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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Trails

Doug's and my first visit to the Smokies was Memorial Day weekend, 1990. We were in our mid-forties and had never done any hiking. After hiking to Mount LeConte on that trip, we swore we'd never hike again. But we had fallen in love with the Smokies, and the best way to experience them is to hike the trails. So we went out and bought some hiking boots and have been enjoying the trails of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park about twice a year ever since. Here are a few of them.

Abrams Falls Trail

Little River Trail

Middle Prong Trail

Not sure, but I think this may have been the Rainbow Falls trail to Mount LeConte.

Alum Cave Bluffs Trail

Porters Creek Trail

Porters Creek Trail

Little River Trail
We're finding some of the steeper trails a little more of a challenge these days, but there are still plenty of opportunities for getting out into the park and enjoying its trails, rivers, waterfalls, and wildlife.
 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Light and Shadow

I had to have a tooth filled today. Apparently there was one that hadn't yet had a filling. Anyway, I was just getting my camera out to take a photo of the way the light coming through the venetian blinds in the waiting room was making a pattern of stripes on this black lampshade, when the doctor's assistant came to call me back to the torture treatment room. I was pleased to find the same performance of light and shadow still going on after my appointment and was able to get this photo before leaving.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

John and the Peanut Butter

My former boss, John, the one mentioned in the previous post, was an unwilling transfer to our fair state. Having been given the choice between unemployment or relocation, he had moved here from Minneapolis and lived for the day when he could return to that city. He was always quick to express his dislike of our city and his longing for his former place of residence, which didn't really enhance our relationship, since it was my hometown he was criticizing. He would even complain that our winters were colder than those he had known in Minneapolis.

Looking back, though, I kind of wish I'd made the effort to get to know him better. He had a dry wit, an example of which is reflected in Friday's post. And then there was this story that he told me once, after a business trip to another company location.

John's daughter, son-in-law, and two-year-old granddaughter lived near enough to the company location that John was visiting that he could stay overnight with them. He had to be downtown early that next morning, so he had gotten up and fixed himself a cup of coffee and some toast with peanut butter on it.

His little granddaughter, still in the diaper she had worn overnight, had apparently heard her grandpa out in the kitchen and had come out to see him. He held her and played with her a little bit before tucking her back into her bed and leaving for his meeting.

As he was getting into his car, he noticed a little peanut butter on the back of his hand. He didn't want to take the time to go back in and wash it off, so he licked it off. That's when he realized that it wasn't peanut butter.

To this day, it amazes me that John told that story on himself.

He eventually was able to retire and move back to his beloved Minneapolis. I'll bet he's never licked a foreign substance off his hand again.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Boss Quip

I'm not proud of the fact that I used to be chronically tardy at work. I always put in my full eight hours; I just had trouble arriving on time. One day, when I managed to show up right on time, my boss looked at me, then at the clock, then back at me, and said: "What's the matter? Couldn't you sleep?"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Sandhill Crane Thanksgiving

We went to visit Doug's brother for Thanksgiving, in a small town about an hour away from where we live. After going out to a restaurant for our Thanksgiving dinner, we went for a drive and spotted these Sandhill Cranes in a field. They were probably 300 yards off the road, so it was a test of my camera's zoom to get even this good of a snapshot of them. It was also a rainy and low-light situation, but it was an unusual enough sight for us that I thought even a fuzzy photo was better than none.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Installment of "It Gets Worse"

You'll remember our home-bound friend from this recent post. Well, he shared another story with me today that was just too fun to keep to myself.

Our friend and his wife live in an apartment complex for seniors that is one of many such complexes in our area, all of which are owned and operated by the same landlord. These apartment complexes are all very similar in appearance, all units painted the same color and with the same basic construction and layout. In the community where our friends live, there are two such complexes within an easy walk of each other.

Today, while his wife was away from the apartment for a couple of hours, our friend was relaxing in his recliner, wearing only his shorts and a tee shirt, when he glimpsed a car pulling into his driveway. Then the doorbell rang. Then an elderly woman began pounding on the front window, then back to the door, ringing the doorbell and kicking the door.

Our friend's physical limitations make it difficult for him to move around in the apartment any more than necessary; and, besides, he really wasn't dressed for company. So he did nothing at first. But, after about 15 minutes of the pounding, ringing, and kicking, he decided "What you see is what you get" and opened the door.

The woman, apparently undaunted by our friend's attire, demanded to know where "Flora" was, and she wouldn't believe him when he told her that there was no Flora in that apartment. He finally got it through to her that perhaps she would find Flora in the other set of look-alike apartments.

Afterward, our friend told his wife that what he should have said to his visitor was, "Don't worry; it gets worse."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New York in October, 2009

In October of 2009, Doug and I attended a Bible conference at the Word of Life Conference Center in Schroon Lake, New York, with two other couples from our area. Here are a few photos from that trip.

The six of us playing dominoes during a break in the conference. And let me say that the dominoes with numbers, instead of dots, are much easier to work with. I highly recommend them. And be prepared to play by the rules of the person with the strongest personality because it just seems that no two people understand the rules in the same way. I'm just sayin'...

The six of us all had plans for something we wanted to do after the conference, so the three couples had each driven separately. Since Doug and I had never been to New York before, we wanted to see a little more of the area before heading for home. So we took a drive up to Lake Placid, which had been the site of the Winter Olympic games in 1932 and again in 1980. It's a gorgeous area.

On the drive up to Lake Placid

Another scene on the drive to Lake Placid

A ski slope in Lake Placid

Fungus on a log

How many beaver lodges have you seen with a satellite dish?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Some Updates and More Smokies Photos

Updates:

Doug is doing better, following his nose surgery on Friday and two subsequent trips to the emergency room. He slept well last night, and a good rest always helps things look a little brighter.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the pending closing of our church at the end of this year. Well, thankfully, we've made some changes that have encouraged our pastor to continue the work. Pastor Paul loves the teaching and preaching and song leading, but all the extra responsibilities were just wearing him down, especially when added to his full-time job, which pays the bills for his family. Several people have since come forward to shoulder some of the burdens that Pastor Paul had been bearing alone, and he has happily agreed to postpone his retirement.

Smokies Photos:

These photos were taken in October of 2003, before a digital camera had entered my life. The camera was a good SLR, but film has a hard time competing with digital...at least, in my experience.




This rock formation is known as "Rock House"


    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Looking Back...An Earlier Visit to the Smokies

    Going back through some older pictures on my computer's hard drive, I found a few from a trip we had taken to the Smokies back in January of 2006. We happened to hit a few days of gorgeous weather on that trip. Even the locals were amazed at the warm, sunny days, especially considering the time of year.

    The night we arrived, it was just a beautiful evening; and we didn't want to go straight to the motel. The town was still dressed in its Christmas finery and was very picturesque.

    The Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge
    We don't usually spend too much time in either Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg when we visit the area, preferring the roads and trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
     
    Footbridge over river
    Wild turkeys are becoming a common sight on the trails and roadways throughout the national park.
    We had an acquaintance who worked at the aquarium in Gatlinburg, so we made time to visit that facility on this particular trip.
     
    Some sort of a seahorse at the Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg.

    A little cemetery along one of the hiking trails.

    Sunbeams and River
     
    Sunlight and shadows on one of the hiking trails.
    I hope I don't wear you out with pictures and stories from the Smokies, but the truth is that a very high percentage of my photos were taken there. So the topic is liable to come up again and again here.

    Wishing you a blessed Sunday.
     

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    And it did...get worse, I mean.

    Doug had surgery scheduled yesterday, to open up his nasal passages and enable him to breathe better. The doctor had said that the out-patient surgery would take about a half-hour.

    It's always a little scary to have a surgical procedure on a Friday because of the potential of having problems over the weekend when the doctor is unavailable. But, at least, this procedure was scheduled early enough in the morning to allow us to see whether problems would develop before the end of the day.

    I started to voice that opinion to Doug the day before the surgery, saying "At least they'll be doing it early enough..." And Doug interrupted me to finish my thought with one of his own, saying "...that you'll be able to have your Doberman before nightfall." (If that doesn't make sense to you, see my post entitled "Conversations.")

    Of course, these things are never as simple as the doctor makes them sound. We were at the surgery center for four hours, including getting checked in and signing releases, about an hour and a half of prep time, 45 minutes in surgery, and an hour and a half in recovery.

    I brought Doug home, then drove back into town to get a prescription filled for pain medication and to get him a chocolate malt, which was sounding good to him and which the doctor had sort of recommended.

    About an hour after I returned from that errand of mercy, we began to realize that Doug was in trouble from another direction. The pressure in his bladder was seriously mounting, and he was unable to void. I called his urologist and left a message for the phone nurse. About 15 minutes later, I called the scheduling nurse to see if Doug could get in to see the doctor before the office closed for the day. She informed me that the doctor was in surgery on Fridays, not in the office; and, besides, the office would be closing in 45 minutes. She asked if I would like to talk to the phone nurse. I told her that I had left a message for the phone nurse but hadn't received a call back. The scheduling nurse then transferred my call to the phone nurse. I waited on hold for five minutes before hanging up and getting ready to take Doug to the Emergency Room.

    I won't bore you with details, but we were in the ER for three hours. When they eventually hooked Doug up to a catheter, he voided three times the content of a normal bladder when it's full. They wound up sending him home with the catheter still in and instructions to call his urologist on Monday.

    There was still no message from the urologist's phone nurse on the recorder when we got home.

    Doug was pretty miserable last night, but he did manage to sleep a little.

    Today, the sun is shining; Doug's appetite is returning; and he's doing much better. The Doberman is on hold until another day.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    It Gets Worse

    We have a friend who, at age 80, is suffering several physical disabilities that keep him home bound. But he has a delightful sense of humor and loves life, even with its current restrictions. Our friend has a saying, specifically related to senior moments and the aging process in general: "It gets Worse."

    Last night, I was driving the seven miles from our house to a restaurant to buy carryout for supper. I decided to drive a little out of my way, through a small neighboring community, so that I could return a couple of library books to the library there. I drove straight through the little neighboring town, totally forgetting to stop at the library. I could hear my friend's voice in my head saying, "It gets worse."

    One day, our friend's wife was running some errands and realized that she was going to be later than expected. She used her cell phone to call her husband to let him know that she would be delayed. But, for some reason, the phone didn't seem to be working properly. She would dial the number and would get a message requesting her security number. After several tries, she gave up and headed for home. She was almost there when she realized that the number she had been dialing was the number for the phone in her hand, not the phone that was at home with her hubby. "It gets worse."

    I walk for exercise at a local reservoir. Lately, I've noticed that people who start walking after I do are catching up with and passing me. "It gets worse."

    I had a doctor's appointment one afternoon at 3 PM. Somehow, I had gotten it into my head that I had to LEAVE at 3 PM, for the appointment which is a half-hour away. As I was getting out of the shower at 2:30 PM, it suddenly dawned on me that I should be in the car at that moment, on my way to the doctor's office. I had to call and reschedule, and I had no reasonable explanation to offer for my last-minute appointment change. "It gets worse."

    There have been so many other instances when our friend would say, either verbally or through mental telepathy, "It gets worse."

    I'd tell you the other stories, but I can't remember them. "It gets worse."

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Thanks, Hilary!

    When I started this blog, just over two months ago, I did some self-talk, convincing myself that I was doing it for my own enjoyment and that it wasn't important whether anyone else read it or commented. In fact, initially, the only people that I told about it were Sandra and Jenny, who had been the ones who pressured talked me into starting a blog. But, during the ensuing weeks, a few friends and family members became aware of it and began reading it and, at least occasionally, leaving comments.

    Like everyone else who has a blog, I found myself checking my stats frequently. Then I found myself forgetting my earlier self-talk.

    Sandra has faithfully read every post and left comments since day one. And then Hilary began reading and commenting. Sandra's comments are much appreciated, but not unexpected, since we're friends in real life. But it never fails to impress me that Hilary would take the time to read and comment on this baby blog.

    And then, wonder of wonders, today I opened my blog and found STRANGERS commenting on my last post and congratulating me on POTW.  Bless Hilary's kind heart, she had included my post in her Posts of the Week today.

    So this is a big Thank You to all of you who visited my blog because of Hilary's referral and an extra special thanks to Hilary for her kind words of encouragement and for linking to me on this week's POTW.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    RM, A Quirky Co-worker

    I've worked with a number of interesting people during the course of my working life, including some that were downright quirky. RM was one of the more quirky individuals from those days.

    My workspace was a cubicle, one wall of which consisted of file cabinets. The other walls were movable panels, approximately five feet in height, with an open space for an entrance.

    RM was in management, and I was an accounting clerk. I don't even remember how this got started; but, when RM would come to my cubicle, whether with a question about his expense report or just to chat, he would stop at the cubicle entrance and knock on an imaginary door.

    One time, after I had granted him admission, he was sitting in the chair next to my desk, with his leg stretched out at an awkward angle. I asked him why he was sitting like that, and he replied that he was holding the door closed so that we could talk privately.

    On another occasion, he knocked on the imaginary door; and I mouthed the words, "We're closed."

    In reply, he mouthed the words, "Then you should turn the sign around."

    Thanks to Hilary at The Smitten Image for including this post as a Post of the Week.

    POTW-celery[1]

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Heather

    When I was growing up, our dogs were always beagles, because my dad loved to hunt. I should correct that to say that the very first dog we had, after moving into the only barn in the county with a bathroom in the hayloft, was a mutt from the dog pound that we affectionately named Nosy. She was a wonderful mutt, though, loved by all who knew her. And she liked to hunt, too.

    But, after Nosy, it was beagles all the way. I'm probably forgetting some, but I remember Sparky, Rusty, Fritz, and Beany.

    Fritz was with us the longest, about 13 years. He moved with us twice. After the second move, though, he disappeared. We had heard about dogs trying to find their way home, so we looked everywhere we could think to look between the old house and the new house; but we never found any trace of him. The same week that we moved into the new house, my dad had to have emergency gall bladder surgery. That may have added to Fritz' stress level and contributed to his disappearance. Or, someone may have stolen him. He didn't look his age, and someone might have thought he'd make a good hunting dog. Whatever happened, we never learned; and his disappearance added to our own stress level.

    After things settled down at the new house, though, we got another beagle. This one came from the research farm owned by the company for which I worked at the time. They made animal feed and kept animals at the research farm to test the food. The main business of this company was soy bean products. Thus, the new beagle was named Beany.

    By then, we were living on the farm where I was raising horses. Beany didn't do well with the horses. He wanted to chase them, and they didn't like that idea. Beany suffered a nasty kick to the head one day that I thought would kill him. It didn't. He recovered, but I convinced my folks that Beany would be happier in a different home.

    I may have had an ulterior motive for placing Beany in another home. I had always wanted a collie. After all, I had grown up watching Lassie on television. And so Heather joined our family.

    Heather was a tri-colored collie with such a sweet disposition that she would rather have died than displease us. She came to us as a puppy, an adorable little ball of fluff.




    My dad loved to garden, and he had several gardens planted around the three acres or so of the farm that weren't used for growing crops or for pasturing horses. (When asked why he had multiple gardens, instead of one big one, he replied that he didn't like long rows.)

    One day, when Mom, Dad, and I were all in one of the gardens, puppy Heather joined us. Not wanting her to get in the habit of going into the gardens, we spoke a firm NO, then took her out and placed her on the grass at the edge of the garden. She came into the garden again, and we did the same thing. And we never had to do it again. She got it. In fact, she got it so well that, years later, when Dad had quit gardening and had reseeded the gardens into lawn, Heather would always go around the places where the gardens had been.

    Then came the day when a friend gave me two kittens, Starsky and Hutch. I always fed Heather in the barn, as I was taking care of the horses. The first time that the kittens approached her food bowl, Heather growled and snapped at them. I severely reprimanded her for that, and she never did it again. She would lie with her food bowl protectively placed between her front legs, obviously trying to keep the kittens away. But Starsky and Hutch had no fear and would approach the bowl anyway. Heather would look at me pleadingly, but she never again growled or showed any aggression toward the kittens. In fact, they became great friends.
     


     
    We had a neighboring farmer whose border collie always rode on the back of the tractor with him, the sight of which always excited Heather. She recognized the sound of that approaching tractor before anyone else was even aware that it was coming, and we could tell by watching her that Ralph would soon be coming by.

    Once Heather understood her boundaries, she never went off our property. The only times that she might fail in that obedience were when she was chasing birds in flight or hot air balloons. Then, with her nose in the air watching the object of her chase, she wasn't looking at boundaries. But a sensor seemed to go off with the first step into forbidden territory, and she would give up the chase and return to the yard.

    She would tree a squirrel, then lie patiently at the base of the tree, confident that the squirrel would have to come down sometime. Meanwhile, the squirrel had long since jumped to another tree and was long gone. Okay, so she was sweet but possibly not really bright.

    She drank water by putting her head into a bucket, water up to her eyes, then chomping her jaws together. I think she splashed more water out of the bucket than she actually drank.

    Heather and my dad became best buds. She was a lot of comfort to him after my mom died. When Dad decided to sell the farm and move into an apartment, Heather went to live with me in my new house in town, where she and Dad could continue to see each other.

    Dogs add so much to our lives, and we were blessed to share a part of our lives with Heather.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Tombstone Humor

    This tombstone is located in a cemetery not far from where we live. Someone apparently had a sense of humor during a not-very-funny time, marking the grave with parking meters that say "expired."

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    A Little About My Parents

    I read this post yesterday, about an adult daughter dealing with the age-related dementia of her mother. It got me to thinking about my parents.

    My mother died of cancer when I was 30 years old. She was 61. My dad died of heart disease eleven years later, at the age of 71.

    Grief is a hard thing to define. The grief over the loss of a parent is different than the grief over the loss of a sibling or of a child. But it's all grief. I experienced the grief of losing my only sibling and both parents at a relatively young age. But I was spared the ongoing grief that many must deal with as they watch their parents age and fade before their eyes, often having to come to grips with the loss of the person inside the body before the body itself yields to the inevitable pull of death.

    But, lest this post become too maudlin, I'd just like to share a little about my parents.

    My mother was the only daughter of her parents, sandwiched between an older and a younger brother. Her father was a railroader who died when Mom and her brothers were still children. Her mother was a teacher. I'm not sure when she stopped teaching; but, from my earliest memories, she worked in a grocery store in the small town where she lived.

    My Mother's Mother

    My Mother (Far Right) with Her Two brothers
    My dad was the only child of his parents. His mother took her own life by swallowing weed poison when my dad was a 13-month-old baby. She was only 18 years old. Her husband, my dad's father, eventually left Dad in the care of his maternal grandmother and moved to Oklahoma, where he remarried and fathered two daughters. Both of my dad's half-sisters are still living, although only one of them has stayed in contact with Dad's family in this neck of the woods.

    Dad's Mother

    Dad and His Father
    Dad's maternal grandmother, Grandma M., was one of those hardy women so often found in her generation. She gave birth to eight children, two of which died early, one as an infant and one at two years of age. Her last daughter, my Aunt B., was five years old when Dad was born, so aunt and nephew were actually raised together as sister and brother.

    Grandma and Grandpa M. (Dad's Grandparents, Who Raised Him)
    In addition to raising her own children and my dad and occasionally another grandchild, Grandma M. cared for her invalid husband, who suffered from crippling arthritis. Aunt B. used to tell me about how Grandma M. would hitch up the horse and buggy every Sunday, no matter the weather, and take the family to church.

    One day, while Aunt B. and my dad were in school, their house burned down. Grandma M. had managed to get her crippled husband out to safety, but they lost everything. Aunt B. had to go live with and work for another family until the house could be replaced. I'm not sure where Grandma and Grandpa and Dad lived during that time. When they got a new house, it wasn't new at all, but one that was moved to their farm, pulled by horses. That story always fascinated me, and I found myself wishing there was a photograph of the house-moving event.

    Times were hard in the 1930s, and extended families often lived together. One of Grandma M.'s daughters was married and doing fairly well in the poor economy, so she and her husband took in my dad, Aunt B., and Grandma and Grandpa M. To hear them reminisce about those days, you would have thought that was the best time of their lives.

    Grandpa M. died before I was born, and Grandma M. died as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident when I was five; so my memories of her are limited. Her injuries actually weren't serious, but she developed pneumonia in the aftermath of the accident; and that's what took her life.

    I don't really recall how my parents met. They were from different small towns and hadn't known each other in school. My dad worked almost 40 years in a large factory. Mom worked as a secretary in a law firm. When she died in 1975, one of the partners in the firm told me at her funeral that she had taught him everything he knew. I'm sure that was an exaggeration, but it was nice of him to say it.

    These are my parents...probably their senior pictures from their respective high schools.
    After Dad's heart attack in 1967, he wasn't able to continue working in the factory and had to retire. Not too long after that, Mom had to retire from her job in the law office due to her cancer. So the two of them were able to enjoy some leisure time and do a little traveling before Mom's death.


    I took this photo of my parents on their 35th wedding anniversary in 1974.
    I lived in one of two house trailers on Dad's farm. And my nephew, Dave, moved into the other one sometime after my mom's death. Dad was having a hard time getting used to life without Mom, and I think it was a real help and encouragement to him to have Dave there. The two of them spent a lot of time together, and it was probably therapeutic for both of them. My brother, Dave's father, had died when Dave was only two years old. I think Dave and Dad probably had some conversations about Phil that benefited both of them.

    Dad kept the farm for another ten years after Mom's death, I think mostly for my benefit. Finally, though, his own health made it impractical for him to continue to live there. By then I had sold all my horses. When the decision was made to sell the farm, I sold my house trailer and bought a small house in town. Dad sold the house and farm and moved into an apartment in the same building where Aunt B. lived.

    I've always loved this picture of Dad and my dog, Heather, taken in 1977. Although Heather was my dog on paper, she was Dad's dog in both their hearts.


    Monday, November 08, 2010

    Mare/Mayor

    As I wrote in this post, my first horse was a 10-year-old mare named Gayranna. At first glance, one would think the name should be pronounced "Gay-ranna." But, as Gayranna's previous owner quickly informed me, the name was a combination of the mare's parents' names, Gayr and Susanna, and should be pronounced "Gayr-anna."

    Anyway, because of the mare's unusual name, she was most often referred to as "the mare" or "the old mare" among and around my non-horsey family members.

    You've also met my niece, Beckie, here. Well, Beckie was about six years old when "the mare" joined our family, and her young mind had no point of reference for the word "mare."

    One day, Beckie told me that I should buy a top hat for the mare. When I asked her why, she replied, "So that she'll LOOK more like a mayor."

    Saturday, November 06, 2010

    Sights of Fall

    There are many sights and smells that are associated with this season of the year. Here are a couple of those sights. You'll just have to use your imagination for the smells.

    This hot air balloon flew over our house this afternoon.

    Doug burned a portion of our fallen leaves today.
    We arrived home from the Smokies last night and just haven't had too much energy to get much done today. Doug did go out this afternoon and burn some leaves while I did some laundry and finished sorting and labeling the many pictures I had taken while on vacation.

    It's a good thing a friend just reminded me that we have to turn our clocks back tonight. We might have been early to church tomorrow. They wouldn't recognize us if we got there early! Thanks, Pat.

    Thursday, November 04, 2010

    Rain, Sun, Snow...A Day in the Smokies

    It was raining this morning and quite a bit colder here in the Smokies, but the rain stopped by noon and the sun even peeked out.

    On our vacations here, we usually like to include a day in which we find a quiet spot in the woods or by a stream where we can set up our chairs and sit and read for awhile. One of our favorite spots for that activity is in Cades Cove. So we decided to head over there today.

    This is a view along the road to Cades Cove.
    Cades Cove is a valley, surrounded by the mountains. It's a popular place for wildlife viewing, and it's also a place where several old log cabins have been preserved for visitors to view. As many times as we've been here, we've never visited any of the cabins that weren't right beside the loop road. Today, though, since it was cooler and we had no other plans, we walked back to a couple of the more remotely located cabins.

    The John Oliver Cabin

    The Trail to the Elijah Oliver Cabin

    Elijah Oliver Cabin
    At the Elijah Oliver cabin, we heard thunder. So we didn't linger, but just took a couple of pictures before hurrying the half-mile back to our vehicle. We got wet, but not soaked. And we decided this wasn't a day for sitting in the woods and reading books.

    A cantilever barn is one of the more interesting structures along the Cades Cove Loop Road. This picture seems to be on a slant. The photographer must have been tilting.

    Cantilever Barn in Cades Cove
    On the way back to our hotel in Pigeon Forge, we noticed that an electronic warning sign along the road was announcing the closure of the Clingmans Dome Road due to snow. So, of course, we had to turn and drive up there to see the snow.There was snow, but not much where we were. More of it was visible on the surrounding hillsides, though.

    Snow on Trees in Background
     And here are a couple of pictures taken on the way back down the mountain, heading for our hotel.

    Fall Colors Along the Road

    Gatlinburg Overlook
    We had thought about staying another day, but the weather forecast isn't good for tomorrow. So we'll be heading for home on Friday.
     
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