The art of not knowing.
Saturday morning, my plan was to start cutting tile for the counter top in the kitchen. I walked outside to setup the saw. The air was warm and the sky was blue, a beautiful fall morning. “Nope, not happening!” Much too beautiful to be a slave to the nest! We decided we had to get out of here. The fall colors beckoned us. The kitchen would be there another day. Sherri is over her Covid Quarntine and going stir crazy! It is time to get her out of this house
Although she still is no where near 100% the doctors said she not contagious, and so ready to get out of the house!
We threw a few covers, pillows, and a roll of toilet paper in the back of the car in case we decided to sleep on the side of the road.
Off we went with the only destination being, AWAY!. Every stop sign was questioned with a left or a right?

Before long we were on the Laurel river in Madison County. I had to pee so I stopped and snuck into the woods, on the way back out I looked down discovering a magnificent blue horse with Blond mane staring at me. Often on journeys with epic proportions one must be open to destiny and that includes the warrors you allow on your team. We needed a navigator and this blue horse we would name Laurel, would join our team. Not another turn was taken this weekend without consulting our magical blue horse.

She guided us along back roads I have never been on. We went way up thru Shelton Laurel, up into Hickey fork, down into Tennessee, the colors at Roaring fork park were amazing.

We drove past a brown sign that read “Cheosta” laurel said turn around, I did. We went up past Johnnys hostel on the AT. I have read about this place but never seen it. It did look like a hip place to stay. Hopefully one day I will stay here on a thru hike. As we crossed the Nolichucky river the sign read no outlet but I kept driving at laurels insistence.
Soon we came to another sign. This one read
USA raft adventure resort..
Cabins and camp sites.
On a whim we checked out the prices. We ended up getting the cutest little cabin you could imagine for $46.00 community bathroom across the road but hey! For $46.00 a night.

It was late when we arrived so by the time we put our bags in the room and walked around the campground the sun was setting
This place has the coolest adventure/surfer-type vibe. Cafe lights strung thru the trees, a Bob Marley Pink Martini playlist providing ambiance.

Sitting on the deck of this backwoods bar. I could not help but imagine being in a third-world jungle, American ex-pats telling stories of adventure.
I closed my eyes second easily slipping away.
Half expecting the jungle let out a scream as a flock of egrets explode out of the jungle, followed an uneasy quiteness then a dark shadow emerges as it get closer I begin to make the features of a human. This human has a head full of Auburn hair pulled back in a ponytail. The ragged clothes and dirty face could not camouflage the spark in her eyes But as she forces her way up to the bar, a pistol slung low in a shoulder holister. I grow worrisome of her intentions. She slides her hand into her front pocket and pulls out a worn leather medicine bag. Dumps a few nuggets of gold on the bar and announced Drinks for everyone! The crowd cheers gunshots are fired into the night. There will be a party in the jungle tonight.

I wait for the food that was surprisingly good. I had a reuben, crack corn and dill pasta salad I washed it down with a cold draft IPA. After our meal we hung out by the group fire pit till the smoke chased us away. We noticed a hammock close enough to the fire to hear it cracking. Sherri fell in love with this hammock. It took some convincing to get her out of it to return to the cabin.

The next morning we relaxed by the river for a bit.

Then we were off. First stop Maple Grove restaurant in Unicoi Tenn. Just and old fashion diner servering diner food but it was good and hit the spot. Then we turned the navigation back over to laurel. She soon had us up in a place called Denis cove. This was on the colorful backside of Roan Mountain. We took a nap and read our books in the hammocks by a bubbling stream here.

Then we made our way around lake Watauga and over to Valle Crucis to the original Mast general. I found a new toasty winter cap there.

Then more fall color as we made our way over the mountain on 194 to Banner elk. We had one last stop to see how the color was at Linn cove viaduct. WOW we should have been here earlier. It was nothing short of breath taking!

A Mexican restaurant in Marion then home.
I did not think it was possible to squeeze so my into two days. But we did and had a blast!

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