2017 North Carolina Mountains travel blog

Traffic just outside Waynesville

More traffic

Total Eclipse

Total Eclipse - closer

One of the trees in the campground is already changing colors

The Bush Bean pickup truck just outside the museum

Our campground hosts

Part of the plant

The rest of the plant

The Bush homestead


Well, another month has flown by as we enjoy our stay here near Waynesville. We haven't done much but enjoy the area AND the food!! Monday, we did make the short 15 mile trip from the campground to an area between Balsam and Silva, NC where we could find a place to park in the shade and still be able to view the total eclipse. The campground was supposed to have 98.6% total but since it was a once in a lifetime event for us, we wanted to get 100% and didn't have to drive far to achieve that.

We left the campground about 11:15 and immediately encountered heavy traffic as we were passing Waynesville and the traffic was stop and go for about four miles until we got past the southbound Rest Area just outside Waynesville on the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway (US-23). For some reason many northbound drivers were attempting U-turns and really jamming the traffic up. Once we got past that, it was a speed limit ride for the rest of the trip to the entrance of the Ochre-Hill Baptist Church where we joined four other cars initially but grew to 20 by the time the total eclipse passed. We had gone there last week on a dry run to see if it would be OK for the eclipse. Unfortunately when we went today, they had closed the gate going to the parking lot and church but we were still able to find a place between the road and the gate that worked out well.

The eclipse was great and we had clear skies for the total eclipse. There were a few clouds obscuring the sun during the hour plus time of partial eclipse before it became total. Our eclipse glasses worked well so we were able to watch the march of the moon as it progressed across the sun. I have included a couple of pictures of the traffic and of the total eclipse. I didn't have the correct camera filters so didn't get any shots of the partial eclipse.

Today, our campground hosts, Peggy and Tony, took us to the Bush Beans plant in Chestnut Hill, TN, about 50 miles from the campground IF you take the fast route. Instead of the fast route, we took the more leisurely and scenic route through the Smokie Mountain foothills and it took about 2½ hours to get there. It was a delightful trip with lots of mountain scenery, and lots of twisty-turny roads. I was glad Tony was driving as I don't enjoy driving the curves that much. The plant itself had a very nice movie and museum where you find out about the history of the company and view how the plant itself operates. They do not give tours of the actual plant but you can see the plant from the museum's location! :)

I don't know when the next post will happen but I will be sure to let you know if you are on the update list.

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