The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Maggie Valley NC’

Virginia and North Carolina Vacation: Day 8

How do you record what you want to write, as the narrative part of a blog post? I keep a digital diary, which is helpful especially when days or weeks or even years have passed before preparing a blog post. I use Day One for my journaling.

I accidentally deleted my diary entry for Day 8 (Saturday, August 27), as I was copying the entry to paste it into this blog post. I have no idea how the deletion happened. Two weeks have passed since August 27. I will try to remember as much as I can about this day. The photographs that I took that day went a long way to jogging my memory.

I do recall that we decided not to do any sightseeing, to stay instead at A Holiday Motel.

We ate breakfast in our room.

“Slammer” (Jerry) arrived mid-morning and mingled among friends and sharing Butterscotch Schnapps.  He shared butterscotch schnapps with anyone who wanted a taste.

Sandy, Jerry and Jim
Jerry and Susan
Katie and Jim, Jerry, Bob K and Mark
A Toast
Jerry, “Kudzu”, Bob K, Tim and Bob

Late morning Jim and Sandy and four other friends went for a short motorcycle ride.

Jim and Sandy, ready to ride

At some point Bob and I walked to a nearby ice cream shop.  It is an ice cream shop that we had been to prior to COVID.  When we walked in, I thought that I was in the wrong place.  It didn’t look at all familiar.  All seating had been removed.  I think the ice cream display counter was in the same place, but modernized with a huge mirror behind it.  I remember barrels of candy.  The candy was now in display cases all over the shop.  We ordered ice cream and ate it outside on the porch. I had a banana split; Bob had an ice cream sundae. I couldn’t finish the banana split, so Bob had some of that too. The ice cream was lunch for us 🙂

We stopped at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds fountain on our way back to A Holiday Motel. 

Pretty Flowers at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds Fountain
Maggie Valley Festival Grounds Fountain Selfie
Bob took this picture of me at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds Fountain.

When we returned to A Holiday Motel, I found that the girls had gone to the Purple Store and that “Flip” (Brandon) and Renata had arrived from Greenville SC with their 1-year-old son Kingston.

Kingston is the youngest person who attended SEVROC 2022 this year.

Several friends went to dinner at Guayabito’s Mexican Restaurant across the street.  We would have joined our friends, but we had leftovers from yesterday’s Sagebrush Steakhouse dinner.  We ate those leftovers for dinner.

This was our last night in Maggie Valley and the end of SEVROC 2022.  We packed and slowly made our rounds to say goodbye to everyone.  As we made our rounds, there were lots of hugs and handshakes and the words “so happy to see you” and “see you next year” exchanged. It sure was good to see so many of our friends, all of whom we hadn’t seen since 2018 or earlier.

Virginia and North Carolina Vacation: Day 5

Wednesday, August 24, was the first day of SEVROC 2022.  This event ran through Sunday morning.  We last attended SEVROC in May 2018.  We attended SEVROC in other years as well: May 2008, May 2014, May 2015, and May 2017.

We got up around 6:30 am. We ate breakfast in.  We each had a Jimmy Dean Scrambles and orange juice.  I ate oatmeal in a cup as well.  Bob had a banana.

Shortly before 9:00 am “Skid” (Jim) and Sandy, the Texas gals (Debbie, Vickie and Kay) and “Pappy” (Jeff) left for a motorcycle ride.

Please check out Skid’s blog post to see to where this group of six rode.

At 9:15 am Bob and I left en route Newfound Gap, via Cherokee and US 441.  We stopped at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, where I obtained a National Park Service passport cancellation stamp for both the Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The cancellation stamp is a rubber ink stamp that records the name of the national park and date of your visit. We would be driving on the BRP on our way back to Maggie Valley.

Our next stop was at Mingus Mill, located about 1/2 mile north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

This grist mill was built in 1886 and uses a water-powered turbine instead of a water wheel to power all of the machinery in the building.
A miller was on site to demonstrate the grinding of corn into cornmeal.

 We arrived at our destination, Newfound Gap, at 10:52 am.

Looking down on Newfound Gap Road from the Newfound Gap Parking Lot
Rockefeller Memorial is at Newfound Gap.

To thank the Rockefeller family for its assistance in establishing Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a memorial was built for Newfound Gap.  President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated Great Smoky Mountains National Park on September 2, 1940 at this spot.

Do you see the trail leading to the right side of the memorial? That trail is the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap

When at Newfound Gap, one can stand both in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Bob is standing on the
North Carolina – Tennessee State Line

We turned around at Newfound Gap, leaving at 11:15 am, and drove back to Maggie Valley, via Newfound Gap Road (NC Route 441) and via the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We stopped at a couple overlooks on our way back down Newfound Gap Road (NC Route 441).

Deep Creek Valley Overlook #2
Charles A Webb Overlook
Clingmans Dome is visible (barely) on top of mountain partially in clouds.

On the Blue Ridge Parkway we drove through FIVE tunnels and stopped at several overlooks.  

View Thomas Divide Overlook
Elev 3735 ft.
Big Witch Overlook
Elev 4160 ft
Bunches Bald Overlook
Elev 4925 ft.
Plott Balsam Overlook
Elev 5020 ft.

Leaving the Blue Ridge Parkway, we drove through Maggie Valley and fueled up at Exxon in Waynesville.  We drove across the road to Walmart, where Bob purchased a pair of reading glasses.  He forgot to pack his reading glasses.

We returned to A Holiday Motel and ate a tuna salad kit and a chicken salad kit for lunch.  Both salad kits include crackers on which to spread the meat salad.

We sat outside our room and chatted with “MT” (Tim).

Bob and Tim chatting

“Skid” and company, who left for a ride this morning, returned to A Holiday Motel around 3:30 pm. Again, if you would like to know where the group of six rode, please check out Skid’s blog post.

While the eight of us were sightseeing, more of our friends arrived at A Holiday Motel.

“Ice Cream” arrived with his wife Sharon, as did “Butch” with his wife Theresa. Here is “Ice Cream” with Vickie,Kay, Theresa and Sandy.
“Joker” arrived and is seen here
with “Skid” and Sandy.
“Cargo” arrived and is seen here with the Texas gals and Sandy.

Around 5:30 pm twelve of us left for dinner at BearWaters Brewing Company in Maggie Valley, not far from A Holiday Motel. 

We ate dinner at BearWaters Brewing Company.

The food was good, as was the service. 

I took this video, after dinner as we were leaving. The video shows the creek that ran alongside the restaurant, as well as the outside seating that we occupied.
“Blondy” (Donna) arrived at A Holiday Motel, while we were at dinner.
Theresa and Sandy are shown here with Donna.
Sunset at A Holiday Motel
The end to a wonderful day!

Today’s map, excluding side trip to Waynesville.

Virginia and North Carolina Vacation: Day 4

We got up around 6:00 am the morning of Tuesday, August 23.

At 8:00 am we met “Skid” (Jim) and Sandy and Brandon, and we walked the short distance to Pop’s Place.  “MT” (Tim) joined us.  We all ordered eggs with varied sides. Breakfast was excellent, as has always been the case whenever we eat at Pop’s Place.

Breakfast at Pop’s Place
“Skid” and Pop

Soon after breakfast, “Skid” and Bob left to go golfing at Lake Junaluska Golf Course.  They had a tee time of 10:00 am, but left early to stop at Walmart.  Jim wanted to buy a shirt with a collar.

“Skid” at the first tee
Bob and “Skid” used a golf cart to make their way around the golf course.

Bob said this was the very first time he has ever golfed on a mountain. This was the first time that he and “Skid” golfed together too. They hope to golf together again someday in the future.

At 10:00 am Sandy and I went shopping.  We first stopped at Market Square, where we noticed a 50% off sale at one of the shops.  The merchandise was still overpriced at 50% off.  We, then, drove to Walmart and picked up groceries and a couple clothing items.  We saw the Texas gals (Debbie, Vickie and Kay) and Brandon’s friend, Garrett, at Walmart.  We returned to A Holiday Motel and put away our purchases.  Then, we sat on porch and relaxed.

Bob and “Skid” returned to A Holiday Motel around 2:00 pm, after 18 holes of golf.

Soon after Bob and “Skid” returned from golf, the four of us went to Cherokee intending to get ice cream at Dairy Queen.  Dairy Queen’s dining room was closed due to no air conditioning.  The drive-through was open, but we chose not to get ice cream at the drive-through.  We went to Wendy’s Restaurant, intending to get Frostys.  Wendy’s Restaurant dining room was closed, with only the drive-through available for service.  We ended up going to Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shop.  Bob, “Skid” and I ordered ice cream sundaes; Sandy ordered two scoops of ice cream. 

“Skid” and Sandy enjoying their ice cream selections.

Immediately after we left the ice cream shop, they turned off the OPEN sign and flipped a sign to CLOSED.

When we returned to A Holiday Motel, we saw that another friend had arrived.

“Pappy” (Jeff) arrived
while we were getting ice cream.

I believe the last time that we saw “Pappy” was in May 2017 at a Meet & Greet dinner for SEVROC 2017.

We spent time visiting with our VROC friends on the porch, as usual. Also, we watched for the two mountain goats that live across from A Holiday Motel way, way up the mountain.

Two Mountain Goats

Tonight’s dinner was my leftover spaghetti. There was enough spaghetti leftover for the two of us.

Virginia and North Carolina Vacation: Day 3 – Waynesboro VA to Maggie Valley NC

We got up around 5:00 am on the morning of Monday August 22. We showered and got dressed.  We went down for breakfast shortly after 6:00 am.  Breakfast was a little different in that, instead of scrambled eggs and bacon, a hot egg in a bagel was offered. I wish I had passed on the egg in a bagel and got a waffle instead.  I especially had this thought, as I watched several people open the warming dish and close it, without taking out an egg in a bagel.  I added orange juice and tropical fruit in a cup and tea to my breakfast choices.  

We checked out of Best Western at 7:25 am, en route Maggie Valley NC. We followed Interstate until Buchanan VA, at which time we decided to “avoid highways”. Even though it is slower avoiding highways, the drive is more relaxing and scenic.  As we drove through Buchanan, we recognized the swinging bridge over the James River.  We walked across the swinging bridge in April 2014.

Our “avoid highways” travel took us through Independence VA, where we stopped briefly at Powerhouse Falls.

Powerhouse Falls (or Peach Bottom Falls)
View from Powerhouse Road

Powerhouse Falls is the site of early power houses servicing the Town of Independence.

Powerhouse Falls is a picturesque site.
A mill used to operate on the site. The rock columns that held the water wheel are still there.

We stopped for lunch at Wendy’s Restaurant in West Jefferson NC.

We decided to return to interstate travel north of Asheville NC to save 30 minutes from our “avoid highways” route.  We were getting tired of being in the car.  We were ready to be in Maggie Valley!

We arrived at A Holiday Motel around 4:30 pm.  Rob checked us in and gave us Room 11.  “Skid” and Sandy are in the room next to us, Room 12.  The room on our opposite side is a storage room. Arriving before us were “Skid” (Jim) and Sandy, “MT” (Tim), Brandon and Garrett. The Texas gals (Debbie, Vickie and Kay) arrived soon after our arrival.

We ate dinner at Cafe Italiano Restaurant and Pizzeria, which was a short walk from A Holiday Motel. We were a group of eight — “Skid” (Jim) and Sandy, “MT” (Tim), the Texas gals (Debbie, Vickie and Kay) and Bob and me. I ordered spaghetti and meatballs; Bob ordered cheese ravioli with a meatball. Bob finished his meal; I didn’t. I took back to A Holiday Motel what I didn’t eat. Both meals were delicious.

When we returned to the hotel, we kicked back and socialized.

Sandy, Bob, Kay, Brandon, Garret, Debbie, Vickie, “Skid” and “MT”

This is why we are in Maggie Valley.  We have made lots of friends, who are like family, via the Vulcan Riders Owners Club (VROC).  We enjoy seeing our friends whenever we can.  We are gathering for the Southeast VROC motorcycle rally.  More friends will arrive tomorrow and through the week.

Today’s map


Our vacation in May was planned around the South East Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) motorcycle rally in Maggie Valley, NC.  The motorcycle rally was a 4-day event (May 18-21).  Our vacation began on Sunday, May 14.  We drove from Warren, PA to Front Royal, VA, where we spent the night.  On Monday, May 15, we drove from Front Royal, VA to Waynesboro, VA, via Skyline Drive.  We drove from Waynesboro, VA to Maggie Valley on Tuesday, May 16.  For the next 5 nights we were lodged at A Holiday Motel, which was home base for SEVROC 2017.

SEVROC is an annual event.  This year marked its 19th year.  Since 2006 the rally has been held in Maggie Valley.  Prior to 2006 the rally was held at two other south east locations: at Suches, GA for 2 years and at Lake Lure, NC for 5 years. (Thank you “Skid”, of Skid and Sandy on the Road, for information about rally locations prior to 2006.) From 2006 through 2013 the Applecover Inn in Maggie Valley served as home base for SEVROC, with innkeepers Derrick and Amy Cole catering to the club needs.  SEVROC 2014 had a change of venue due to Derrick and Amy not being at the Applecover Inn any longer.  Since 2014 A Holiday Motel has served as home base for SEVROC, with owners Gabi and Rob Edwards catering to the club needs.  This is our fourth SEVROC rally. Bob and I attended the rally previously in 2008, 2014, and 2015. This was the first year that we didn’t take the motorcycle to the motorcycle rally.  Our mode of transportation in the prior years was by motorcycle AND car.  I have never been able to ride long distances on the motorcycle, but I have been able to make the drive.  I was uncertain if I would be able to drive this year, as the arthritis in my right knee appears to have worsened in the past year or so.  Therefore, we opted to travel by car only.  Because VROC rallies are more about the PEOPLE than the bikes, it doesn’t really matter how you travel to a rally.  What is important is that you come to the rally!  Over the years I have come to think of a VROC rally as a family reunion.

A Holiday Motel
SEVROC 2017 Rally Headquarters

An enjoyable part of the SEVROC rally is to meet new people and to get reacquainted with friends whom you have met at other rallies.  In between rallies we stay in touch with our friends via the VROC web forum and Facebook.

“Boomer” and Mikey greet each other.
“Jax” greets Hang and “Zeke”.

The rocking chairs in front of your room provided a good location, too, for meeting new people and getting reacquainted with old friends.

We enjoyed a campfire each night of the rally.

Campfire at A Holiday Motel

The SEVROC Meet & Greet was held at the Rendezvous Restaurant at the Maggie Valley Inn, located approximately 3 miles north of A Holiday Motel. The Meet & Greet began at 6:00 pm and was over around 7:00 pm. Dinner was served family style. We had tossed salad and rolls, fish, coleslaw, ham, fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, and macaroni and cheese. For dessert we had Oreo chocolate pudding with whipped topping.  The food was good; the company was exceptional.

Bob and I sat at this table.

“Willie Wonka”, Carlene, “Pappy” and Cheri sat opposite Bob and me.

“Willie Wonka” and Carlene
“Pappy” and Cheri

I took pictures of those at other tables as well.  I heard that our dinner party totaled 51 people.

And just as I was ready to return to my table, “Judge” and Cindy arrive at the Meet & Greet.

In the center, “Judge” and Cindy

After dinner, back at A Holiday Motel, “Southern Draw” and Carolyn’s son, their daughter-in-law and granddaughter entertained us with music.

“Southern Draw” and Carolyn’s son and daughter-in-law
Somebody’s Child

SEVROC 2017 wrapped up the evening of Saturday, May 20, with a raffle and 50/50 drawing.

Gathering for Saturday’s Raffle and 50/50 Drawing

Riders of Kawasaki (ROK) sent “Jax”, the organizer of the SEVROC motorcycle rally, a number of prizes to be drawn for.  ROK also sent Kawaski-branded merchandise to be handed out to rally attendees.

Thank you, ROK, for the Kawasaki-branded lanyards,
water bottles and travel mugs!
The raffle begins, with the first ticket drawn

The raffle resulted in 12 merchandise winners. Bob was one of the twelve winners.  He won 6 quarts of oil.

Next up was to draw the ticket for the money.  The winner would receive 50% of the proceeds.  The balance would go to the local police department K9 unit.

The winning ticket for the 50/50 was drawn
by one of the K9 officers.

“Blondy” won the 50/50 drawing.

“Blondy” with “Jax”, Mikey and the local K9 office

The total amount of money collected for the 50/50 drawing was $696.00.  Therefore, “Blondy” won $348.00, and the local K9 unit received $348.00.  “Blondy” handed over her entire winnings to the local K9 officer.  The giving didn’t stop there.  Individual rally attendees came forward and contributed more money to the K9 program. When the money was tallied up, we had contributed $1,200.00 to the K9 program!

“Jax”, Mikey, the two K9 officers and one of their two dogs

The next order of business was the presentation of a quilt to “Jax”, in recognition of all the years that he has organized the SEVROC rally.

Presentation of Quilt to “Jax”

The quilt was made of SEVROC shirts from 15 different rallies.  The shirts were donated by various members.  Mikey’s wife, Linda, was responsible for the quilt’s preparation.  She and Mikey had each of us come secretively to their room and autograph the back of the quilt.  What a wonderful gift for “Jax”!

After the quilt presentation, the K9 officers showed their dogs.  One of the K9 officers showed us what last year’s SEVROC contribution to the K9 program purchased for the K9 unit.  The black box and yellow ball in the picture displayed below is used in training K9 drug sniffing dogs.

K9 officer explaining use of black box and yellow ball
in training of K9 drug sniffing dogs

What a wonderful time we had with our VROC “family”.

our VROC “family”

I love each and every one of them and look forward to the next time we meet in person!

A “No Sightseeing Day”

We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina. I have been uploading blog posts about our vacation since May 29th. This blog post is about our seventh day of vacation.

We ate breakfast on Saturday, May 20 at Joey’s Pancake House.  Bob and I each ordered an omelet, hash brown casserole, and toast.  Breakfast was delicious, especially the hash brown casserole.  Joey’s is one of our breakfast stops, while in Maggie Valley.  According to Joey’s web page the pancake house is closing as of today Tuesday, June 13th.

We returned to A Holiday Motel, after breakfast. We decided to stay close to the hotel, taking it easy in preparation for our long drive home the next day.

We watched ‘Blindspot” on Hulu. We are able to get Hulu via the Amazon Fire TV Stick that we brought with us on vacation.

After watching “Blindspot”, we walked around the hotel grounds, socializing with some of our motorcycling friends.  I mistook one of our friends for his brother.  Lonnie arrived at A Holiday Motel on Tuesday, the same day as we did. It was uncertain if Lonnie’s brother Carl would attend this year’s SEVROC, as he had just returned home from a cruise. As we were passing by Lonnie’s room, I saw someone at a motorcycle.  It looked like someone had just arrived. I quickly took note of whom I thought was Lonnie, standing near the motorcycle.  I walked up to whom I thought was Carl, at the motorcycle, and gave him a big hug, saying that I was happy that he made it. Well I hugged Lonnie, not Carl…not that he minded. After hugging Lonnie, the man standing on the opposite side of me, who I thought was Lonnie, said “it’s me. I’m Carl.” It was at that moment I realized I had mistaken Lonnie for Carl. I gave Carl a hug, everyone including me laughing about my blunder.

Carl (on the left) and Lonnie

The annual trek to Seven Silver Seas, commonly referred to as the Purple Store, happened at 11:00 am. I didn’t go this year, not wanting to be tempted to buy something that I don’t need.

While some of the ladies were shopping at the Purple Store, I did some reading. I started reading “The Handmaid’s Tale” before leaving on vacation. I hadn’t picked up the book since.  By the way I am STILL reading “The Handmaid’s Tale”.  I am enjoying the book; however, I keep finding something to do to take me away from my reading!

In the middle of the afternoon Bob and I walked to Market Square, where we stopped at Rock-N-Robins for ice cream and then did some window shopping.

The ice cream at Rock-N-Robins is delicious.

While window shopping, a promotion for T-shirts caught my eye.  We ended up purchasing two Magic T-shirts for each of our granddaughters.  Magic T-Shirts have designs that are black and white indoors and burst into color in the sun. They return to black and white without the sun.  The design we chose was butterfly wings.  We gave the T-Shirts to the girls at their 5th birthday party on May 27th.

We ate dinner at Bogarts Restaurant in Waynesville. It was our first time at this restaurant. Our rib-eye steak sandwiches were very good, as was the sweet potato fries (for me) and onion rings (for Bob). This restaurant (and the ribeye steak sandwiches) were recommended to us by “Skid”, one of our motorcycling friends.  Thank you, “Skid”.  Dinner was delicious!

The Southeast Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) motorcycle rally wrapped up in the evening with a raffle and 50/50.  I will share photographs from the raffle in a later blog post.

We said goodbye to everyone before turning in early for the night. We plan to begin our drive home the next day no later than 7:00 am.

Maggie Valley, NC to Townsend, TN and Back

We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina. I have been uploading blog posts about our vacation since May 29th. This blog post is about our fifth day of vacation.

I awakened at 6:15 am on Thursday, May 18, and was showered and dressed for the day by 6:50 am.

At 7:30 am we went to breakfast at Pop’s Grits & Eggs, which is located next door to A Holiday Motel.  This was our second breakfast at Pop’s in as many days. As we entered the restaurant two of our VROC friends, Lonnie and Rick,  saw Bob and me and invited us to join them at their table. Bob and I ordered Western Omelets for breakfast. The food and conversation was great. As we were leaving the restaurant three more VROC friends — Jim, Tim and Paul, came in for breakfast. We chatted briefly, before exiting the restaurant.

Bob and I made plans the previous night to join “Skid” in a group ride.

“Skid”, at A Holiday Motel, preparing for the group ride

We departed A Holiday Motel around 9:30 am en route Townsend TN.  The ride that we left on is referred to as “the Townsend Loop”.  The Townsend Loop ride originates in Maggie Valley NC and travels via Newfound Gap Road (U.S. Route 441), Old TN-73 and Lamar Alexander Parkway to Townsend.  Townsend is a lunch stop.  Then the ride continues to (and on) the Tail of the Dragon and back to Maggie Valley.  When we attended SEVROC in 2015, Bob and I went on this ride.  More than 20 people participated in the ride in 2015.  This year our group ride consisted of only five people: “Skid” and Sandy, “Bass Man”, and Bob and I.  “Skid” and “Bass Man” rode their motorcycles, with “Skid” in the lead.  Sandy rode in the car with Bob and me.  I drove; Bob sat in the backseat.

Our first stop was at Newfound Gap, on the North Carolina-Tennessee border.

Newfound Gap is a mountain pass located near the center of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Situated along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, the state line crosses the gap.
Rockefeller Memorial at Newfound Gap
Taking in the scenic view from Newfound Gap
What a gorgeous view from Newfound Gap!
Our Townsend Loop group, minus one — Me!

Our second stop was at Smokin’ Joe’s Bar-B-Que in Townsend TN.  We arrived at the restaurant shortly before noon.  The restaurant wasn’t busy.  We were seated immediately and lunch orders taken.  I remembered how good the hush puppies were from lunch 2 years ago, so we asked for a large order of hush puppies.  Bob ordered a salad with some kind of meat BBQ.  I ordered a pulled pork sandwich.  Our main lunch entrees were OK; the hush puppies were just as good as I remembered them.

After lunch Bob, Sandy and I parted ways with “Skid” and “Bass Man”. The motorcyclists left to ride The Tail of the Dragon, before returning to Maggie Valley. Bob, Sandy and I went to Gatlinburg and then returned to Maggie Valley via U.S. Route 441.  If we had spotted somewhere to park in Gatlinburg, we would have stopped and walked around a bit.  We didn’t see any parking, so we didn’t stop.  As we drove through the city, we did see some damage from the November 2016 wildfires.  We saw more fire damage from U.S. Route 441.

Fire Damage from Nov. 2016 Wildfires
U.S. Route 441 (TN)
Fire Damage from Nov. 2016 Wildfires
This is the same stop as above, but a close-up of the mountain on the right is shown.
Sandy and I at Chimney Tops Overlook
U.S. Route 441 (TN)

According to the Nashville Public Radio website article , the November 2016 wildfires started November 23 in the Chimney Tops area and turned deadly five days later.  Fourteen people were killed; more than 175 people were injured; and at least 2,400 structures were damaged.  Two juveniles were charged with aggravated arson in connection with the wildfires.

We made one additional stop before returning to Maggie Valley.  Less than 1/2 mile south of Newfound Gap, we turned off U.S. Route 441 onto Clingmans Dome Road.  We followed Clingmans Dome Road to a parking lot.

Clingmans Dome Informational Sign

We were not willing to climb the steep half-mile walk to the observation tower shown on the informational sign.  I did take a picture, though, that looked like Bob and Sandy were on their way up the trail to the observation tower.  I took this photograph to tease “Skid”, to let him think that Sandy climbed that trail.  “Skid” wasn’t fooled.

Bob and Sandy on the trail leading to Clingmans Dome

We didn’t have to climb that steep trail, though, to enjoy scenic vistas.

View from Clingmans Dome parking lot
View from Clingmans Dome parking lot
View from Clingmans Dome parking lot

Bob, Sandy and I made it back to A Holiday Motel (home base for the Southeast Vulcan Riders and Owners (SEVROC) motorcycle rally) shortly after “Skid” and “Bass Man” made it back from their ride on the Tail of the Dragon.

Rather than go out, Bob and I ate leftovers for dinner.  Later in the evening we socialized with our VROC friends, before calling it a night.  I called it a night much sooner than Bob did!

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