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Showing posts with label Smokey Mountains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smokey Mountains. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tennessee Vacation Part V: The Final Chapter

Down the road from Norris Dan stands an old grist mill from the 1800s.

As if the mill wasn't picturesque enough on its own, the surroundings are serene.

Hidden among the trees on the right side of this picture is a paved path.  A woman passed by, jogging with her dog.  What a beautiful place to get your daily exercise!

Oh, what I would give to have this in my garden!

I once had a basement similar to this one!
But it didn't have this...

I admire the old craftsmanship.

 The water wheel is directly connected to the large wheel inside, which in turn is geared to the other wheels that drive the mill upstairs.

The corn is dumped into the feeder at the top.  I asked about how the farmers would get their grain up to the hopper.  The museum attendant didn't know.  I guess they had to carry it in sacks on their back, up the stone stairway into the top level of the mill.  Perhaps they had a rustic grain elevator?

Enlarge this photo for more information on the mill...

Of course, you know the wheel is water driven, but here is how the water is channel and controlled:

There are diverters at the top of the stream.  A determined amount of water is allowed to pass through to the wheel.  The rest is channeled directly to the stream below.

From the diverting system, it is carried to the wheel in a trough,

where the water is then dumped onto the top of the wheel.

Today, it would be a simple task to mount such a wheel.  Hubby and I could do it!  We'd just rent the proper equipment from the tool place.  I admire the quality of work they achieved without the modern equipment we take for granted.

I hope you have enjoyed traveling to Tennessee with me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tennessee Vacation Part III

Let me know if I'm boring you with my vacation shots.  Not that it will make any difference...

It was quite foggy the morning we left Pigeon Forge.  I shot a lot through the window of the moving car.  (Hubby couldn't care less about stopping to take pictures.  In fact, he'd probably like to throw the camera out of the moving car!)

We exited the highway south of Norris Dam to find the Appalachian Museum we had gone through on our last trip south...

These two shots were taken from the car...  Hubby was willing to stop for the tour, but they were having some special event and the place was jam-packed like a festival!

Within minutes, we were back on the highway...

I was thrilled that we could finally see the mountains we had been vacationing in!

We took another detour to drive over Norris Dam.

This is a shot along the road that goes to Norris Dam.  You'll see the pictures from the lake tomorrow.


Notice the rocks jutted through the trees.

I love driving through the areas of rock cliffs where they had to blast the mountain away for the highway.  It's probably the only place where man's progress actually made something pretty.

Here it looks like we're ready to drop off the edge of the world!

Image what these views will look like in a week or so, when the autumn colors are at their peak!

The view quickly changes when you near the Ohio River...

It poured the last several hours of our drive, finally letting up a little bit as we approach Cincinnati.

Back in Ohio.

Oh yeah...  Did I mention we traveled home via Paris, France?

This is actually a 1/3 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower,located at Kings Island Amusement Park, north of Cincinnati.

Bear with me...  If you hate vacation pics, just don't come back here for two more days.  Tomorrow I will post a few shots from the lake at Norris Dam, Tennessee.  The ivy-covered cliffs are beautiful, as is the red, curving shoreline of the pristine lake.

Wednesday I will finish up my vacation posts with the shots I took of the old grist mill down the road from Norris Dam.  It has always been a favorite stop of mine.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tennessee Vacation Part II

Our first night in Pigeon Forge, as we were settling in for the evening, we flipped the television to a local information station.  The spotlight was on the arts and crafts village just north of downtown Gatlinburg.  I perked up!  Now that's the stuff I remember... actual people that live around here making beautiful handcrafted items.  That's the kind of souvenir I wanted from this trip.  Now we had our agenda for the following day. 

Goin' to the chapel and we're gonna get mar-air-air-ied...

Most folks around here have often heard of people eloping to Gatlinburg to get married.  Hubby even suggested we do it.  Evidently it's a pretty popular idea...  As we traveled the road to the arts and crafts village, we passed numerous little wedding chapels tucked into the hillsides.    

Hubby's favorite was a little too contemporary for me...

 I preferred the charming little Chapel of Love...

The crafters' shops dotted the sides of a beautiful, winding country road.  Alewine Pottery was the first stop on our agenda.  Mr. Alewine had given us a tour of his pottery business the night before via the local channel.

Here is Mr. Alewine himself, making some lovely little one-piece bowl and pitcher items.
The gift shop had many assorted types of pottery created right there on the premises.  I loved the intricacy of the cut-out vessels...  Etching a pattern into the soft clay, portions would be removed leaving a lace-like design.  They had small ones for luminaries and large ones for lamp bases.  There were so many beautiful items to pick from!

I told Hubby I really wanted something that we would use.  We don't have a lot of room for things that sit on side tables or shelves.  And I wanted one that had his traditional maple leaf design...

He had been making his unique maple leaf pottery for decades.  It was a sort of trademark.  By burnishing a maple leaf into the fresh clay before dipping the piece into the glaze, it left a beautiful image on the sides of the vessels.

I knew as soon as I spotted them what I wanted to buy...  Hubby loves pancakes and he makes them several times a week.  I thought this bowl would be perfect to use for his pancakes, plus it would look lovely displayed on the kitchen counter...

It came with the wooden-handled mini-whisk that you saw on the chicken wall.

If you've ever wanted to try your hand at spinning a pot, stop in if you're ever in the area.  For a small fee, they will help you create your own masterpiece; and then, after they've dried, glazed and fired your item (a process that takes many days), they will ship it to you at your home.

Our next stop was back toward town to a little shopping center style place.  I neglected to take a picture from the outside.  This one was taken from a little resting spot between the buildings.

Here, I am looking down the outdoor hall.

If you click to enlarge it, you'll see that the sign hanging on the left says "Copper Fountains".   I have a wonderful picture of the artist together with the most amazing copper, waterfall fountain.  It stood about shoulder height, and on top was a little building with water wheel.  It reminded me of the grist mill near Norris Dam that you will see in tomorrow's post.  I wish I could show it to you, but the artists are very particular about having photos taken of their work.  I promised him it would be for my own viewing.  I only wish I had the money to buy it.  It was truly a work of art.

We visited a quilt shop that not only had some beautiful creations on display, but was filled with rows of fabric bolts; the colors and patterns carefully selected for use in their quilt projects.  It was a picture of heaven to anyone that loved fabrics.

I recently posted about the honeybee earrings I purchased on my trip...  This is the lady that sold them to me...

In this picture, she is wearing a lovely pendant made from a Smokey Mountain leaf.  (What I probably should have bought!)  She was an adorable person.  I wish I could remember her name.  She explained to us how the items were plated and the history of the business.  She also shared information about some of the other artist in the area.  There were some lovely jewelry items displayed in another area of the shop that were made by another local woman.  It was miniature cross-stitch.   (more like microscopic cross-stitch) The earrings and pendants were adorned with the most lovely cross-stitched patterns.  It would require more patience than I have to create such tiny masterpieces!  I did not take a picture of those items because that artist was not present to give me permission.

This was by far our favorite part of the whole Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg experience.  If we ever do go to that region again, I would like to explore downtown Gatlinburg's craft area.  We didn't have time to see everything, and we were very tired of fighting all the traffic.  Instead of going back to Gatlinburg the next morning, we decided to leave the area first thing and spend time along the way wherever we got the urge.

You'll see the pictures from that tomorrow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tennessee Vacation Part I

Hubby and I took a min-vacation last week.  It was long overdue.  We hadn't spent any time alone together in quite a while.  It was a short 3 day/2 night trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  I hadn't been through that area in almost 40 years.  Needless to say, it has changed quite a bit.

I'm not really the tourist type.  I prefer my vacation be a chance to get away from it all.  I'm not really into attractions and shopping.  Turns out we spent our time in the wrong place.  We enjoyed the highway better than the destination.  There was a lot to see and do, but I don't like fighting traffic and I don't like over-commercialized areas.

It was really hard to enjoy the scenery of the blue mountains with all the hotel/motel rooftops, power lines, and neon signs.  I did manage to find a few spots with nice view.

As usual, I took tons of photos.  I'm not going to post them all.  However, I am going to post a bunch, so I will divide them up into at least 3 posts.

Today's pictures are from Pigeon Forge.  And, as always, click on any photo to enlarge...

Stay tuned...  Tomorrow I will post about the crafters' village in Gatlinburg.