Smoky Mountains – TN

Thought it was time to get back to posting on our blog.  Have no excuses, sorry. We headed out what we thought was west but some how we ended up in Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains.  Neither of us have been here.  Okay we really had a plan to head east.

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First day we decided to drive Cades Cove.  The loop is 11 miles in length, which is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies.  Prior to our arrival in the National Park, we were able to see many flowing streams.

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Karol enjoying the flowing water

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Just one of many views

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Another view

If we were to travel Cades Cove again we would pick up the audio book that gives some of the background of this area.  Reminder for next time.  Along the loop were many opportunities to take pictures.

Cades Cove Methodist Church is one of three churches along the loop.  This church is fourth historic building on the loop.  Built in 1820, the church was constructed by carpenter and eventual minister J.D. McCampbell.

Methodist Church

Methodist Church

Inside the church

Inside the church

A visitor playing the piano for his daughter. The music could be heard outside. Beautiful music

A visitor playing the piano for his daughter. The music could be heard outside. Beautiful music

Cable Mill – this mill is worth the entire Cades Cove trip, as Cable Mill is the only working grist mill in the Smoky Mountains. Historic buildings – barns, homes, a smokehouse, a blacksmith shop – are scattered around the mill, as well, making this spot a worthy stop.

Outside of the mill

Outside of the mill

Water wheel

Water wheel

The hopper for the corn

The hopper for the corn

The corn grinder

The corn grinder

End result - corn meal

End result – corn meal

Wild life is always seen by all that travel along the loop.  We saw lots of turkeys, one white tailed dear and one black bear.  The black bear was not very happy, at one point we were told there were seven.  Felt lucky we got to see one.

Black Bear

Black Bear

What a wonderful day!  Looking forward to another adventure tomorrow.

Grotto of Redemption – West Bend Iowa

First trip of the summer. After a summer of rain and sand bagging we decided it was time to take a vacation. Everyone gives us a hard time about going on vacation. They say since we are retired we are always on vacation. Not sure we agree with their thoughts but there is always tomorrow when it comes to getting things done. Off to West Bend Iowa to visit the Grotto.

The Grotto is frequently considered the “Eighth Wonder of the World” and has been described as a “Miracle in Stone”.

It is a composite of nine separate grottos, each portrays a scene in the life of Christ. This is the largest man-made Grotto in the world, the Grotto contains the largest collection of precious stones and gems found anywhere in one location!

Father Paul Dobberstein labored 42 years, winter and summer, setting ornamental rocks and gems into concrete. Everything was built completely by hand.

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Father Paul Dobberstein

The statues are created from white Italian marble. Hope you enjoy our photos.
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Hard to believe we found a pay phone

Hard to believe we found a pay phone

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Adam

Adam

Eve

Eve

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And yet another phone booth and the phone actually worked - 25 cents please

And yet another phone booth and the phone actually worked – 25 cents please

The Grotto is an amazing place. Such beauty and workmanship.

Cal Am Motorcycle Ride

Every year Cal Am sponsors a motorcycle ride. We have either been busy or not in the park. But this year we were able to join in on the fun. The ride was about 145 miles with 167 bikes. Not all of the bikes were from our park, they were from all of the Cal Am Resorts. We traveled up to Globe, went south to Winklemann, back to Superior and then we returned to Canyon Vista.

A view of  some of the bikes lined up

A view of some of the bikes lined up


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Karol by her bike

Karol by her bike


Karen, Karol, Mary and Jim

Karen, Karol, Mary and Jim


Here are some of the views from our ride
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It was a great day for a ride through the countryside.

I know I am a bit behind but at least I am trying to get caught up. Soon, I promise:-) my postings will be current.

Last Jeep Trip

Our last jeep trip(March 13th) took us out to the Florence Junction. What a great day to enjoy some new scenery along with great friends! Seems weird that the season came to an end. This season we will be missing one jeep, Larry and Alice. They will be missed, but we look forward to their return the following season.
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A person never knows what might cross their path

A person never knows what might cross their path


Dennis heading down to spot for Karol

Dennis heading down to spot for Karol


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Here comes Larry


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Carol’s turn


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Don says “Here I come”


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Tom bringing up the last of the jeeps


Some views along the trail.
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Final group picture - Tom, Dennis, Don, Karol, Linda, Carol and Larry

Final group picture – Tom, Dennis, Don, Karol, Linda, Carol and Larry


We could not have asked for a better day, weather was perfect. But the best part was continuing our friendships! Until next season – HAPPY TRAILS

Hike Devils Canyon??

We ventured out to return to Devils Canyon to hike an area we had been the previous month with the other jeepers. So we headed out after it had rained a couple days earlier. Guess what? We were unable to get back to Devils Canyon. There was so much water across the roads once we got back in there that it wasn’t a good idea to try it. Karol did start to go thru the water across the one road and the front of the jeep went right down and we couldn’t tell just how far it was going to go down and it was just some real mucky mud. We were able to back out but didn’t dare try anymore. But knowing us, we didn’t stop until we found someplace to hike. Heather, Gail, Christy, Karol and Liz were the only ones that went out hiking. Lets not forget the dogs. Ended up finding a great area to hike. We really hope you enjoy the pictures.
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Christy

Christy


Gail & Heather

Gail & Heather


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Karol & Dubbie (Dubbie wanted to get down but there was too much mud)

Karol & Dubbie (Dubbie wanted to get down but there was too much mud)


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Someone left their truck behind
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Guess we found the end of the road. But as you know this doesn’t stop us. Will return again to hike more in this area.
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Marble Mine

Off to a new location with the jeeps. We definitely are looking for new areas to explore. Destination Marble Mine February 13th. This is a scenic trail that rises above 5,000’ in the Superstition Mountains. Enjoy the sights.
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The trail wasn’t always nice. We had two areas that created some difficulty. These photos really don’t do justice for what the trail looked like. We had to get out and add boulders to make the trip easier. Good thing we have such a great spotter in Don.
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first step
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Dubbie says trail is clear time to go!
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There is a “marble mine” that produced calcium carbonate for a processing plant in Superior. The mine appears unused.
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Everyone had a great day! Looks like we will return again to this area again next season.

Coke Oven Visit

Headed back out to the Coke Ovens again this season. Enjoy these photos.
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We had two new jeeps that had never been to the ovens. Not only were the ovens a first but also crossing a river. A person needs to keep track of the flow. The flow was approximately 280 cubic feet per second. Doesn’t make much sense to me but the river was definitely flowing and high. A group of quads came behind us wanting to cross also. After we crossed and saw how high it was on our jeeps we told them it was best that they didn’t try to cross. Each of us took our time crossing the river. See how high the river was.

Everyone is lined up to cross the river

Everyone is lined up to cross the river


Carol and Linda

Carol and Linda


Heather and Gail

Heather and Gail


Judy and Tom

Judy and Tom


Karol, Sally and Dubbie

Karol. Sally and Dubbie


Everyone made it across

Everyone made it across


Hey, the quads are coming

Hey, the quads are coming


The quads decided to turn around

The quads decided to turn around


Heather and Gail's dog Murphy

Heather and Gail’s dog Murphy


Dubbie the jeeping dog

Dubbie the jeeping dog


Final destination, the Coke Ovens.
Group photo opportunity

Group photo opportunity


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Close up of the back of an oven

Close up of the back of an oven


Karol, Dubbie and I

Karol, Dubbie and I


Pretty-good sized, glad he was willing to share the trail

Pretty-good sized, glad he was willing to share the trail


A crested cactus

A crested cactus


The ovens are found southeast of Florence, AZ.