Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vacation Week

The restaurant where I work closes every year the week of July 4th.  My visit with son and daughter-in-law in middle Georgia and keeping my granddaughter for a few days failed to work out so my final and third plan was to visit Cades Cove located in the Smoky Mountains,Tennessee. It is known for an abundance of wildlife and nice hiking trails. 

After a nice 3 hour drive I arrived at Riverstone Lodge and checked-in. (I liked the room,owners and the restaurant next door.) Since it was only 4:00pm I decided to drive up to Cades Cove to get an idea what trails I was going to hike the next day. My excitement was building. Maybe I would get to see and photograph some birds I don't normally see in my area and/or a Mama Black Bear with her cubs!    

On the way up the mountain road there were pull-offs where you could get out and I stopped to take a short hike. 

No sign of Bears except for some scat but I did hear some Chickadees and a bird I couldn't ID. I hike back to my car and proceed to drive up the mountain. All of a sudden my car choked and cut-off. It wouldn't restart! Lucky for me a maintenance employee for the Park was behind me. He helped get me off the road. 

He radioed a Ranger and wished me well. While I waited a couple of tourists stopped and tried to help. Nothing simple could be found wrong.  I decided to call my Roadside Assistance for a tow. Oh my...I couldn't get a signal on my cell phone. The Ranger had to radio my info to the Ranger Station and they made the call for me. Finally a tow truck came. I had to trust him to take my car to an honest repair shop. He dropped me off at the Lodge after I paid him the hundred dollar balance. My roadside assistance only cover $50.00. Dog Gone it!

I went to my room to call my family to let them know I was OK and couldn't get a cell phone signal there either! I tried my laptop and had a signal but it was weak. My room had no phone and the office only allowed local calls. Someone told me to try standing by the road and finally I was able to get a signal. Dog Gone it!

The next day I called the repair shop hoping for the best. My car had cranked right up for them and they were still trying to figure out what had happened. Since they couldn't call me they told me to call them back after lunch. Dog Gone it!

I tried to make the best of this situation by walking down to see the River (funny I never did find out the name). Tubing down this river was very popular. 

I had this nice rocking chair outside my door. A Cardinal flew into this old Cedar in front of me. 

This was the only Tennessee bird I was able to capture with my camera. Dog Gone It!

Anyway to make a long story shorter.....I didn't get my car back until the next morning. Just in time for Check-Out. One of my fuel injectors had gone bad. I paid the $200.00 repair bill and headed home to Georgia. I must admit that I was so disappointed with my mini vacation that I was constantly fighting back tears and self-pity. Dog Gone It!

About an hour from home I decided to stretch my legs and check-out Carters Lake. I didn't realize that the drive to the Welcome Center was up an mountain. I stopped at the Overlook to take some pictures.

I would love to come back here to camp. This place is close to home and beautiful with many hiking trails. I returned to my car after a short hike and guess what? car refused to start. I sat and thought what I should do. I called the repair shop in Tennessee. He told me to wait about 30 minutes and try cranking the car. He thought that the other fuel injectors were starting to go bad. Dog Gone It!

Someone needed to know where I was so I called my Mom. It was hot so I sat on a low rock wall in front of the car. Thank goodness I had some water. While I prayed that my car would start and I could make it home....this Eastern Bluebird flew to this nearby birdhouse. 

He kept me company the entire time I waited. In my mind I believe he was telling me: All was well and I would safely make it home. Sure enough....the car started and I made it home without incident!

The first thing I heard when I got out of my car was Bluebirds singing! I ran to the nestbox and discovered Bluebird hatchlings had successfully fledged. I had missed it. Dog Gone It!

All left in the nest was bird poop. This is a good sign. I think Tiny made it. Hopefully I will see them at one of my bird baths.

Well, needless to say. I will not be taking any long trips until I get my car fully repaired. 

Visit The Pine River Review  World Bird Wednesday ! 

I apologize for packing two posts into one. My mind is still in Cades Cove. Dog Gone It!

Wishing Peace,Health,Wealth,and Love to ALL!

PS....Am I the only one who doesn't like the new Posting setup on Blogger???



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