Holy cows on Fort Loudon Lake
After a full day, a couple hundred miles on the odometer, 178 pictures, and spending the day variously in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia, we’re home.
Biggest surprise was Blue Ridge, Georgia, where we went at the end of the day because it was close to Copper Hill. Really cool town. It’s an old railroad stop and they still have train tours out of there. The old buildings in the town have been restored and some yuppified with high-end retail and restaurants. It looks like a good place to spend an afternoon.
Burra Burra Mine Collapse, from the Burra Burra Mine Museum overlook in Ducktown, TN
Strangest thing was that so many restaurants in that corner of the state are closed and/or dead as a doornail on a Friday night. Do Seventh Day Adventists not go out on Friday night or something? (My dad’s side of the family lives in northern Georgia and are all SDA.) By comparison, towns like Etowah and Madisonville that are well on the Tennessee side had hoppin’ restaurants.
Two best mementos of the trip: magnetic toys from the Burra Burra Mine Museum in Ducktown and half a smoked ham from Benton’s Smoky Mountain Hams in Madisonville. I hadn’t been to Benton’s in 15 or 20 years. Now the New York Times, LA Times, Gourmet, Men’s Health, and other media outlets are lauding them as the final word in smoked pig. We’re going to cook some up tomorrow for breakfast. They told us to cook it in a skillet with a little Coca-Cola.
Smoky pigmeat, Madisonville, TN
Dinner was at the Iron Horse Grill in Copper Hill. I had shrimp in coconut and curry sauce with fried sweet potatoes. Melissa had sauteed chicken with blue cheese rosa and penne pasta with salad greens. Great stuff, great staff, and we enjoyed the second story porch. East Tennessee and Western North Carolina have these awesome little mountain towns with amazing restaurants. We also like the German restaurants in Black Rock and Hendersonville, NC, Lulu’s Cafe in Sylva, NC, and Green River BBQ and The Red Onion in Saluda, NC.
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