConte is just over 6500. I'm not sure how high we will go out west near the Rockies, but it won't be 10,000 feet, I can assure you. (At least not with the coach)

Thus ended our very fun day, and we have another day off tomorrow.  Gary is playing golf, I am getting my hair cut and meeting Brenda and Cheryl at the Apple Barn for eats.  I'll be sure to take a photo, so you can all drool again.

Stay cool out there.  


  1. Glad to see you got the Sea Eagle out!! We had ours out on Friday. Looks like you two had a great paddle:o))

  2. You have inspired me to get our Sea Eagle out this week. I think it's about time! We haven't taken it out at all this year :(
    Did you do the bike ride to the bottom of Mount Haleakala? It was one of the most fun things we did in Maui :)

  3. I don't understand why they schedule you and Gary separately! Talk to your team lead and tell him you share rides and you really need have the same schedules!!! With the cost of fuel these days, he should understand the reasoning for that! We've worked there three summers and never had more than an hour difference in our schedules, even though Ron has always worked somewhere different from me. (I hope that doesn't change when we go back, because Ron will have a different job from what he had before).