Thursday, October 6, 2011

Power Port and Pigs

Wednesday morning was our appointment with Dr. Parnell regarding Gary's new installation - his Power Port!  Sounds kinda sci-fi transformerish, no?  Well, it will help with input and output so that surgery will happen next Thursday with his regular infusion happening on Friday.  Business as usual.  Cellulitis is very painful, but he is looking sooo much better!  Just a bump in the road.

It was our turn to do dinner.  Gary grilled a couple of pork loins and I threw together some tortellini, roasted butternut squash and poured some Alfredo sauce over it all.  Yummy.  Then we headed over to Memories Theater to see impersonators of famous singers.  Tonight it was Elvis, Willie Nelson, Rod Stewart and Patsy Cline.  I loved Rod Stewart's performance.  I don't know if Rod Stewart is really that personable on stage, but this guy was really interacting with the audience.  After the show it was too late to do anything else, so off to beddy-bye.

Thursday promised to be a beautiful day in the upper 80s, but with a chilly start.  While Ron was having his checkup appointment we did a little cleaning.  Then we all got together and headed to my favorite place:  Cades Cove for a picnic and to see what we could see.

It was a gorgeous drive, and a little busy, but that was expected.  We drove almost half the 11 mile loop, and stopped for lunch with this view:

Leaves are beginning to turn

Here we are enjoying pimento cheese sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies, thanks to Dixie!

We made it half way round the loop and stopped at the visitor center to walk around.  Donna got some medallions for her walking stick and Gary took some artistic shots. 

Getting back in the car, we were crossing a bridge and a young lady pointed behind us and said "Bear!"  We stopped and watched a mama and two cubs trot through the woods towards the creek.  There was a gentleman fly fishing 10 yards from the direction the bears were heading, so she alerted him.  He kept on fishing, and the bears ran right by.  Nerves of steel, I guess.  If you look real hard, you might see a black dot, and you'll have to trust me that it is a black bear. 

I wanted to see the Cades Cove campground where Donna and Ron took their kids on vacation every summer.  But first we had icecream outside the campground store with a dozen others. 
The trees were really turning at this elevation, and as we drove through Loop B, we noticed this little one oblivious to all the commotion around him. 

We continued our drive around the Cades Cove loop and passed my favorite homestead, the Dan Lawson house.  This was the view they woke up to every morning.  At least in the autumn.  It probably looks a lot different in the winter.  But I would love to see this vista from my warm, heated cabin for a part of my life.  Never knew the Smokies would hold such a spell over me.

Nearing the end of our drive, I spotted what I thought was a bear, but when Gary looked through his binoculars, he discovered it was a wild pig!  Wow, that sucker was huge!  Didn't get a shot of him though...

Back at the campground we relaxed a little before dinner: French dip sandwiches which had been cooking all day in Donna's crockpot.  Yummy.  Then we hung out at our place with a campfire and various people stopping by, including Brenda and Larry whom we could not convince to stay awhile. 

It started getting too chilly to stay out without blankets and heaters (haha) so after our hot chocolate, we separated into our cozy homes for a good night's sleep.  Tomorrow is another beautiful day in Pigeon Forge!

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