…back home….

Yet another trip down Memory Lane was planned for today: Mel and I drove out to Elk Run Stables, place where Mel not only stabled her horse during college but also worked as an Assistant Manager. We met Marcie there, Mel’s former ‘boss’ and good friend, the Manager of the whole operation. Sadly, the main farmhouse burned down a few years ago, but it was replaced with a rather nice new one. A lot has changed since last time we’ve been here, four years ago. The old barn got a partial new layer of coat, a lot of grass is cut shorter than I remember (it’s really just beautification, never mind any other claims, really :mrgreen:) but all in all the whole place turns out really, really nice and welcoming.

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Friends will be friends…

So, I admit it, we don’t run into Mary and Mike that often. Maybe it has to do with the fact, that they live in Roanoke and not in Germany. Good thing about life in the 21st Century though is that you can stay in touch via Internet these days…much easier than trying to keep up a regular exchange of letters. You know, the pen, paper, stamp, envelope, postal services approach that takes ages in delivery to boot.

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…Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Day Two

One of the great things about American National Parks, and I might repeat myself from other posts (not that I would care) is the fact, that it has something for everyone. If you have your mind set on hiking for two days in a row or more? They got trails for that. If you only got half a day? They got trails for that. If you just want to take in the scenery, take a roundtrip and get out of the car every so often for a quick hike of 30 minutes or so? They got trails for that, too.

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…Raindrops keep falling on our heads…

Thank you so very much, Lee, for making landfall on the Gulf of Mexico side and deciding to make just a tropical nuisance of you. So instead of a hurricane, we only have pouring rain. Upside of it: Almost nobody else is in the National Park, leaving Smoky Mountains National Park more or less to us alone. The downside is that road conditions suck a bit. Fallen leaves and fresh, pouring rain make for a slick-ish surface….and where tourists don’t want to come out, most animals do take a rain day off as well…plus the National Park is sporting lots of smoke, i.e. fog, certainly living up to its name…and screwing up our long distance sight. But we are used to that from our trip to Washington State last year. Shame about the lack of butterflies though.

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