About Me

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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several at Spectrenoir: http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy. I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Gatlinburg Sky Lift Park Walking the Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge in the U.S.

After riding our bikes down from Whitetop to Damascus - Virginia Creeper Trail we went to Tennessee for a Cabin Stay.
 On our second day stay at The Hill by Cherokee Lake, we drove to Gatlinburg, Tennessee which is only a good hour driving distance.
Yep, a WeFie of both of us as we are climbing to the top of Crockett Mountain to walk one of North America's longest suspension bridges!
Getting way up Crockett Mountain...
Sky Lift Park existed since 1954 but a deadly Wildfire destroyed it in the end of 2016...
It got rebuilt though and since the end of May it is again open to visit the newly constructed Sky Deck with its fabulous Rocky Mountain overlook and restaurant.
Two lines, coming down and going up so they help pull each other...
While I still was studying all this, they unexpected took a photo from us near the Sky Deck!
So we went ahead and purchased it, had it scanned into my iPhone...
Modern Technology!
The entire landscaping looked beautiful!
Behind Pieter you can see the length of the Sky Bridge
GATLINBURG SKYBRIDGE click for info
5' Wide or 1.5 m
140' High or 42.6 m
680' Span or 207 m
A very friendly Indian man took this photo from both of us.
Breathtaking view.
Oh, I'd bought the tickets on the Internet, so we could skip the line!
They put this band around our wrist that is valid all day.
There we go... Entering the on May 17, 2019 opened NEW SKYBRIDGE...
It was close to 14:00 when we started our walk across.
Admiring those sturdy steel cables!
Three THICK steel cables in One Length!
680 feet or 207 meter...
Looking down from SkyBridge down to SkyDeck and GiftShop Restaurant and SkyLift area.
Incredible view of the Smoky Mountains from SkyBridge!
My foot for comparison...
The Glass Bottom in the center part. My foot below and Pieter's feet and silhouette at the top...
Steel anchors fastened to a block of concrete below, for keeping those steel cables tight and to prevent  swinging of the bridge.
For tightening the steel cables on the bridge...
Disturbing to see at the end of the bridge that they had cut out a piece of this table!
They have a canopy to shield against the sun and for seating, and to purchase some water or soft drink if needed.
Remember we were visiting Clingmans Dome in April? That peak is seen to the right.
Panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains are fabulous from up here.
The Great Smoky Mountains stretch along the Tennessee-North Carolina border and are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains. They are called the Smokies due to the ever-present morning fog and majestic blueish tint. Great Smoky Mountains National Park protects most of the range and was established in 1934. It is America's most visited national park with over 11 million visits each year.
And then it started raining...
We ALL had to walk back to the SkyDeck for danger of lightning and being on an all steel bridge.
So we sat near the restaurant vendor area and here Pieter is getting a nice warm fanning from behind those beverage machines that needed cooling by fan, thus sending the warm air his way!
They started running the SkyLift empty for getting rid of excessive water before letting people sit in them...
There was still a queue of people outside waiting to ride down...
Now around 15:45...
At 16:15 we go down after having purchased also a Smoky Mountain poncho!
Cute Mama Bear and Cubs Statue...
Here we go down at 16:20 and notice that nobody is riding up?
The Park is open from 7:00 till 21:00
Still clouds and fog on the Smoky Mountains
Gatlinburg lies below...
Looking up how it rolls over cable...
A happy Pieter who enjoyed this adventure!
The Gatlinburg Space Needle comes into sight.
Almost back...
The Gatlinburg Space Needle a lot closer now...
Short Relive.cc video including the drive back to our Cabin at The Hill by Cherokee Lake in Tennessee.
A total of 3.5 hours including the rain interruption and the drive from Gatlinburg to Bean Station, Tennessee was 112.8 km or 70 miles.
We thoroughly enjoyed it, even if the rain did surprise us all!
Workers grab parts from a helicopter to rebuild the Gatlinburg Sky Lift click link
Kudos to the install team that erected those footers, towers, cross arms and sheaves using a helicopter and also for flying in all of its parts!

Hope you enjoyed it too and thanks for your visit and comment.

Related links:
Our Cabin Stay at The Hill by Cherokee Lake in Tennessee | previous post by me
Our Bike Ride from Whitetop to Damascus - Virginia Creeper Trail | previous post by me
Gatlinburg SkyLift Construction - Rebuild | After the wildfire destroyed the original one from 1954
Gatlinburg SkyLift - SkyDeck Construction, Part 3 | showing how the DkyDeck got made
SO Proud of my NONAGENARIAN | previous post where we went to Clingmans Dome together

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Our Cabin Stay at The Hill by Cherokee Lake in Tennessee

So what is the background here?
After our Adventure of the Virginia Creeper Trail we did drive to Bean Station, Tennessee for our 3-night stay at the Log Cabin on The Hill by Cherokee Lake.
We had tried to stay there previously but they were fully booked!
Now we were lucky for having our 3 nights secured.
We are friends with Donna and her son Josh and the above photo I took on April 8, 2019 when we could not stay at their log cabin, due to it being fully booked.
Donna is the writer, I wrote about in a previous post: SECRETS of the Heart and you find the link below.
Josh, her son, also wrote a book in 2011, when his eyesight was still reasonably good... see links below as well.
YES, this young man is LEGALLY BLIND!
He works at Lions Volunteer Blind Industries in nearby Morristown, TN, where his Mom has to drop him off and pick him up again.
Josh is very fond of creating the BEST ambiance for a memorable vacation get-away with a unique experience!
~
Donna wrote in Alignable: About Us
We have a studio cabin vacation rental, available 2-6 nights
How We Got Started
My legally blind/partially deaf son and I relocated from Georgia in August, 2016, and found our two little cabines which we were able to buy in June, 2017. We added a third little studio cabin which houses our personal washer/dryer. 
We decided to not only use it for our personal laundry use, but went to the fullest extent with my son's "blind design" as he refers to himself and made it a unique getaway. Our guests love it!
That much about a legally blind person, still going the extra mile for creating and designing a unique getaway...
Cozy seating around the Fire Pit...
Inside from the Cabin where we stayed, looking at the closed entrance door on the right.
Kitchen towards the other side, with opening into bathroom...
VERY unique Bathroom!
At the opposite end of the Cabin is the bedroom with Full size bed.
Around 6:00 PM in the evening...
On our 2nd day, we managed to capture the wild geese that swim in Cherokee Lake and they are so tame, they walk close by the road!
Pieter captured this photo around 7:00 PM and you see the Cabin to the left and the Lake View ahead.
It is so lovely in person and so quiet and tranquil!
We LOVED staying here and from the Cabin's location it is easily driving to Gatlinburg, TN

Stay tuned for next post...

Thank you for your visit and comment! 

Related links:
The Hill by Cherokee Lake | Facebook Page
The Hill by Cherokee Lake | Her listing on Alignable and her writing About Us How We Got Started
Stuff You Can Say Everyday by Josh Parham | at Kobo as eBook
Stuff You Can Say Everyday by Josh Parham | at Barnes & Noble also as NOOK Book
Stuff You Can Say Everyday by Josh Parham | at Amazon also on Kindle
Stuff You Can Say Everyday by Josh Parham | at AuthorHouse also as eBook
SECRETS of the Heart by D.S. Mullis | previous post by me
His Name by Donna Mullis on Youtube
Authorsden D.S. Mullis Background Information about author


Our Flag!
D. S. Mullis, Savannah, Georgia
Submitted January 2009
We call her 'Old Glory', She rightfully sows
The seeds to Her story where ever She goes!
'The Star Spangled Banner' that blows in the wind,
Portraying Her power to foe, yes, and friend-
Our emblem of freedom, She's stood through the years,
And never seceded — by blood, sweat and tears!
Our Flag! We salute You on each special day,
We vow to be true and show others the way
To live in a world where our freedom abounds;
Each time You unfurl we hear victory sounds!
We pledge our allegiance with hand on our heart,
And dare to be different; not being a part
Of those who would burn You or cast You aside,
But highly esteem You and raise You in pride!
Indeed, She's 'Old Glory', and rightfully so,
Her story of freedom we'll never outgrow-
America, let us again take a stand,
For it is a must to accomplish our plan
In raising our Flag and proclaim with each wave,
'The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave'!

D.S. Mullis Writings Facebook Page with also samples of her upcoming book: Blinded

Friday, August 23, 2019

Our Bike Ride from Whitetop to Damascus - Virginia Creeper Trail

On July 25, we went to Damascus, Virginia... Taking our two hybrid bikes along for biking the Virginia Creeper Trail; down hill that is!
VIRGINIA CREEPER TRAIL...
The trail runs on a rail right-of-way dating to the 1880s -- first belonging to the Abingdon Coal and Iron Railroad.
In the fall: Virginia Creeper Trail just click through to go to their website.
We had arrived in Damascus, Virginia after driving up from Georgia, 377 miles or 607 km.
To the right, behind the trees is the Laurel Creek that the trail keeps following.
Our stay was at the lovely Mountain Laurel Inn, Damascus Virginia.
We booked the Rambo Suite and this is the bedroom where we slept for 2 nights.
So we got all rested and well fed with a delicious and per request, healthy breakfast.
Early in the spring on April 11, I'd secured us two tickets on the Sundog Outfitter shuttle up to Whitetop area at 10:00 AM from where we started our descent around 11:00 AM.
Laurel Creek is seen here.
Mount Rogers
National Recreation Area
Whitetop Station from where we rolled down...
It is all inside the Jefferson National Forest, Virginia
We were very lucky with the weather as you can see!
Ample parking space right at the Sundog Outfitter, we left our car there.
Our two hybrid Trek bikes got unloaded off the trailer at Whitetop Station...
Yep, we had to carry lots of water with us for this longer ride!
My Dachshund Mauzie's bike basket comes in handy all the time for having things on hand.
Pieter also added a tiny basket on his bike.
As seen in the above Fall Leaves photo from the Sundog Outfitter website, we constantly kept crossing Laurel Creek and it was only on these wooden bridges where we could warm up in the sunshine!
Constantly under a canopy of trees in the shade made it rather chilly, with the wind we produced by going down...
It is rather difficult for riding the bike through the coarse gravel and watching out for the natural rocks sticking out in the trail! At times it was slippery wet as the sun never reaches the trail with the leaves on canopy of trees above us.
So we took in the view of the wild streaming Laurel Creek when on the bridge!
That's when we fully could enjoy our surroundings.
Yep, on the shuttle ride up they warned us that every year they have to send in helicopters for rescuing people that have severe accidents!
We really watched out as there also were some nasty pot holes and with both hands on the steer and fingers on the brakes we did it.
Laurel Creek again.
Grade of 5.5% at 1,092 m elevation or 3582 feet.
The first 3 miles were the steepest and it got scary to go full speed...
Then we got used to it and stayed alert but enjoyed it more.
To the left of Pieter you can see the wild Laurel Creek with all its rocks.
Bet in winter time after the snow melts that it can be very high and roaring!
There even is a cable attached to the bridge (seen to the left) from keeping it in place I guess when the force of water wants to move it away...
Both of us were amazed at the little kids that paddled along with their parents and it sure is a perfect family outing and a healthy one.
There are also places down the trail for grabbing a bite and a drink for those that want to do so.
We did enjoy our snacks and fruits while on the wooden bridges in full sunshine.
One TIP for others. bring a light jacket for the top part as it gets rather chilly, even on a hot summer day in July but due to being in the shade and creating your own wind...
Warming up on the bridges under the sun was heavenly!
These wooden bridges were quite high above the roaring water!
Nearing the end of our trail, well we only did the 17 mile stretch but you can do 17 more to the next place!
This was easy rolling and for making good speed.
Right back to the parking lot at Sundog Outfitter where also our car was parked...
But before getting off his bike, Pieter fell in the gravel and hurt his knee... Sure, his blood thinners make it look a lot worse.
I did have lots of bandaid in my little back pack so I patched him up at Sundog Outfitter after cleaning it up with some peroxide they handed me.
We had us a Cappuccino (Pieter) and a Tea at Mojo's Trailside Café, right next door as you can see in the previous photo.
Pieter enjoyed his Jerk Chicken that got served in an elegant way!
Mojo's Trailside Café had delicious Sea Bass for me. Loved the mango and asparagus served with it.
Really great restaurant!
Yes, we did capture this Adventure on Relive.cc and it was worth it!
A total of 28.4 km or 17.6 miles.

Hope you enjoyed it and thanks for your visit and comment.



MARIETTE'S BACK TO BASICS © 2009. All rights reserved - Text and images may not be copied for distribution or sale.

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