Looking from the top of the ridge, I had the first view of a mountain where the top was shrouded in heavy fog and clouds. A most enchanting sight to see, especially since Ridge Top was really at the top of the ridge. I could only imagine the views I weren’t able to see from my perch at the top. What a way to start the day.
It was time to hit the trail again. Still heading east on the old road, I encountered some beautiful and enchanting views, too many to be remembered but some would be engrained for a lifetime. One view in particular caught my eye; there was a valley below and a few people lived in it. Looked like a little farming village with barns, tilled ground, crops. What a sight for this old farm girl. Couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like growing up on a farm where the land goes up and down all the time.
My destination was to hit the high road north to the tallest point in Tennessee but that ride came to a screeching about halfway when I found the coolest waterfall on the side of the road. Actually, I missed it and had to turn around and I’m sure glad I did. Foot path down, one I could do, or most of it anyway, until I had a birds eye view of the falls. Wow! No other way to describe it. I have seen a good many waterfalls on this trip, more than I’ve shared, but this little jewel was fantastic. She was just a beauty in the woods, water cascading over the rocks, flowing down into the stream below. The whole area was like a fairyland; lush and green. I made it a point to carry a piece of that peace with me.
Forever onward, I took the high road north, up into the clouds. Again, I couldn’t resist and pulled off the side of the road. Before me was a true fairyland, the one where you expect to see fairies sprinkling fairy dust. It was so overwhelming in those woods with all that before me. Stream flowed gently over the rocks. Nothing looked disturbed, like it had been the same for a thousand years Everything was green; the trees, the rocks, the land. Mother Nature at her absolute finest. I couldn’t resist the pull of the water. I had to get in, a baptism of sorts. I needed to be a part of it but I also needed it to be a part of me and I felt like that was the thing to do. I’m so glad I did, too. Refreshed and rejuvenated, my baptism.
After a small regroup from that little adventure, it was on to the high mountain. A good little distance but worth it to be in and above the clouds naturally. Twist, turn, twist, turn and there I was, at the summit. In and above the clouds. Nothing, absolutely nothing to see, which was amazing because of what I already knew was out there. Before me were Christmas trees, then fog and clouds. Behind me, the mountain went straight up to the summit, then fog and clouds. Wow again! I knew what I wasn’t seeing and it was amazing. Probably a disappointment for those that had come for the big view because they’d never seen it before; me, I was just as impressed with the things I knew were out there that I wasn’t seeing. Ethereal.
Headed south back down to the reservation and I made one stop at a shop I still hoped would be there. It was. Authentic Native American pottery and jewelry, both Cherokee and from the west: Navajo, Sioux, Lakota, Zuni. I knew what was authentic and these goodies were. Even found a new Cherokee artist who made beautiful pottery that I loved. Beautiful work these people put into their crafts. Lots of time and effort. Everything has meaning and it meant something to me.
On the easterly route again, I passed through another tourist town and kept on trucking. Cute little place but not what I was after. Actually, I had a destination in mind; the day had passed so quickly and I’d not realized it. I had spent right much quality time in places that made me feel good, alive, more than human, spiritual. I wanted to enjoy those feeling as long as possible so I reached said destination for the evening, the same destination from Day 1, even had the same room. Ate my meal, brought back my to go box for the evening goodies and settled in to think about the day. All good for the soul, mind and body. I was on a roll. This journey had turned more spiritual than I had thought, I realize that now.
I had no clue what tomorrow would bring, where I would be, what I would be doing. But that evening, I knew where I was and I knew what I felt, and it was all good.
To be continued….Return to the South Forty – Day 3