Today we headed northwards through Georgia to our destination for an overnight at the beautiful Santeetlah Lake in North Carolina.
Here’s the route we took, shown as the blue line:
It was a perfect day again, and we began to see the fall colors appearing in the trees. We knew that as we drove northwards and higher in elevation the colors of leaves would be changing fast, perhaps being at their peak for our photographers’ intoxication by the time we would reach the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the next day.
Along the way we stopped at a roadside Market which specialized in apples and had acres of orchards for pick-your-own apple enthusiasts.
This was Mercier Orchards, near the town of Blue Ridge, Georgia.
Their store offered a vast range of country-style foods and other products, but their apples were extraordinary. One that really grabbed our interest was called Mutsu, a huge, really huge apple which tastes similar, with its honey sweetness, to the ever-popular Golden Delicious which is part of its genetic origins. It is versatile as both a cooking and an eating apple. We purchased two bags of these Mutsu apples, one for Carolyn, Rick’s sister-in-law with whom we were to stay for a couple of days on our way to Winston-Salem, and the other for Janice, Rick’s wife, who has made very tasty use of them already as I write this.
We had chosen to stay overnight at Santeetlah Lake for its photographic potential, and we wasted little time in arriving early enough to drive around the lake.
As we checked in at our hotel, the Microtel at Robbinsville, the manager offered us some advice of how best to use the limited time we had.
It turned out that there was enough to choose from that we could have stayed a week and it wouldn’t have been enough, but we took a few photographs which you can see here:
Close to Santeetlah Lake is the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. This is a 3,800-acre tract of virgin, old growth forest, named in memory of poet Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918), best known for his poem “Trees”. In 1975 the memorial forest was joined with a much larger tract of the Nantahala National Forest to become part of the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness.
We took some photos at the entrance to the forest; clearly, we missed a few, not having the time to take more:
We also took a video of the stream at the entrance to the forest; we’ve decided that this kind of video, intended for you to immerse yourself in for the experience of “being there” and for relaxation, has the potential to become a commercial enterprise for us; the rave reviews this video got on my Facebook page have encouraged us to take a lot more, some of which you can see on this blog:
That evening, there was enough light left for us to enjoy a drive up the lake to the historic Tapoco Lodge where we dined on the open-air riverside patio, enjoying an excellent stone-baked pizza with a basket of chicken wings with barbecue sauce – yummee!
Rick has continued to insist that if I’m to adopt some of the American ways of life, specifically Southern American, I should eat more with my fingers than is customary at home in England. The pizza proved to be more of a challenge than I’d faced before…
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