Monday, August 1, 2011

Contact with the Trail

The tires are the things on the car that make contact with the trail!

After yesterday's hike, we needed time to dry out.  We decided on a driving loop that would take us partially on unpaved road.  The drive started in the lower elevations on a hot and humid day, but the higher we drove, the cooler and less humid the weather.  At elevation 3000 or so, we put the windows all the way down, and at 4160 ft, we made our first stop at Big Witch Overlook.

 My attempt at humor...get it?  Witch's Overlook?  Geesh!  Tough crowd!

We continued on our drive up to the top, where, conveniently, there were potties.  There is a saying in my family - never pass a pot - so even though our needs were not dire, we used the facilities.  The area also had a number of beautiful tables made of piled up stones.  Alas, I had not thought I would need the camera on a trip to the restroom, so I will have to rely on my memory to picture these.  Fading already!

At this point, we entered the unpaved area.  A sign warned us that the road is 28 miles long and one way, with a speed limit of 15 miles per hour.  Adam maneuvered the car through twists and turns.  Directly adjacent to the trail, for the vast majority of the length, is a drop of about 40 feet or so.  It certainly kept him on his toes.  There also was no way one would reach 15 miles per hour without careening off the cliff.  He kept it an average of 10 miles an hour, going about 6 or 7 around these curves.

For those readers too lazy for this math: 28 miles at 10 miles an hour = a long time.  We did not reach the bottom in Cherokee, NC until about 3:30pm.  At that time, we were hungry!  A common theme on this trip is looking for food at non-traditional mealtimes.  No exception here - Cherokee has places for putt-putt and Christmas ornaments, lots of places to buy "authentic, Indian made jewelery", and Indians themselves, dressed in plastic feathers and beating plastic drums.  But the only food available was ice cream and candy.

I prefer to try local spots when I'm in a new place, so I noted a sign that said the "Cherokee Diner", complete with an "Open" sign.  Open signs appear to be in the windows of places 24-7 around here, so we still weren't certain it was, in fact, open.  Also, it appeared to be somehow between a Dairy Queen and a Dominoes.

Turns out, it was both the Dairy Queen and the Dominoes.  But, it was open, so we ate at the authentic Cherokee Diner.


Danielle Mari said...

Thank you for doing the math. I hate math.

And for admitting what is true for so many but remains unsaid, poop is king.

Out of My Mind said...

Plastic feathers and drums! What's the world coming too?

I have been told that I have Cheorkee blood somewhere on both sides of my family. Hopefully they weren't the plastic kind!


Therapist San Francisco said...

What a beautiful view! That would provide me with some incentive to go hiking more often!