After our wedding, we had a few days honeymoon planned on Ocracoke Island. We were going to have a grand exit from the wedding and get straight on the ferry. But, with Hurricane Joaquin forecasted to make land fall on the North Carolina coast, Ocracoke was evacuated.
The sweet lady on airbnb refunded us our money and we headed for the hills. Literally.
With no plan, we got in the ol’ jeep Cherokee and headed for our second favorite region of North Carolina. After a quick stop to check on our sailboat (which was living in a marina that had become an island with all the storm rain) we headed for the mountains. Hotel hopping until we could find a place to stay, we worked our way inland.
We woke up in Raleigh and emailed about every open cabin on vrbo. The first one to answer agreed to our request for a “week of” discount. So, we jumped back in the Cherokee and headed for the Great Smoky Mountains.
Joel and I stopped in for some Mexican food in Asheville (because I can’t pass the city without begging Joel to stop) at a place called Salsas. It’s a little pricey but the food is delicious. Definitely worth trying, even if it means you must go halfsies with someone (I mean, that’s what we usually do!).
Arriving in Bryson City after dark, we grabbed directions Yellow Rose Realty had left out on their porch. The directions lead us straight up the side of a mountain on a winding dirt road. At the top of the road, nestled in the side of the mountain, we found “Far Horizon” cabin.
From what we could tell in the dark, we loved the cabin. Log cabin, hot tub, and a killer deal. We were stoked.
But, when we woke up the next morning we realized just how amazing this gem of a cabin was. From the front porch, we could gaze out at a sea of blue mountains folding into each other. The morning fog was still looming in the valley. We were truly above the clouds.
For a little town, Bryson city has a lot to explore. We stopped by Bryson City Outdoors, the local outdoor store, and were given a list of awesome hikes. Not only is The Great Smokey Mountains National Park in the cities backyard, but nearby are some of the most beautiful parts of The Blue Ridge Parkway.
"The Road To Nowhere"
One place we were told to check out was what locals call "The Road to Nowhere." In the 40's the creation of Fontana Lake forced residents to relocate. The government promised the construction of a road that would give families access to the north shore of the lake. However, an abrupt stop to the project left the road forever unfinished. Ending with a 1/4 a mile long tunnel through the heart of a mountain, the road literally goes nowhere. Make sure to bring a flashlight. Joel and I thought we could make it through without one. But, the further we walked the less we could see and the longer the tunnel seemed. Plus, walking in a dark tunnel marked with horse manure isn't the best idea. We had to turn around half way through and get our flashlight.
Clingman's Dome -
What looks to be a stationary UFO, is the Clingman's Dome observation tower. It's a pretty hot spot and is accessible not only by car but the Appalachian Trail runs by it. Sitting on the peak of the mountain, they say you can see four states on a clear day.
We are learning that things seldom go wrong. They just go differently then how we plan. Romans 8:28 talks about everything working together for the good of those who love the Lord. I believe it. Even things that seem to suck. When we step back and wait for the good to come from what seems to be bad, we find beauty. Joel and I saw that in our wedding and again in our honeymoon.
Peak season in the Great Smokeys was better then anything we could have thought of on our own. Thanks Joaquin.
-With Love, G