Vacation

While on vacation, my wife and I drove through Georgia and I made a geek pilgrimage to the MicroCenter outlet in Duluth, Georgia. As usual, I walked out about an hour later, with a bag of goodies and a much thinner credit card. More on this in a later post.

We got a hotel and had dinner in Duluth where I grabbed some photos of a waning gibbous moon, peeking up from between the urban monuments.

From Duluth, we drove past the Rabun Gap Nacoochee RR Museum. The following is from the Nacoochee School website:
“This little museum is another accomplishment of the remarkable student body at Rabun Gap Nacoochee School (See also Foxfire Museum). The museum honors the Tallulah Falls Railway which made its way through Rabun Gap in the late 1890’s until 1961. This colorful TF Railway was chartered in 1856 but the Civil War, bad economic times, changes of ownership, over spending, receiverships, etc., all contributed to its on-again-off-again progress from Cornelia, Georgia, to Franklin, North Carolina.
The final chapter was the ownership by Southern Railway from 1908 until its closure in 1961 when the tracks were pulled up and sold for scrap. Under the leadership of Dess Oliver II, an industrial arts teacher at Rabun Gap Nacoochee School, he and his students built the full-size two-foot gauge locomotive and rail cars. Students also laid the onsite track.
Notes for the Photographer: At this writing the museum appears to be permanently closed. You can, however, walk on the grounds at any time and take advantage of the exterior and the artifacts around the area. The photo here is of the water tower used to replenish the water used by steam locomotives.
Directions: The museum is 4.8 miles north of Mountain City on Hwy 441. It’s right on
the road opposite Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School as you approach the campus.”

Further up the road, we stopped to get some photos of the Little River Railroad Museum in Townsend, TN. It was closed at the time, but I got a few photos.

From Townsend, we drove through Cherokee, and up to Clingman’s Dome. Clingman’s Dome is the highest point in the Appalachians and worth the long, winding national forest drive. This was the day before the remnants of Hurricane Nicole dumped rain on the area. It was obvious that the rain bands were approaching in this image.

A little while later, I pulled over to get some photos of a rushing mountain stream and there were a handful of other tourists chatting with a guide. He was explaining the ecology of the area. I walked a short distance away to get some different shots and paused at a burst of color in the grass at my feet. I dropped to one knee and took a few close-up photos. When I looked up, the tourists and guide were staring at me, obvously wondering what I was doing. I’m always amazed that people will look up and be amazed at giant terrain features, while ignoring tiny spots of beauty at their feet. This wild violet blossom is only about an inch wide.

Another part of our pilgramage, was a visit to the Smokey Mountain Knife Works. Imagine a three-story Wally World devoted entirely to knives and related objects. This image shows just a small part of the kitchenware section.

On our final morning, we enjoyed breakfast at a Georgia Dennys and I captured a brilliant sunrise.

I’ve actually more than a hundred other photos, but need to sort and will share some later.
Overall, despite some white-knuckle interstate driving in pouring rain, it was a good trip.
Comments or questions on any of this are more than welcome.

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