We have moved from Asheville to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We have cell phone service that goe from 1X to No Service. Data is very slow. We sort of expected this but after having 4G service everywhere we have been is it an adjustment. All that being said, I will try to post to,the blog although they may be shorter and I may have to save some pictures for later.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
The navigator did a wonderful job. We stoped for a short hike to a small falls. More like rapids.
At the end of this day’s northerly driver we arrived at an old estate which was given to the National Park Service. The fellow that owned it (Mr. Moses) made his money making denim fabric. His hobby was building roads so there are more than 25 mles of carriage roads on his estate. Today they are used for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
We walked around the park today through all of the loops. 12,462 steps! Along the way we found the Dogwoods in bloom.
We looked at all of the sites with an eye towards where we would like to stay. South exposure, sun, shade, privacy, interesting … a whole bunch of intangibles. There were lots to choose from. All have water and 50 amp electric (very desirable), fire pit, picnic table and a grill. Very nice.
Just like “On Golden Pond”. A small campfire tonight. Toasted a few marshmallows. Relaxed. We added some piñon pine. Amazing smell. Reminds us of Santa Fe.
Monday, April 7, 2014
They are soon going to replace the current water solution with one that contains the same chemicals as Drain-O. This will speed up the removal of deposited crust. Then they are going to another solution that will speed up the removal of salt from the cast iron. Surprisingly, cast iron is porus and when under water it is infused with salt. Taking a cast iron item out of the ocean and drying it out leaves the salt embedded in the iron and it rusts very quickly from the inside out.
The Wisteria are blooming. We visited the Nathanial Russell house. It is a three story brick mansion with three rooms on each level, one of which was oval. An oval dining room on the first floor and a very formal family parlor. One bedroom on the second floor, more on the third. There were kitchens, work shops, carrige houses, stables and quarters for the 18 slaves who tended to the gardens, the house and the family.
The front door looked like mahogany and inlays. In fact it was painted in the French trompe l’oeil method (fool the eye) to simulate wood. There were many other examples of this in the house from differnt types of wood to marble even to plaster details.
The elliptical stairway is probably the home’s biggest claim to fame. It winds up to ll three floors. The medallion in the ceiling at the top is painted in two dimensions but looks very three dimensional.
The front faces toward the harbor to catch any breeze. Iron gates are prominent in Charleston. Many were built by Master Blacksmith Phillip Simmons whose work was featured on the PBS series Craft in America.
Friday, April 4, 2014
The campground is quite nice, huge pine trees, live oaks and palm trees. Most of the spaces are fairly generous. They have a 30 nights for half price deal hear for snow birds. Looks very nice. We checked out several sites. The one we are in is pretty nice. Some sun, some shade.
After our ride we spent a few hours in the afternoon sun on the beach. I got on my bike and rode on the beach south towards the light house. The damp sand was very firm, easy to ride on and the beach goes on for miles. There are whole trees tipped over where the erosion has moved the beach into the forest.
The town on Tybee Island is only a mile or so long. There is a beach on the river side, the north side and the ocean side. The ocean side beach seem to be where all of the vacationers congregate. There is a big pier down there and shops all over selling everything for the beach. Sort of ugly.
The Confederates had hundreds of cannon that shot through openings in the walls and up on the ramparts. The battle commenced early one morning with the conventional cannon and mortars. There was little damage to the fort. The following morning three batteries of the new rifled cannon oppened fire concentrating on one corner of the fort. The walls were breeched within hours and when the powder magazine was hit (without exploding) the Confederates surrendured. There are still rifled shells embedded in the wall.
There were displays about the Girl Scouts contibution to the war effort, the sacrifices made by the folks at home, the role of women pilots (WASPs) who ferried aircraft all over the country and machines and equipment used in the war effort. I liked this one for making up to 1000 sets of dog tags in an 8 hour shift.