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Georgia On My Mind, Part 5

Today I am sharing more photos from my Georgia trip, taken about a year and a half ago. It was November and the colorful leaves had pretty much abandoned the trees. We set out to see the hills and streams of Northern Georgia — which are so popular in the warmer months. This time of year, most folks are settled in the city or by a roaring fire in the fireplace, reading a good book. Thus many businesses close for the off-season — the River's End Restaurant follows that pattern.

And here is the stretch of the Nantahala River immediately below the restaurant. I think I will have to return during the warmer months because the views from the restaurant must be spectacular.

My navigator and chauffeur for the tour kindly consented to a photo — my sister, Janie, and her husband, Danny. Don't they make a cute couple!

Next door to the seasonally closed restaurant is the Outfitter's Store. It was open but not a lot of customers were there when we stopped. This happens to be a spot where the Appalachian Trail crosses the Nantahala River — hikers depend on this spot for rest and provisions.

During the warm weather, the store also rents kayaks and other water toys for folks who like the challenge of the rapids.

Although most of the leaves are brown, I did spot a shrub with a profusion of purple berries. No idea what they are — I am open to suggestions. The berries provided a nice splash of color against a brown backdrop (and probably a nice meal for the non-migratory birds).

Our next stop was the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Mountain Farm Museum. All the structures and implements found here are from the local area and have been laid out the way a small family farm would have appeared over 100 years ago. Here is the farmhouse.

When you start looking at the detail of construction you start to appreciate how self-sufficient these folks were (and had to be). Note the gutter carved out of a straight log to channel the water off the roof and to the ground. They may have, at one time, had a barrel to catch the rainwater to make it through otherwise dry spells.

Also, I noted that the supports were not some Home Depot metal brackets but just a fork from a tree.

Here is a photo of the farmhouse from the other side. Not very big. It is hard to imagine living in such a small dwelling for more than a few days.

Inside was spartan, to say the least. fireplace, bed, rocker and pedal-powered sewing machine.

The same room from another angle. BTW, my mom was quite a seamstress. She made many of our clothes when we were young and took up quilting later in life. In fact, she also owned a pedal-powered sewing machine but hers was for decoration.

Here is the kitchen area and dining room. It probably also served as a space for the kids to do their homework.

Last, and certainly not least, is the outhouse. Today we are so accustomed to the convenience of a modern bathroom, it is hard to realize that indoor plumbing is not all that old. In my family, my great-grandfather built a rather modern house in the Eastern Shore of Maryland albeit without indoor plumbing — that was added later. The house is still standing and is now occupied by a design busness. I still recall the outhouse out back that we kids did use occasionally so as not to interrupt our play time with a trip to the bathroom. By the way, I did check the door to this privy and it was secured shut — I guess they did not want folks to try the pioneer life in all its glory.

There were more buildings on this model homestead which I will share with you next week.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com