Good morning from Tate City, Georgia where Melanie and I have been "camped" since November 2nd. We're currently staying at the home of our friends, Teresa and Trip, located at the headwaters of the Tallulah River. We'll be here through the end of this week.
We've been very fortunate indeed to be able to come to Tate City each Fall since we began traveling to catch up with our long-time friends. Our friend, John, has been living here on the property for three years and does a really nice job making sure all things are as they should be.
John and I have been walking the Tate City Road which dead ends into the Southern Nantahala Wilderness about 3.5 miles north each day, with one exception, since our arrival. The 7 miles round trip from our location makes for a nice time to catch up. 42 miles and counting as of today.
There's no underestimating the value of being able to spend an extended amount of time catching up those who are essentially close extended family. We have a very similar situation developing in Vermont with our friend Diana who has recently purchased a home near Burlington. And we experience the same in Birmingham at our friends, Wade and Jen's home this time of year.
Looks as though this time through other of our friends will make the pilgrimage to Tate City and we'll be able to visit with John's friend, Cate, from Asheville, Wade's coming in from Birmingham, and Steve and Beth from Columbus. As John put it this morning, "Big weekend coming up!
I camped with the Heermans in Essex Junction, Vermont early in October and Melanie came back through and spent time with them again just before we left Vermont. We're always grateful for our spot in front of their barn, for the great meals, campfires in their backyard, and for our developing friendship. We look forward to seeing them each year.
Bonus this year was time with Gabby and Ben, the Heermans' children. Ben was home on holiday from Botswana where he consults local farming communities on how to better coexist with the wildlife found there.
And after spending an additional weekend at our friend, Diana's new spot, we headed south and east, first to Plattekill, New York, then Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
While camped in Duncansville, Pennsylvania, we spent an afternoon riding a very nice Rail Trail out of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania over to Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania. The Buffalo Valley Rail Trail is a great ride through rural Amish Pennsylvania with a bonus brewery located at the end of the trail in Mifflinburg a real plus.
After Duncansville, Pennsylvania we spent a few days with friends, Rebecca and IB, in Morgantown, West Virginia. Great meals and good times catching up with them.
We rode the Deckers Creek Trail from the Masontown, WV trailhead to the Monongahela River in Morgantown where lunch was had at Mountain State Brewing something we'd done two years before. Rebecca got to test drive a pull behind for her cats she'd designed for Lyra Cat.
We were in Milton, West Virginia outside Charleston, West Virginia for a few days, then Staffordsville, Kentucky at a very nice Kentucky State Park, Paintsville Lake State Park.
We rode a portion of the Dawkins Line Rail Trail starting at Jenny's Creek Trail head and traveling to Gun Creek Tunnel and back while at Paintsville Lake.
We spent a couple of days in Big Stone Gap, Virginia at Jessie Lea RV Park and Campground and had a great spot overlooking the river. There is a town trail that runs in a loop from the campground into downtown Big Stone Gap. We rode into town and had lunch on a Saturday and I was able to get my flu shot and COVID booster at the Walgreens.
Asheville, North Carolina was our next stop where we were able to meet up with John and Cate for dinners out a few nights. We also caught up with Kathy and John at their home in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
Get out and vote, if you haven't already.
Steven and Melanie