A few stolen hours, a few sights were seen

7-UP barn-sm

I added the wood texture, well, just because I wanted to

This cold I’ve had seems like it will never go away, at least the cough and tired part. Grant you, I’m not coughing enough to try the Fisherman cough drops that were recommended. I’ve stopped the mega Vitamin C doses and seriously doubt I’m still contagious, so I’ll be venturing out in public again. It always bugs me when someone out spreading their various bugs about in places so I tried to stay home and not share. I’ve washed my hands so much they’re dry and itchy, but I think hubby has avoided this catching one.

7-UP Barn Maggie Valley 05-08-2019 9-sm

I’ve been wanting to see the 7-UP barn ever since I saw it on social media last year. I had hoped when I found it, the entire field in front of it would be covered in yellow canola/mustard flowers so I could capture the complementary colored red barn and yellow flowers. The field had been plowed, so I don’t know what grows there. We had driven right past it! We saw a large hawk on a fence post before the barn. We passed The Swag and made it all the way up to Purchase Knob. I read it had beautiful views but the signs were less than encouraging about entering.

On the way back to the main road to find a bathroom, we saw the barn and the hawk was still on the fence post but he’d left by the time we’d found a restroom, and drove back to the barn. I’m sure hubby was wondering if I really needed my full pot of coffee.

Soco Falls 05-08-2019  10.58.31 2-sm.jpg

Next up was an unexpected trip to Soco Falls. I didn’t take my big tripod because time spent with hubby is more about being in the moment than really a photo outing, but I did use the little one I bought from DC. I am really happy with that purchase and will try to do a post on it soon. I’ve been to Soco Falls a few times before but this time we used the ropes and went to the base. I loved the sunbeams coming through the trees even if it did give me some blown highlights. Now the short but steep trip back up left me wheezing, short-winded and coughing.

Soco Falls 05-08-2019 11.07.30 7-sm

I read about a place that offered gluten-free options. Woo Hoo. The sign on the door said something about safe for celiacs, but the menu said it was prepared in the same kitchen and there would be cross-contamination. Still better than not having options at all. When I read the name days beforehand, I sang out part of the song “Brickhouse” to remember the name. In the car, Woe “Black Betty” bam ba lam came to mind. Least I knew that we were looking for a restaurant that started with “B” and I did recall it was on Soco Rd.

Elk on Heintooga Ridge Road 05-08-2019  11.28.58 1-sm.jpg

While we were over that way I wanted to drive down Heintooga Road. We passed an Elk by the side of the road. We gave her plenty of room and passed in the other lane. She seemed utterly unfazed by us. We went as far as we could but the gate was still closed. At the pull off there was a sign for a Masonic Monument so we hopped out to look.

We saw an unusual plant. Once home, I found the answer, not on Google, but in one of my wildflower books.  Squaw-Root is a parasite that grows on oak roots. Also known as Cancer Root and Squaw Corn. Rather “uncommon” but widely distributed below 4500′. Think we were above that?

Hiking Cat Ada 05-08-2019 11.47.44 2-sm



There was a guy in the parking area with his hiking cat. If you’re the guy and reading this and want a full-size pic, let me know. I asked if I could take her picture and pet her. He told me her name was Ada after Ada someone, but I had no idea who he was talking about.  She was friendly and outgoing. Guess it would’ve been nice if I asked his name too.  I told him that our cat Tyler would make a horrible hiking cat. Just not in his DNA.

Almost out of the time we had, we drove through the Cataloochee Ranch where the horses roam free. I found a hill that reminded me of an old Microsoft desktop scene. I read you could see amazing views, ponds, and horses. It was near Ghost Town and  Cataloochee ski resort. It too had signs about private property. So this time instead of just turning around, I got out and asked if we could look and photograph. After getting a tad bit of confusing directions about where we could and couldn’t go, we stayed on the main road and never left the car. We saw roaming horses and rolling fields and even a group coming back from riding (lucky them).

I love these little outings with my hubby probably more than the ones where we’re gone all day. One I don’t leave Tyler as long, but we still get to see some sights. I don’t come back with a ton of photos to cull through and edit and we both can still get work done that day.

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