First for the day was to attend a service at Blountville’s Southern Baptist Church where Carolyn is an active parishioner.
It was a foggy morning and as Rick and I drove through densely foggy country lanes from our hotel to pick up Carolyn, it struck me how strange it would seem to friends back home in England who had seen me in the last few days, that I should be where I was now at that moment, in foggy country lanes in Tennessee and on my way to a service at a Southern Baptist Church. Certainly a moment to savour.
I’ve been to the church before, with Rick and his wife Janice, twice, to see Carolyn taking part in the Church’s annual Christmas play “The Spirit Of Christmas” but this time we had the pleasure of seeing and experiencing the inside of the new Sanctuary which was opened at Easter this year.
Here’s the Sanctuary from the outside:
It was an enjoyable service with lots of singing by the choir and some impassioned addresses by the preachers, just as I’d hoped for, a far cry from the staid sermons that characterize British church services.
Following that, the three of us, Carolyn, Rick and I, went for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant at Kingsport.
And after that, we returned Carolyn to her home in the countryside outside Blountville and said our goodbyes “for now” – it won’t be long before we see her again, and not just on Facetime.
We were heading to Winston-Salem where I’d be staying with Rick and Janice for the duration of my trip until January 7th next year.
But there were photographic opportunities between Blountville and Winston-Salem and with the fall colors nearing or at their peak, the opportunities were not to be missed. So instead of taking the fast interstate highways, the i81 northwards to Wytheville, avoiding the mountains, then the i77 and i74 southwards, we took the scenic route through the Cherokee National Forest instead:
The scenery in that part of Tennessee, going into North Carolina, is interestingly hilly, as if that part of the Appalachian mountains formed in a way that would be defined in a specific geological manner, such as “bumpy”, as shown in this photo:
We found a spot on the road just beyond Damascus where a stream flowed beside the road and this gave us some nice shots and a video:
Here’s the video:
We arrived in Winston-Salem just after 5.00pm in good time for time to spend with Janice at home and then to go to Rick and Janice’s daughter Mary Catherine’s home to spend an hour or so with her and her husband Billy and son Jacob, and daughters Sarah and Lilly. And to welcome me back again, Mary Catherine had even made two pumpkin pies with whipped cream knowing how much I like them! Now I was at home again with my American family! Yay!
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