Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's A Nice Place to Visit.......

Now that I've been away for a week and have probably lost the few readers I had, it's time to start blogging again. I was visiting my daughter in Bryson City, North Carolina. Bryson City is a picturesque little town on the edge of the Smoky Mountains Park. If you love visiting the Park but find the Tennessee side too crowded, try it from the North Carolina side. This place has it all - mountains, trails, whitewater rivers, scenic roads with little traffic.

As much as I love this place, I wouldn't want to live here. I can say that because I did live here for a couple of years back at the turn of the century. Talk about peace and quiet - too much of a good thing.

I was here in 2000 and took a job as a census worker. It was the scariest thing I have ever done. I am not allowed under penalty of fines and/or prison to say anything about it but I can say that our training included what to do if you come across a survivalist compound and/or are threatened with a gun (back away and leave as fast as possible. Duh.) I have been up more one lane dirt roads in the mountains than I would have ever imagined existed anywhere. You pray you don't meet another car because there's no way to pass each other. Five miles hanging on the side of a mountain and at the top would be a trailer. See that mountain in the distance above? There's probably a trailer on top. I never could figure out how they got up there. Helicopters?

It was scary but I came to love it and couldn't wait to get started each day. Most people turned out to be kind and helpful ( "I wouldn't try and go up there if I was you") and I wished I could make a career out of asking random strangers personal questions.

If you do ever visit here don't miss tubing on Deep Creek in the Smokies. It is the most fun you'll ever have for $2.00 a day, which is what it costs to rent a tube. Also, if you are a treasure hunter or junker don't miss Fred's auction every Friday at 5:00. It's on the main highway at Almond and the official name is Almond Trading Post. It's one of those country auctions where it's mostly junk but anything could turn up. I've bought several pieces of majolica for less than $20, including a sugar bowl with a book value of $250 for $7.50. I also once bought a Rolliflex camera, mint in the box with a book value of $600 for $10. These things don't turn up often but it's a lot of fun and Fred is a hoot. Minimum bid is $2.00. Tell him the frizzy haired lady from Alabama sent you.

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