Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Good Day.

For the last three days I've been telling Darla, "Saturday was just a good day." It was nothing super interesting, but it was made special because Drew was home from Berry College in Georgia where he just spent most of the summer taking classes and working. We decided to load up the Wagoneer and go to Cocke County.
It was afternoon and we hadn't eaten lunch, so our first stop was Carver's orchard in Cosby. We ate at the family-owned restaurant, and shopped in the produce barn. It's a great place. We got peach cider, apple cider, a half-bushel of big, juicy, South Carolina peaches, apple butter, and some other tasty stuff.

 This is a spring-fed pond below Max Patch mountain. Clear, cold water. There was an older couple fishing for trout. Max Patch is a mountain on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina accessible from the Harmon Den exit off I-40. Just take a left at the end of the exit and go. The pavement quickly ends. Just follow the signs all the way up. In the winter it will snow on Max Patch when hardly anywhere else gets snow. You better have four-wheel-drive when conditions are bad! The curvy road can be challenging. We take our time and enjoy the view. Don't expect bathrooms or any kind of amenities. Hardly anyone is up there, and there are definitely no stores or gas stations. Just like we like it!

 Here we are on top of Max Patch. The only other people up there were a young couple that took this picture. They had just become engaged! We took their picture and they took ours. She was still teary-eyed. The Appalachian Trail crosses over the top of this wonderful bald. That's Tennessee behind us to the west.

 Darla, Sparky, and Drew walking in front of me and the girls on Max Patch. It's crazy that it's the middle of August and we needed jackets--it was cold! Darla even wore my Mountain Hardwear toboggan! What a beautiful place. We've been coming up here since the kids were tiny. Every season is beautiful. Sledding in winter, colors in fall, flowers in spring and cool, breezy, green beauty in summer. Duncan talked about wanting to have her wedding up there.

This is after the hike before we headed home. The hike is not bad at all (Dara and I wore Chacos), but you wouldn't know by looking at Sparky. He's so out of shape.

The Wag was flawless, by the way. It's more eager than the family truckster on Sparks adventures--and thirstier, too! I got a whopping 13.4 mpg! But (in my opinion) the gas mileage is well worth the old-school, silky-smooth ride and torquey v-8. Oh...and we love all those people who give the thumbs-up or ask about it!! My kids laugh when people will take pictures of the G-Wag. Crazy!

A day like today when all five of us can be together is becoming rarer. Taking a break from everyone's busy schedule was a good call. It's something we need more of.

And the icing on the cake? We stopped in my hometown of Jefferson City on the way home and met my dad at the legendary Hoagie Shop Deli for supper. A good day indeed.


hoaglands said...

Sounds perfect.

VolManJeff said...

Love the Waggie! I'm going to take the 'Burb up to Max Patch soon, hopefully in the next few weekends with the fam. How many hours or minutes does it take to get there from knoxville? I've also got to check out the orchard you went to. I think I've driven by it in between Newport and Gatlinburg, right?
Oh, I know what you mean about the gas mileage and tradeoff for the big v8! Long live american muscle!! Now if we can just get the gas prices down!