Category Archives: Mountains


Starting off today’s adventures with a good breakfast at The Mountaineer Restaurant.

And here’s the plan…

Cade’s Cove. She won’t let me escape that. (I secretly enjoy it.)

Look Rock.

Sevierville and Pigeon Forge.

Clingman’s Dome.

“Make the plan. Execute the plan. Expect the plan to go off the rails. Throw away the plan.”

L. Snart
Not a bad view for breakfast.

This did not go as planned.

Cade’s Cove was great. We saw three bears! A full-grown one and two cubs. Along with the various other wildlife we usually run across. Always a good time, especially when she gets so excited.

Look Rock started out odd and we got lost a bit.

We ended up walking on a closed road due to a bad Google review. Apparently they didn’t know where they were in relation to the actual observation platform.

If you know how to read and don’t drive on by the signs, you’re okay. We do know how to read and passed right by this one.

It’s a neat little hike, paved the whole way although it’s got some steep incline throughout. We ain’t in the best of shape so some heavy breathing happened. Not the good kind.

Worth going to at least once. For us anyway.

Pigeon Forge was kind of a bust but we continued on to Sevierville and the Great Smoky Mountain Knife Works.

It’s the world largest knife store and my kind of place.

The 23rd wedding anniversary gift is a silver plate by tradition. We got each other knives and the blades are silver in color. We will take it.

Clingman’s Dome didn’t happen today. We opted for taking the other way home and seeing more of the state. Then dinner at a favorite restaurant.

Today was a good day.

That’s it. That’s the post.


The Return

We always post a pic of Mags and the kids at the top of the tower and I think I forgot this year.

In a week and a half, Mags and I will be back in the mountains for our (πšžπšœπšžπšŠπš•πš•πš’ πšŠπš—πš—πšžπšŠπš•) anniversary trip.

We’ll get a few small hikes in and see some new spots. These new spots will be a scouting expedition of sorts for new places to take the kids next time. If it wows us, they might enjoy it.

It’s always fun to be alone with her in the mountains. We aren’t rushed. We can enjoy the time and each other.

I didn’t have much to write tonight, and this is what came out.

Tomorrow starts the new week. Here’s hoping it’s easier than the last one was.

That’s it. That’s the post.


New (To Me) Knife

I always look for knife stores when we’re out anywhere, but especially in the mountains.

I’ve visited the Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville, TN (that’s pronounced SEVERE-ville, DO NOT get that wrong) and it was a lot to take in. I will most likely make my way there again.

Please don’t get me wrong; I was sufficiently impressed with the place. It was just so big, and good blades can get so expensive, I was a bit overwhelmed.

My favorite knife store in the mountains isn’t the same. The owner retired and sold the store to new proprietors, and I saw and felt the change in the store’s mood when I walked in.

I’ve already had my say with the wife about that. I won’t be bad-mouthing the new owners here. I wish them well.

One of the best places to find some good old steel is second-hand stores, and there are plenty of antique and β€œjunk” stores in the mountains of North Carolina. I use the term junk affectionately. Those are some of my favorite places.

I found this little folder on a table in a new second-hand place that opened in Maggie Valley. A very nice older couple runs it.

I picked the knife up for ten bucks. It was made in the 80s, as far as I can search on the internet. It had a few small chips in the edge, which I figured I could fix on the stone (and I did).

Also, it’s a floral knife for people working with flowers and small plants.

I have never seen a Victorinox single-blade folder like this, so I grabbed it expecting to put it on my shelf.

Once I got it home and sharpened and cleaned up a bit, I decided to make it an EDC for a while. Nice little piece.

That’s it. That’s the post.


Back In The Mountains: Day 2

Today hasn’t been that exciting. We took the kids over to Gatlinburg to let them do their thing and we hit some of the old spots we usually go to.

What’s poppin’?

We went to check out Elkmont where they’ve been doing a lot of renovations on some of the abandoned houses. It’s nice to see history preserved.

Still no toilet.

Then on to Cades Cove to do a little bear spotting. We actually saw one far off in the fields.

I like watching the ravens beg for food alongside the cars on the loop. They are very entertaining.

We were out pretty much all day. We had a sit-down breakfast at The Mountaineer and fast food the rest of the day. The Mountaineer is fairly priced for good food. We got overcharged for what we got at Johnny Rockets in Gatlinburg.

We topped off the day with mini golf at Maggie Valley Carpet Golf.

Here is where I’m going to say something about Maggie Valley that won’t be popular. 

Y’all gotta step y’all’s game up. 

I know that the last two years have taken a bite out of everybody. And I know a business is hard to run but you’re not gonna keep a business if it isn’t open. 

Several of our favorite restaurants are still there but aren’t open for business on Fourth of July weekend. That’s very concerning for a town that thinks it’s going to jump up from the reopening of Ghost Town amusement park. I know I see the guy down at Route 19 Inn putting money into a place and hoping for the best. And he’s giving it his best. Like I wrote before me and the wife are very impressed with that motel. More importantly, we were satisfied with the money we spent with that place of business.

Chris Smith at Chris and Friends Antiques has invested a ton in his business. 

We love Maggie Valley. We would love to keep coming here. But if there’s nothing to do there’s no reason to come.

We spend the majority of our time on the trails around the town up in the mountains but we spend our money here on food and other entertainment.

We have real friends here that run businesses. And a lot of them are still open and running. 

And that’s all I got to say about that. 

That’s it. That’s the post. 


My Absolute Favorite…

This is my absolute favorite pic of my absolute favorite lady in the middle of my absolute favorite place.

I took this pic of my wife a year ago in the Great Smoky Mountains. We love the mountains and pretty much vacation there with the kids exclusively. We aren’t much for the beach due to the heat. The mountains give a well deserved break from the heat of north central SC in the middle of summer.

I joke with people that if they want to take me out all they have to do is set up on a mountainside during the fireworks in a nearby town on 4oJ and I’ll be sitting on the steps of the ice cream shop. It’s usually the one time of the year I know exactly where I’ll be.

Just something I wanted to throw on the blog as I came across this picture.