Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 11 JEST

Day 2 in the condo. It has been nice staying somewhere for more than one night. The weather was perfect. Low 80's and 40 percent humidity. We have died and gone to heaven. James and I decided to take a ride around the area and through the National Park. We drove something called the Dragon's Tail which was 318 turns in an 11 mile stretch that followed alongside a raging river,waterfalls, and sheer drop offs with no guard rail. Oh, and did I mention steep? Around every twist and turn was another amazing site. It was absolutely breathtaking! This is unmistakably God's country. Sorry Mississippi, the Natchez Trace is a pretty nice ride but it can't hold a candle to this.

Speed limit ranged from 15 to 50 MPH. The crotch rocket motorcycles were riding it much faster than that. They would lean into the curves, their bodies would be very close to the blacktop and it looked like their knees were almost touching the ground. It was like we were watching ESPN on a lifesize HDTV screen. Front row seats as there were lots of them riding the trail. We would try to stop wherever there was an empty pull-over and we were never disappointed with the views. They were spectacular. The higher we climbed into the mountains, the better the view was. Remember on Day 9 when we told you we are losing track of time? Well, we did it again today. We had such a good time stopping along the way to admire the beauty. Before we knew it, it was 6 pm and we still had 80 miles through the Smoky Mountain National Forest left to travel.

We came around a turn and there were 7 or 8 elk grazing just off the road. We had to pull over to watch them. They are such majestic animals with their big antlers and huge bodies. Where are the pictures you ask? I forgot to bring the camera charger and was only able to take a few pictures at the start of the day. I was so mad at myself. The sun started to set over the Smoky's and we began to see the orange, pink and yellow hues. We shared an overlook with 6 photographers who were rapidly taking pictures of the sinking sun. It was just incredible, pictures cannot do this place justice-you have to see it to really appreciate the beauty. You have to be able to smell the trees, hear the white water of the mountain river and see wildlife up close. Incredible! Needless to say, we are having a great time.


  1. James, Bernie wants to know if you still have pain? R.B.T.

  2. Yes, but it is much more manageable now. I can't stay on it for long periods of time or I have to use the cane. Kari and I rode the zip line today. It's great! As soon as we find out how to get the pictures from the cell phone to the web site, I'll have some zip line pictures.