Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. I hope you enjoy this beautiful view from the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina on 6/24/18.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Backroad Trip in the Smokies 12-2-13

Beautiful Winter Day in the Smokies
On December 2nd,  George and I decided to take one of the backroads in the Smokies (between Cosby and Cataloochee).   WELL---You've heard about 'best laid plans' haven't you????  We got about halfway up the mountain only to find the road beyond was CLOSED.   SO---we took off on another backroad ---not sure where we would end up!!!!!  We love surprises ---and this one was wonderful...  AND---it all worked out well for us since we finally came out over on I-40---toward Asheville (which is where we wanted to go).

I'll share with you some of the beautiful photos we took along that road...  Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements.  The photo above shows what a pretty day it was for us.  However,  there was snow at the higher elevations ---which we hadn't planned on seeing.

Snow on the road
I took several photos of our road that day showing the ice and snow and MUD.  It wasn't very cold that day---but the snow was still clinging onto the shady spots!

Very Dirty Car!
Our pretty little Prius (Mrs. P) got EXTREMELY muddy and dirty that day.... Poor thing---she's SO abused!!!!!! ha

Mt. Sterling Baptist Church
Years ago,  people lived in small communities in the mountains... This little church sits up on top of a mountain ---so of course,  we had to check it out.  It is still in use---so there are families who still must live nearby (although we didn't see many homes).  What a beautiful place for a church.  This is Mt. Sterling Baptist Church.  Neat, huh?

Mt. Sterling Cemetery
And--this is the Mt. Sterling Cemetery behind the church.  There obviously have been quite a few families in those mountains through the years.

Huge Holly Tree
I don't know how long the church has been there,  but I was in awe of this huge Holly Tree.  I have no idea how old the Holly is but I seldom see them that large... We have some Holly bushes in our yard --but they are small. 

Beautiful Cascade
Of course,  you know that George and I always stop when we see cascades and waterfalls --no matter where we are.   We  saw some beauties in these mountains.  

George getting ready to take a picture
Since we didn't have our jackets on,  you will know that the weather wasn't too cold on this day.  There's just nothing better than being way back in the mountains enjoying a mountain creek!

My "Dream Cabin"
I put a similar photo on my Photo Blog saying that this is my 'Dream House'... That's what I would love to have:  cabin high in the mountains with a beautiful view!!!!  WOW---gorgeous,  isn't it? 

Laurel Creek
There was a sign nearby this creek/cascade saying "Twisted Laurel Trail"... SO--I assume that this creek is named Laurel Creek...  I love all of the Rhododendrons surrounding the creek.

Snow, Cascades and Creek
Here's another cascade/waterfall/creek.  As you can see,  there's still quite a bit of snow in the area.  Isn't this a beautiful area????  We LOVED it. (Just look at the next photo!)

A Happy Mountain Girl
Here's your proof... We do love being in the mountains!!!!  Can you tell???? ha ha

Another Little Cabin
Here''s another little cabin along our way!  Makes me wonder if these cabins are where people live year-round ---or are they 'seasonal' cabins???  I'm sure one could get stuck up on those mountains for long periods of time in the winter.

Beautiful View
I love this view---from those mountains... Can you imagine a cabin here with that view?  WOW!!!

WELL---after wandering around for awhile,  we did wind our way back down the mountain and came out at Interstate 40---which is where we wanted to go since we were headed on to Asheville, North Carolina.   SO---even though we didn't get to go on the road we thought we'd go on,  this was a wonderful little side-trip---and except for a very dirty car,  we loved every second in those mountains.

Hope you have a good weekend and hope that it has warmed up some where you live also.  We had a nice weekend --but they say it will get cold again here on Wednesday... SO--I guess Winter is still with us!!!!!

NOTE:  Anyone getting an email from me (with a Cox.net address)--do NOT open it. I will not send out an email just with a link.  The one that hubby got, was a link and said AMAZING.   I must have gotten spammed!  I will change passwords AGAIN.  Thanks..

NOTE:  Anyone with Google+  may want to read THIS if you don't want your name used in advertisements --which you may not recommend.  

Have a great day.


Ms. A said...

What a lovely, unexpected trip! Love the church and that's a well cared for cemetery, to be up where you didn't see many homes.

Everything looks so beautiful and you look like a very happy Betsy!

Our photos said...

You have taken nice photos, Betsy!

diane b said...

Just fabulous scenery. Can't wait to see it myself.

Catherine said...

How wonderful it would be to take a nice country drive but alas this snow would make it a little dangerous. I sure hope spring comes soon.
Have a happy week Betsy!
xo Catherine

Big Dude said...

I like that you guys are willing to just head out and see where the road goes. We've been over that very road.

linda m said...

What a lovely "side trip" you took. I love the cabin with the fantastic view. My hubby and I love to take "side trips" also. you see so much more of this beautiful country when you don't take major roads.

Arkansas Patti said...

Had to smile a bit. You picked the lovely house to be a dream house and I fell in love with the small cabin. Bet mine would be easier to clean:))
How nice to travel back roads and have them dump you safely near your destination.

Linda@arichtapestry said...

I enjoyed your side-road trip. You're very adventurous and that's the way to see the unexpected like that little church and cabins and imagine what it must be like to live in that isolated community in the old days. Keep warm as I'm guessing it's still very cold where you are at the moment.


Pretty!!! You and I would have a bidding war on that 'dream cabin'!!!

The Furry Gnome said...

Nice adventure! Your pictures remind me of our trip through the smokies in April. We were surprised to see the old log cabins, churches and cemeteries in the park. And the streams tumbling down were beautiful -we drove roaring Fork Rd. Thanks!

Donna said...

What a great little drive! And you can see so much more of the terrain with the leaves gone.

Daisy said...

I love those little cabins, and that view is absolutely amazing! Great photos, Betsy.

Sandra said...

my dream cabin is the one with another little cabin written under it. love that and the church to... i like old cemetery's like this one.. beauty every where you looked on this trip

Beth Edwards said...

love the mountain shot. what a view. ( :

Shug said...

Isn't it awesome how God directed your path in a different direction that day and how HE blessed you with these Amazing scenes? Love the little church and WOW....what a dream home!!
Y'all have fun today!!


Sandra said...

Hi Betsy!
Great pictures! it's wonderful to have an unexpected trip that becomes so fruitful, the cascades/waterfall/creek are stunning! no wonder you were so happy! and the cabins certainly are so lovely - stay warm brrr! it's starting to get a little colder here (not as cold as where you are though) x x x

Nellie said...

There are all sorts of places where people live back in the mountains. It is hard to imagine how they must have to hibernate some winters.

No suspicious emails here.

We actually saw the sun briefly this morning, though it was short-lived. Rain will soon arrive.

Have a wonderful Monday!

xo Nellie

Rose said...

Beautiful shots, Betsy. I would love to have one of those cabins, too.

Janice K said...

You find the most interesting "back roads" most of us would be hesitant to take. Thanks for sharing.

Sylvia K said...

What a great trip and a surprise as well!! Thanks, as always, for sharing the fun and the beauty!! I do love trips on back roads!! Wonderful captures!! Have a great week, Betsy!!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

That one shot would indeed be an awesome view if there were a cabin or house there. I don't know that I'd like to be snowed in for a very long time, in fact, I know I wouldn't. But, otherwise, I could go for that house, too! BG would prefer the cabin, tho. Have a nice day!

Joy said...

Thanks for the trip:) Very nice place.
Yes, here is now minus degrees and it is freezing to the bone:)

Out on the prairie said...

this brought back some good memories of visiting this area

Fun60 said...

What a great place to end up. So exciting to follow an unknown road and to find such delights at the end of it.

Terry and Linda said...

I saw on George's blog YOU GOT SNOW!!! And a goodly amount also!!!


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

You find the most amazing roads and scenery. Let me know when you move into that 'dream house',and I will make a visit.

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a great little side trip. Love the blue BLUE sky!!!
Hey, lets go in halsies on the dream cabin; love it!!!!

Busy Bee Suz said...


David said...

Betsy, We love drives like this too! Beautiful photos... I especially like the views of the mountains and the streams. Very calming... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

eileeninmd said...

Betsy, pretty scenery and views. Your photos are wonderful. Enjoy your week ahead!

Happyone said...

Love the picture of the little church.
Everyone's car is turning white around here because of all the salt. I haven't seen a clean car in weeks!

Ann said...

gorgeous pictures and I think I'll share that dream with you if you don't mind because I would love to live in a cabin in the mountains like that

Lola said...

That was a beautiful side trip. I so enjoyed it. Love those mtns.

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Great back road trip! Hope your car forgave you for getting her so dirty!!!

Lynda said...

Our daughter's family's cars look like that all the time since the last road to their home is dirt/gravel. What a wonderful side trip - - - such beauty. It's almost like God "hid" the best stuff in the mountains and forests to reward those people who truly seek to fellowship with HIM in nature.
A HUGE THANK YOU for the Google+ endorsement info. I corrected mine and bookmarked that page to forward to others.

Elizabeth said...

You and me both are loving the idea of a cabin in the mountains!! And these places were picture perfect, with views that could be watched for hours with cups of coffee in hand!

I am a bit envious that you and George are so spontaneous if your plans change, such as having to use a different road and then trusting that you'll get to where you need to be...and ENJOY THE SCENERY! My mom and I drove like that when we took vacations!

Now, I was just watching the Weather Channel and they were showing amazing pictures of frozen Bald Rivers Falls, TN! I think it's in your neck of the Tennessee woods...maybe you've been there...especially if it has "Falls" in it's name!


Retired English Teacher said...

I could go for that dream cabin. Even the other one would do. Loved your road trip. I've never seen a holly tree. Wow. They are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

The photos are just great. We had something similar to happen on our honeymoon in this same area...road closed...we were lost for a while!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely side trip with great scenery.

camp and cottage living said...

What a beautiful side trip.
The creeks are sobeautiful and the church reminds me of many country churches I've attended.

Small City Scenes said...

Beautiful images as always. I used to dream of a log cabin high up in the mountains with a fireplace and a whole wall of books to read. that was a childhood dream. I would still love a cabin in the wood only I have more wants to go along with it.
I love the old church too.

So glad neither of you were hurt and you car is ok too. What a scary thing to happen. What was the matter with the other driver I wonder. Thank the Lord. Prayers answered.

Eva Ason said...

That is just so beautiful! Stunning views and I love the cabin down at the edge. Have a great day!

Ercotravels said...

Wonderful narrated the trip thought the beautiful pictures!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What a fun trip. The first thing I thought when I saw that mud was to wonder if you had your little prius. My catr is very muddy now too.

Dee said...

Dear Betsy, those two cabins really appealed to me. Like you, I'd love to have a cabin set apart from other neighbors where I could view nature untouched by humans. For me, that was--for two summers--a cabin along the North Shore of Lake Superior (in Minnesota). I spent two weeks in that cabin each of those summers. The owner and his son had built it in the Swedish way.

I've been away from blogging for several weeks and so have missed your postings and photographs during that time. If there are postings you'd especially like me to read, please let me know. Peace.

DeniseinVA said...

What a fabulous day you had and that detour got you some grand photos didn't it? Happily most of our unexpected detours have done the same. I love those little cabins and the sweet little church, and of course I always love the pictures of you and George. Happy day to you Betsy!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I love your "explorer" spirit, Betsy. You've shown me some things that Doug and I might never find in our beloved Smokies.

Small Kucing said...

That is a lot of cleaning work on Mrs P.

Thanks for the tip on Google+ ads. I didn't notice that coz I am not very active there

Serenity Cove said...

I think we took that road one time. I love going to Cataloochie to see the elk.
Have you ever gone to Max Patch? We watched the sunset from there one time. That was pretty neat!
Where I live my car looks like that most of the winter:(

Jazzmin said...

So nice to sit down tonight and read your peaceful, wonderful post and see your photos! I got lost in the beauty of each picture. And I really like how you give a lot of interesting information and thoughts on your pictures :)

Hope you are having a blessed week!

Hugs to you,

Neal said...

Those are beautiful shots. I would love to have a cabin like that so I could get away from everything.

Marie said...

Wandering around back country roads has always been a favorite past-time for my husband and me. That was our best entertainment when we didn't ahev much money, and there were always interesting surprises. Once we stumbled on an amazing historical home, it was empty--two story with a beautiful staircase. We discovered it was for sale for $1. to anyone who could have it moved. I would have LOVED to buy and move this house, but we didn't have the money to move it, or land to put it on! I will never forget it though, especially because they planned to tear it down if no one bought it, and I just hope someone else fell in love with it like I did! Beautiful shots, and that mountain cabin with it's view is exactly what we dreamed of for years! Wow!

Grandma Bonnie said...

I love all your pictures of this little trip. We often take such side trips ourselves. i am glad my hubby like to just up and drive for fun. I on the other hand wont drive at all so it works out for both of us. I would not mind having a little cabin on a hill out in no-where.