This week I’m sharing more adventures from the fun week spent with my family recently visiting us here in the Smokies! Since several days during the week brought rain, we had to work around the yucky weather, while taking advantage of the nice weather when it came and did just that one afternoon with fishing here in Townsend. While Wes and the kids fished with corn from the bridge, Dad and I waded in the river below and fly fished. Even though Wes and the kids caught the fish, we still had fun trying! That evening we ate at Black Bear Cafe, a local favorite, spending the remainder of the evening fishing and playing in the river. Then friend Kit joined us and we headed into the park nearby to watch the fireflies appear as darkness fell, which turned out to be a most delightful experience!
The next afternoon brought beautiful sunny skies, so we climbed into the kayaks and started out on another adventure. Strong winds once again made it a little difficult to paddle, but nonetheless, we paddled on and even managed to get some fishing time in.
We found a great spot to pull over to get out and stretch our legs, before snorkeling in the clear water for a bit. Those of us who had wetsuits put them on, to help insulate against the frigid water temps.
My mom relaxingly sat on the pebble-covered bank and watched as the rest of us snorkeled and swam. The clear water allowed us to see numerous fish swimming about in the strong currents of the water, and they even got to see one of our endangered darters!
Even with wetsuits, the water here in the Smokies is still icy cold and those of us filled with “Florida blood” can only stand it for so long. So the kids and I happily laid on what they named the “bakin’ rock” which had been heated by the sun and nicely warmed us up as we relaxingly laid there, basking in the delightful warmth and thawing out! It was growing late in the day by that time, so we paddled our way back, with the guys fishing most of the way, and excitedly my dad caught a few fish on the return trip!
The next day was my birthday and the clear blue skies were a wonderful gift indeed! We decided it was a great day to drive up on the new section of the Foothills Parkway, and enjoyed stopping at several of the overlooks. We used my dad’s binoculars to peer down into the valley of Townsend below, from the mountain top where we stood, finding key buildings and fields, which felt like a treasure hunt of sorts.
Farther along we stopped and walked along the long cantilevered bridge that hugs the curving mountainside and offers stunning views in all directions of the surrounding mountain ranges!
Of course most of the time we couldn’t help but hold onto the kid’s when they were peering over the edge of the super high bridge! I think my mom especially was a bit relieved when we headed down from the high places!
It was a great day for a picnic by the river, before heading into the Elkmont region of the Smokies.
Once in Elkmont we hiked up the Little River Trail for a way and were delighted to once again be able to find the old historic troll bridge to show my family.
Everyone enjoyed walking through the restored cabins in what was called Daisytown in years past, and the kids found the perfect sized house for them, complete with it’s own little fireplace inside!
Having enjoyed another day full of adventures, we headed back home to eat supper on the screen porch, and afterward Kit joined us for a round of birthday s’mores around the campfire! It had been a wonderful week together, full of shared adventures, and was indeed a great birthday present for me! Then the next morning we said our sad goodbyes, as they continued onto their next destination.
~ Fresh Off The Easel ~
This past week I finished a painting of a gorgeous Roseate Spoonbill which I painted on silk. It will be on of several miniature paintings featured in an upcoming show called In the Tradition of Audubon Exhibition at the Cincinnati Museum Center, located in Cincinnati, OH, this September 12th through January 5, 2020.
Wes finished his miniature painting of our own precious resident Carolina Wren Peedeepeeps, shown sitting atop our beautiful Carolina Jasmine, and singing at the top of his lungs!
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Until Next Time . . .