Today has been a Zero day; I haven’t felt too much like exploring so did a few things around Gypsy and went into town to pick up some supplies. Although this isn’t the premier camp like the previous one, I decided to stay through the weekend as I’ve found camps fill up quickly on the weekends.
I really despise when the body fails me but what do you do? You keep on going the best you can, smile even when nobody is watching and cuddle up with the doggie. And what a doggie he is! It dawns on me that my buddy is getting older each day and the years are stacking up. Older and wiser, I’d say. Him? Me? Both of us?
Yesterday, Day 23, was an all day adventure. We took the surprisingly short drive into the Cherokee National Forest, riding along the Cherohala Skyway. In all the time I’ve spent in the mountains, including living here for years, I’d never been on that drive. Curvy mountains roads; really, is there anything more fun?
I managed a couple of overlooks with long-distance views that kept me saying, ‘Oh my gosh, wow!” Motorcycles were everywhere, riding those curves and having much fun doing it. Watched one fella on a crotch rocket laying low on that right knee. Oh, yea! He was having fun and I enjoyed that quick view before he rounded the curve and the rocky mountain swallowed him up. Those cyclists were having a great time and it was fun watching them in action before they were gone. Poof…. just like that.
Rounded a curve onto a straight-a-way and there before me was a nice sized timber rattler. No, I’m not particularly fond of snakes but I’m worse with spiders so this bad boy was easier to deal with. Besides, he was outside and I was in Miss Ellie. Something was ailing him though. He was slower than a turtle trying to get across the road. Didn’t try to curl up or anything like that, just kept his slow, steady pace while trying to cross the road. Of course, I was stopped, flashers on, taking pics are fast as I could. When I drove right beside him, his snakey tongue kept forking in and out; I guess his way of warning me that I was in his territory. Honestly, he had beautiful markings and I was glad for the chance to see him up close and not too personal but I don’t think he made it. I was thinking he has already been clipped by a previous vehicle and he was doing his best to get to safety before letting go. When we came back through hours later, he was not in the road anywhere so maybe he did find a little spot of heaven off the road and didn’t get clipped again.
I’m the world’s worst for taking a turnoff if one’s available just to see what I can see and yesterday was no different. Came across this sign that said ‘Indian Boundary’ and off I turned. There’s just something about getting off the path onto the road less traveled. Drove forever it seemed (really only a few miles) until I arrived at Indian Boundary proper. It’s has a really nice, big campground, a lake, fishing, swimming, some desolate RV and tent campsites and it’s own little store, right in the middle of no man’s land. There was even electricity and a shared water system for the RV’s. The neat part were the bear warnings, with strict instructions on how to store your food and trash properly and what to do if a bear should happen upon you, your site or on a hike, of which there are many miles of trails in this National Forest. This sounds exactly like my kind of place! I rode around all the campground loops to figure out which sites I would be able to back Gypsy in without too much trouble and marked them on the map. Peaceful and quiet. This one is also on the list of future campgrounds. Don’t think wifi would be an option anymore than the phone getting a signal. Desolate and beautiful. Now, to figure out the best way to get there while hauling that 32’ mobile home on those curvy, up and down mountain roads.
Came out of the National Forest and the end of the Cherohala Skyway quite a while later into the little town of Robbinsville proper. Wow, it sure has changed a lot since I was there last. Just in case you don’t know, this is the birthplace of Ronnie Milsap and I guess some of his family still lives there, maybe even him. It’s also about seven miles from the ‘cabin’ in the woods in which was used in the movie, “Nell”, with Jodie Foster and Liam Neeson. Fontana Lake is the body of water used for the movie.
Took a break and hit the skyway again, heading back to Gypsy. Why does the ride back always seem so much shorter than the ride there? It could be because I had the road mostly to myself, wasn’t behind anybody slow and let Miss Ellie show me just how good she was at riding those roads. She aced it, I must say.
Gypsy, sweet Gypsy. Such a pretty sight to see. Doing some quick math (I don’t do math!), I figured we rode about 170 to 180 miles, mainly because I’m always looking for ‘something else to see.’ Regardless, we were tired and glad to be in our own abode.
Haven’t decided exactly what’s in the plans for tomorrow although I do know there are more obstacle courses and ziplines within a few hours drive. Me? I still love the peace and quiet and sometimes noisy life of being an amateur camper.
Practice makes perfect and everyone doing the same thing I am was an amateur at some point in time.