Friday, November 14, 2014

Special Visitors from Wisconsin!

Laurie and I do enjoy having guests at our home here in East Tennessee… We were very happy recently when Carla, one of Laurie’s cousins from Wisconsin, and her friend Diane decided to escape the cold weather and head south! 

Our home in the woods shines just a little bit more during the fall season.  Carla and Diane arrived at a great time of the year…beautiful mild weather…and lots of color.  As it turned out, their visit coincided with the peak of our fall foliage display. 

The ladies woke up to this sunrise on their first day with us… The flowers and plants on the deck, (facing east), and the front porch, (facing west), even survived for duration of the visit.  This was despite a couple of freeze warnings and some very low overnight temperatures.

This is a photo of Diane and Carla.  We have a couple of ‘must’ places and sights where we take all first time visitors.  One of the places is the Tellico Grains Bakery.  We purchased some terrific scones and cookies and we had some great sandwiches on fresh bakery bread for lunch.

FYI… Tellico Grains Bakery is located at 105 Depot Street in Tellico Plains Tennessee.  Phone: 423-253-6911.  Website:

Following lunch we headed on up into the Smoky Mountains following along the Tellico River.

The Tellico River rises in the mountains of North Carolina, but it flows mainly through Monroe County, Tennessee.  It is a major tributary of the Little Tennessee River and it’s one of the primary streams draining the Unicoi Mountains.  The Tellico River and its main tributaries are renowned for their brook, brown, and rainbow trout fishing. 

Our primary objective was to show off the Bald River Falls!  These spectacular waterfalls are more than 80 feet high…and they’re right next to a paved Forest Service Road.  The Bald River Falls is considered to be the most impressive and scenic waterfall in East Tennessee.

Carla, Laurie and Diane posed for me on the bridge overlooking the falls… The sunshine kept going behind clouds and then popping in again.

Laurie and I have visited this waterfall many times in the past 5+ years.  In the spring, with the rain and snow melt, it is truly an impressive sight.  In mid-summer, the younger crowd swims in the pool beneath the falls and some of them even jump into the pool from the rocks above the pool.

Diane took this photo of Laurie and me… I think that Laurie still likes me!

The forests of the Bald River and the Tellico River basins were almost completely logged off during the early 20th century.  The present road up the Tellico River was built on the old logging railroad bed.  The Bald River and 3,721 acres of its watershed are now part of the Bald River Gorge Wilderness.  The Wilderness area has an average elevation of 2,642 feet above sea level. 

I took this photo of the fall colors along the Tellico River right on the other side of the bridge over the Bald River.  That river joins the Tellico almost immediately after coursing over the falls…

This is another picture of the Tellico River looking downstream.  After it merges with the Little Tennessee River, the water flows into Tellico Lake which in turn merges with Fort Loudoun Lake. (Both of those ‘lakes’ are actually Tennessee Valley Authority reservoirs)

Note: The Tellico River is also very popular for kayaking, so if that's your 'thing', check it out!

Following our drive along the river, we turned onto the Cherohala Skyway. (TN Route 165/NC Route 143) This road has been designated as a National Scenic Byway.  The Cherohala Skyway crosses through the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina.  The name “Cherohala” comes from the names of the two National Forests: “Chero” from the Cherokee and “hala” from the Nantahala. 

This photo was taken by Laurie from the Brushy Ridge Overlook. (Elevation: 3,750 feet) 

The Cherohala Skyway is a wide-paved 2-lane road connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee, with Robbinsville, North Carolina, and it’s about 40 miles long.  The elevations range from 900 feet above sea level at the Tellico River in Tennessee to over 5400 feet above sea level at the Tennessee-North Carolina state line at Haw Knob.

Carla loves old cars, especially fast ones!  This 1951 Ford was ‘on display’ at the Brushy Ridge Overlook.  Its owner had a lawn chair on a grassy area where he could watch travelers admire his ride…

Laurie showed the ladies around our area, focusing on the available amenities.  This is a view of Tellico Lake from inside the Blue Heron Restaurant at the Tellico Village Yacht Club.  

I took this photo of Laurie and Diane. 

On this particular day, we all drove into Knoxville’s Turkey Creek area for a little shopping and dinner.  (Carla and Diane’s treat!) We chose Wild Wings Café.  They have great wings, sandwiches and salads as well as a full and reasonably priced bar…

I also took this picture of Laurie and her cousin Carla.  When I took this photo, the Wild Wings Café was fairly quiet… Before we left, the place had filled up with a jillion kids.  The restaurant was staging a big pre-Halloween pumpkin painting party. 

To find out more about this fun and food venue, you can go to  Wild Wing Café also has locations in 6 other states…

I also took this photo of Diane, Laurie and Carla at the TN Route 444 north portal to Tellico Village in Loudon County.  The sunshine and I were in conflict when I took the picture…

To make the ladies feel at home, I was wearing a ‘north country’ sweat shirt from Traverse Bay in Michigan.  When Laurie took this photo, Carla thoughtfully tried to camouflage my slowly shrinking by still impressive girth…

That’s about it for this adventure… When I was writing this posting for my blog, it was 62 degrees and cloudy in Loudon County Tennessee.  It was 39 degrees and cloudy in Portage County Wisconsin!  Ladies…you may want to make a return trip in the near future!

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. It's incredible the resemblance of Diane to Laurie, especially in the first photo of the girls standing in front of the bakery. The photo of you and Laurie with the waterfall in the background is worthy of framing or to put on your Christmas card this year.

    Looks like they came at exactly the right time for the fall foliage.

  2. What a nice's so beautiful there. What a lovely season :)


  3. Looks like you did their visit up right. It;s had to beat a trip to Tellico Grains and Bald River falls. Great shots of the area. You enjoy house guests you say?

  4. Good pics and good times! I love that Ford! You guys are lucky with your large family of relatives. We love to have house guests also and have enjoyed several this summer. Snow on the street, ground and bitter cold, and OMG!!!

  5. awww Im sure Laurie loves you David lol
    And you both always visit lovely places and eat delicious food!!
    Love the pics look beautiful!!