Tennessee: Tellico Valley
Across from the now peaceful field tainted with history and next to the shaded brook sits quietly the remains of an old grist mill. Jack told us stories about the mill and the local area. We mounted up and rode to a high vantage point that overlooks the Tellico River Valley. It was also another example and perspective of sequent occupance: a subdivision in the mountains. Here was the first subdivision I've seen during my stay here in this region of Tennessee. A developer bought this mountain and subdivided it into lots to build houses. There were only five built, but they looked the same. It took me away from Tennessee and I was transported back to Texas. This is what we all see around here and are so used to it that we don't see otherwise. Frankly, I prefer the pastoral landscape. This seemed to just stir that old crackerbox-feeling I get when ever I pass by or through sub-divisions. Why? Because my concept and preference of the landscape differs from those living in them. Why else would I currently live in the middle of what was not long ago a large cow pasture? I even have a cow or two visit sometimes. Regardless, the top of the hill was a vacant lot, and the most beautiful given the almost 360 degree view. We unsaddled, un-geared, opened water bottles and..... I don't believe it. There's an orange Port-a-potty. 'I'm going to use it since it's there.' Below was a manicured hay field with bales dotting the greenscape. According to Jack, it is part of the estate of an actor, whose name I can't remember (I have name amnesia). Turn your head and you are immersed in the waves of green mountains spiked with trees: Cherokee and Natahala National Forests. A close (very close) look at the mountain in the middle background will reveal a shallow and narrow notch. That is the Cherohala Skyway on it's snake path through the mountains. It was tough to leave this spot. But now we were starving. We planned on meeting Lori for a late lunch (early dinner?) at the Cat Cafe on the western end of the Skyway. But first, a side diversion through time with an ironic twist.