A short drive today into the Smoky Mountains and up the side of a very steep hill to the home of new friends John and Mary, who traveled to Mexico in the caravan with us last winter. As we towed the trailer up and up and around curve after curve, we were glad that John was leading the way and secure in the knowledge that he drives his own motor home up that same route. Their home is stunning and decorated in a way that suits our taste perfectly. The rough hewn beams inside are fastened to one another with wooden pegs and every window gives a goregous view of the mountains and valley below. They have two garages. The one at the top of the driveway houses their cars and half way down, a garage with a very tall doors hints that a class A RV is housed behind it. A waterfall flows down one side of the property and made a soothing sound as we sat on the wrap around deck and enjoyed the vista. As the sun set and the temperature cooled, John built a fire in the two story fireplace, an intricate collage of massive local stones. Each of the homes in this area sits on a spacious lot, heavily forested, beautifully landscaped and surounded by massive stone work. If I lived in such a masterpiece, I might be tempted to throw away my suitcase and settle down.
Seeing the sights is always the best when you can profit from the wisdom of a local resident, and John and Mary took us for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This road joins Smoky Mountains National Park with the Shenandoah National Park in Virgiinia and is 470 miles long. Since the real tourist season doesn't begin until after Memorial Day, we had the drive pretty much to ourselves. Each curve of the road yielded another marvelous view of the mountains. As the clouds moved across the sky, light and shadows played across the slopes. Spring has come to the Smokys and the azaleas are in full bloom.