A Visit With Wes’ Parents . . .

“Organic buildings are the strength and lightness of the spiders’ spinning, buildings qualified by light, bred by native character to everyone and married to the ground.”
~ Frank Lloyd Wright

photo at museum of appalachia

An historic barn and mill at the Museum of Appalachia

Wes’ parents arrived last Sunday evening for a week long visit. It was a very busy week as we drove to different destinations to see new sites! The first day was spent at the beautiful Museum of Appalachia about an hour drive from home. It was a gorgeous day, as we walked around looking at the old historical homes, buildings and barns on the property. The best part of the visit was watching the resident peacocks, chickens, goats and sheep! There were several lambs and kids, that were all so adorable, and the male peacocks were extremely handsome, as they walked gracefully about the grounds, sporting their gorgeous plumage! The resident roosters were prancing about as well, with their full and fluffy tails waving in the breeze. There was so much to see, and the setting itself is so beautiful, with the pastures skirted by the densely tree-filled forest.  There was a couple of large old buildings too, which were filled with historical artifacts. Some things we had never seen before and found completely amazing. We walked about in them, for a couple of hours looking, reading and simply trying to take it all in. So sit back and relax, as you take a photo journey around the museum with me . . .

photo of sheep

A few of the precious resident sheep

photo at museum of appalachia

A beautiful old mill on the grounds

photo at museum of appalachia

Me in a portable old jail cell

photo of male peacock

One of the handsome males, strutting his stuff!

photo of male peacock

A “bird’s eye view” from atop an old barn

photo at museum of appalachia

Looks like a perfect spot for a summertime picnic!

The next day, we went and saw the Norris Dam, and the surrounding area, including a historic old mill and barn. Unfortunately, we were there on the wrong day, so the mill wasn’t working and the museum wasn’t open, so this is on our “to do again” list for the future. We were blessed with another beautiful day, as we drove around the curvy road leading up to the dam, where we were offered a beautiful view of the man-made lake and surrounding area. A highlight for Wes and I was when he spotted a beautiful water snake, laying by a small stream that descends from where the mill sits. Needless to say, that was certainly a photo we had to take!

photo of old mill

Me along with George and Jeanie in front of an old mill near the Norris State Park

photo of water snake

A nice sighting!

photo of Norris Dam

Wes and I in front of the Norris Dam

photo of Norris Dam

George and I hamming it up a bit

photo of the Trigonia Elm

Wes standing by a slice of the Triginia Elm, which was stated to be the largest American Elm in the US, and probably world, in 1961

Wednesday was a rainy one, and thus a perfect day for riding around the loop in Cades Cove. The mountains appeared lush and moist under the thick cloud covered sky, creating a perfect afternoon for the deer to come out and enjoy the fields of fresh grass. We saw deer and turkey in many of the open fields, as well as two Black Bears, with one being a mommy with her precious cub. As we drove around the cove,  small puffs of clouds rose between the mountains in areas, making it look like there were scattered fires burning below. This is actually where the Smoky Mountains got their name, not from the pollution that hangs around here in the summer, making the mountains look hazy. The cloud formed smoke is really a very neat thing to see!

photo of cades cove

Clouds appearing to be rising smoke, with deer in the foreground

Thursday morning we drove over the mountains and through the Smokies, as we headed over to Cashiers, NC. We arrived in time to eat lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Cornucopia, before visiting a couple of the local birding and wildlife shops. After looking at the beautiful Lake Glenville, and the downtown section of Cashiers, we drove the short, but pretty drive through curvy mountain roads, to see the gorgeous Whitewater Falls. It was a spectacular site as always, running with full speed as it crashed down the mountainside, to the river below. We walked down to the viewing platform, where we just stood and admired it for a time. We stood there listening to the music of the falling water mixed with the jubilant sounds of birds singing, with an occasional knocking of a woodpecker on a nearby tree joining the symphony, all to the peaceful background sounds of the breeze blowing through the pine trees! Nature’s symphony . . . there’s nothing quite like it!

photo of Whitwater Falls

The stunning Whitewater Falls

After lunch on our back porch Friday, we spent the afternoon walking around nearby Elkmont located in the Smokies and enjoyed looking at the old cabins that are being restored, and can now be explored inside.  It was quite interesting, as we walked back in time, imagining what life must’ve been like for the folks that spent their summers there by the river.  We then walked up a nearby hiking trail that follows along the river for some distance before we turned and began our walk back.  There were several different wildflowers in bloom, all adding to the beauty of the trail surroundings.

photo at museum of appalachia

Jeanie and I in front of some of the newly restored cabins in Elkmont

photo at elkmont

Wes gives me a big kiss at Elkmont!

After enjoying lunch at our favorite Thai restaurant, Lemon Grass, Saturday, we drove up the road leading to the “Dragon” to see the Calderwood Dam. After driving down a short distance we realized one couldn’t see much from there, so we continued going along, and quickly realized, that we were on the Dragon, and on a Saturday at that! Oh well, when given lemons, one makes lemon aide, so we decided to enjoy this adventure, all of us that is but poor Wes, who was doing the driving! The “Dragon” is known as the road with the most curves in the US per mile and was filled with motorcycles ripping around the curves some lying almost completely sideways as they flew around the sharp curves. There were people scattered about some of the curves taking photos of motorcycles and vehicles as they passed, so we decided to make the most of this opportunity and roll down our windows and smile at the photographers as we passes them! We stopped on the way back to get a photo of the dam in the distance, but must admit we felt totally out of place in our minivan! It was quite thrilling to watch these thrill seeking cyclists fly along this winding road! We returned home in time for me to make my homemade spaghetti for an early Mother’s Day dinner for Jeanie, which we enjoyed on our back porch. This morning we said our good-byes, and so tomorrow it’s back to painting for Wes and I.

photo of calderwood dam from the dragon

Jeanie and I in front of the Calderwood Dam

photo from the dragon

A gorgeous view from the Foothills Parkway

motorcycle photo

We all thought this bike looks a lot like a Praying Mantis!

~ Upcoming Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week ~

diVINI sorsi d’ARTE Event with the MiniaturArte Association of Italy May 19th at the National Archaeological Museum of Spina, in Ferrara, Italy

21st International Miniature Show at the Seaside Art Gallery in Nags Head, NC

 The Art of the Miniature XX at the SnowGoose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

  20th Annual International Juried Miniature Show at the Parklane Gallery, Kirkland, WA

Up Against the Wall Gallery, Kingsport, TN – This gallery has over a dozen of our paintings on display!

Blossom II: Art of Flowers at the Greenacres Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH

51st Society of Animal Artists “Art & the Animal” Exhibition at the Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL

Art of the Dive: Portraits of the Deep at the Wildlife Experience, Parker (Denver), CO

To view all our many exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html

“Collect the future’s history today while it is still affordable.”

Until next time ~ Rachelle


6 thoughts on “A Visit With Wes’ Parents . . .

      1. Hi Jim,
        We sure thought he was a beauty! That’s great you’re getting to go fishing, and for two or three days! I hope you catch a BIG one!!! Wes would love to be fishing with you I know 🙂

  1. Well, I sure enjoyed this latest blog. Robert and I hope to get back down that way in a couple of years or so and do more. We decided we needed MUCH more time when we were there last year to do all we wanted to- and I can see there is more we didn’t know about! We’ll have to read thru your old blogs (and maybe call you) when we start to plan that longer trip!
    The Dragon brought back memories for me too- we rode it on our bike (we don’t do fast, tho! LOL) and then again in our truck. Quite a ride…

    1. Hi Carol,
      It seems that we’re always learning about more things to do and see here. Glad you enjoyed the blog, and yes, you need more time to enjoy some of the things in the area. That’s really neat that the two of you drove on the Dragon on your bike! Some day I would love to ride on the Dragon in a pink convertible VW bug 🙂 . . . my dream car! Give us a call when you’re planning to visit our area again!

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