It was pretty cold yesterday morning, but by noon the temperature was up in the forties and the sun was shining so it was impossible to stay indoors. We hopped in the truck and took NC 215 north. This is a great twisty, scenic road that follows two rivers as it winds its way through the Southern Smokies. Once we got up to about 3,500 feet, some of the north-facing cliffs along the side of the road were sporting icicles.
There’s a spot where NC 215 crosses the West Fork of the Pigeon River that you can climb down onto the rock riverbed. The riverbed is riddled with craters that have been worn into the rock when the water is high from heavy rains and the spring runoff.
Looking at all these icicles made a cup of coffee sound good so we headed west to Bryson City, home of my all-time favorite coffee shop.
It’s located right across the tracks from the Bryson City Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Station…
As we were enjoying our Black Widows, the train pulled in, at the end of its morning excursion run.
The two units were uncoupled and a third GP9, dressed out in its “Polar Express” colors and tinsel garlands, was attached for the day’s special evening excursion which features Santa Claus, a reading of the story and a gift for each child.
GSMR also has a gorgeous BLW 2-8-0 steam locomotive but we didn’t get to see it yesterday.
And, we ended the day with dinner at an old service station in Franklin that’s been remodeled into a ’50s diner…