Saturday, April 30, 2011

Listening Heaven

"Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven."
Rabindranath Tagore

Look. Listen... Heaven.

Delightful ride along Green River Cove Road in Saluda, North Carolina. Winding to the river bank where tubers and fishermen huddle. A biker's secret, perfect ride through the forest for bicyclists. Full of spring green, mammoth trees. Imagine what history those trees hold, what they’ve seen.

Clean, beautiful running Green River.

Moment of Grace

Green River, Saluda, North Carolina

"In a moment of grace, we can grasp eternity in the palm of our hand. This is the gift given to creative individuals who can identify with the mysteries of life through art." ~ Marcel Marceau

All Your Heart

"When you wholeheartedly adopt a 'with all your heart' attitude and go all out with the positive principle, you can do incredible things." ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Active and Dynamic

"Why indeed must God be a noun? Why not a verb--the most active and dynamic of all?"
~ Mary Daly
Green River Cove, Saluda, North Carolina

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Choo Choo Cafe

Barbara Hawley, Owner of Choo Choo Cafe, Erwin, Tennessee

Looking for coffee at 4 pm, we stumbled on this delightful cafe, tucked inside the Market Square Gallery on South Main Street. The former railroad store is something to see. Charming. Unique. Rich with history, good food, and southern hospitality.

Lights and minature villages, a huge Christmas tree decorated with Easter eggs. Is this a restaurant or antique store? Yes, both. And More. It's a museum and a walk through time with photographs of the town in the 30s and the railroad that plays such a vital role in the Erwin economy. The dining tables feature decoupaged photos of trains and ancestors. There's a dance floor and live music on the weekends.

We came for coffee and couldn't resist the homemade desserts, so we shared a triple layer, just-made chocolate cake. Melted in your mouth. Dinner nightly, says owner and hometown girl Barbara Hawley, is a $7.95 buffet.

A remarkable tribute to a remarkable heritage. Don't miss it.

Love & Main Streets

On the corner of Love and Main Streets in downtown Erwin, Tennessee, Steven expresses his delight at this perfect day...

Limestone Cove

Just off Hwy 107, here we are alongside the peaceful North Indian Creek in the Limestone Cove Recreation Area, East Tennessee...

This area was part of the Cherokee hunting grounds. In the 1800s the area was known for its ore banks, timber industry, and railroad...

Steven and his cathedral forest...

Earth & Sky

"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books." ~ John Lubbock

East Tennessee

Lunch at another secluded picnic spot along a gentle creek with lush forest. We had the area all to ourselves.

Like the 16th century Cherokee Indians who initially explored the area, we were delighted by the beauty and spirit of this special place near the Unaka Mountain Range of East Tennessee.

Sweetest Passions

"Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man."~ Vladimir Nabokov

Butterflies everywhere... and this one paused to spread its wings for me...

Forest Friend

Steven's got a "friend" hanging on to his right shoulder...


"Let us worry about beauty first, and truth will take care of itself."
~ A Zee

The Civilian Conservation Corps helped construct the picnic area in the early 1930s.

Transcendent Moments of Awe

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." ~ John Milton

Steven said this place, this moment, was "his favorite..."

My Pink Vest

Here I am, listening to this beautiful creek sing my name. You have to admit that my new pink leather vest looks great against all this lush, vibrant spring green.

God's Grace

"God’s grace flows like water, steadily downward to the lowest part. Indeed, how could we experience grace at all except through our defects?" ~ Philip Yancey

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Campbell's Covered Bridge, SC

Near the small South Carolina town of Gowensville, just off SC 14, we discovered the placid area surrounding Campbell's Covered Bridge. Built in 1909, the red bridge is the only covered one remaining in South Carolina and extends across a gentle, meandering stream. With the spring green and stunning dogwood trees bursting color all around, this was a lovely surprise.

The bridge is 38-foot long and 12-foot wide. Made of pine, it stretches across the Beaverdam Creek.

Lake Cunningham, South Carolina

Gorgeous riding today south, along the border of North and South Carolina. Up and down side streets near Landrum and Tryon. Just a great day of exploration.

We stopped and had a picnic lunch at Lake Cunningham, just off of SC County Road 135 and Highway 101, northwest of Greer. A very pretty lake with a wildfowl sancuary at its western edge. People were fishing, enjoying the sun. Boating is allowed but no more than 5HP motors.

Hendersonville, NC Dogwood

The splendid dogwoods are out. Bursts of white! Fireworks amid the evergreens. It is Spring in North Carolina.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Indian Creek, Unicoi, Tennessee

Pristine water... lovely sound of rushing life...

Indian Creek, near Unicoi, Tennessee

“Valley Beautiful” ride through Unicoi, in the northeast corner of Tennessee, near the Unaka Mountains. We pulled off of Highway #107, near the North Carolina border and walked along the beautiful, isolated Indian Creek.

Steven By the Creek

Surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest, Steven enjoys the beautiful day... and Unicoi creek...

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Waynesville, North Carolina

Waynesville, North Carolina

"the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them."
~ Charles Bukowski

Everywhere I look, bright blue sky and spring green... Take a chance on life. Breathe in the colors and the endless delights of being alive!

Spring. Now.

4/3/2011, Candler, North Carolina

April soaks color through
Blues and greens Vibrant.

Mt. Pisgah slopes,
rises nearby.

Warm earth, fertile
Branches pushing life
out up in.


Hominy Creek

Hominy Creek, Candler, North Carolina...
Roads converge. We cross over a bridge and this creek, going from Lower to Upper Glady, on our way to NC-151 and the Parkway.

Phlox in Candler

Phlox in Candler, North Carolina... beautiful pink, purple, and white against a canvas of spring green...