Life in the mountains
By LEE GAREN
With the fourth of July behind us comes the realization of why people move to or want to live in the mountains. It is the solitude and certainly not because anyone thinks the roads here are paved with gold!
First, in order to get anywhere, you have to drive for miles around, as well as in, the mountains. Some offer interesting routes such as a tunnel through a mountain because a road could not have been built around it. You’ll find such tunnels (two of them) on your drive thru the Smokies from Cherokee to Gatlinburg and another one from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
We did some of that touring through the week, not by choice, but through necessity of having doctor appointments. But it affords you the opportunity of seeing the scenery that makes the mountains such an adventure…and great photo ops.
Not only do you get to see interesting sites but you’ll discover really good small mom and pop restaurants with great southern cooking!.Some are tucked away down side roads while others are found scattered through towns on main streets.
It was at one of these little restaurants known almost exclusively by the locals that I found the best cole slaw that I have ever tasted. Who would have guessed that something so simple could overjoy the tastebuds! This one was in Bryson City, NC and now I look forward to doctor visits there just so I can pick up a pint of the cole slaw to bring home for a couple of days of sheer excitement for my mouth!
But I’m getting somewhat off-track here.
I started out writing about the solitude of the mountains. July 4th…that went to hell in a handbasket! Can’t really get the big fireworks here in North Carolina, but quite a few people we know here went a few miles south to South Carolina and ”smuggled” them back across the state line to their homes. We had fireworks to the right of us. We had fireworks behind us. We had fireworks to the left of us and we had fireworks right in front of us at the barns where many of our friends gathered to celebrate.
The front of the barns had been turned into an array of red, white and blue for the event. Tables of food and drink helped to pass the time and keep stomachs from growling. I took my meatballs and special sauce, made from tomato sauce and jellied cranberries with a touch of nutmeg along with a loaf of rosemary bread and small muffins for dessert. A success as always!
I managed to take some really beautiful photos of the fireworks but also got pics of many friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen in a few years. It’s a nice way to record how time marches on in everyone’s faces. Some end up with more tracks and trails than others. Have you ever heard the old saying, “She, or he, had so many wrinkles in their face that it could hold a three-day rain?”
But even with the sizzles, pops, zings and loud bangs we still managed to enjoy the solitude of our space here in the mountains when we returned to our home when our blast was at its end. We sat back and enjoyed the sounds of people
around us having fun and enjoying their celebrations. Now we are forced to wait until July 4th of 2013 but hopefully for the fireworks and not the opportunuty to see friends again. It is kind of strange how some will fade away with the smoke and sparks only to reappear for another day of fun and laughter a year later.
Copyright 2012 Lee Garen
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Posted by Gary
on Jul 9 2012. Filed under Arts/Media/Culture
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