#SylvaMovies, #HotRods, #Mountain Towns

October 5, 2016.

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Cherokee was a great base for us last week.  We went for several day trips, had a blast with Zuma walks, kept each other on track with work, met people from all over the place for yard long conversations and exchanges of travel ideas and suggestions.  Ate too much but oh well.  Southern cookin’ is good cookin’.
Hey! Winter’s comin’ ya’ll!  So why is this Hydrangea blooming?
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Feelin’ bloathish from too many hasty road snacks and visibly wasting away by the minute, I searched Trip Advisor for a healthy meal in Cherokee.  We’d arrived late the day and, feeling a tad peckish, we’d opted to snarf down KFC for the first time in 30 years.  Iiii know.  Not long afterwards we felt like we’d eaten lead-injected salt licks.  It was my fault, my suggestion. Bad one.  Pass the TUMS.  WHY do I eat fried food?  Damn, it was good when I ate it.  I know I can’t eat fried food! Whaaat was I thinking?  I’ll try it again in another 30 years.
So, after that, I remembered a while ago I’d been on Trip Advisor researching healthy restaurants and poof!  “Sassy Sunflowers” kept popping up and then, we suddenly passed by it and the lights went on in my brain and I started jumping up and down in the car which was really tricky and I remembered the Trip Advisor recommendations and we turned the car around and we were hooked! We had cold drinks and a cookie the first day and then we went every day while we were in Cherokee.  Fresh soup and salads, scrumptious sandwiches and wraps, decadent baked goods, we were in Heaven.  Here’s Doug gettin’ all sassy and Zuma flaked out on the deck.
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Dog-friendly and people-friendly, we were very happy to be welcomed by the owners, who have a Dane and other large dogs; they loved Zuma and gave her cookies and a fresh bowl of water and didn’t mind her lounging like a furry speed bump taking up half the deck with her long spider legs.  We are so happy we met such wonderful people and found a healthy place to eat brunch/lunch.
One day, we went to the small mountain town of Sylva for an afternoon and walked around.  I’d read that it’s picturesque setting is frequently chosen as the set for several films, including parts of The Fugitive.
The people there have a fine sense of mountain humor.

Really, it’s not like that at all, ya’ll.

It’s beautiful and pristine with lovely homes and buildings and trendy shops and friendly people.

This past spring and summer the upcoming movie “Three Billboards For Ebbing, Missouri” was filmed here.  The film crew “altered” the buildings to make the downtown look like Missouri. Whaaaat?  Give these mountain towns their dues, ya’ll.
“Billboards” stars Francis McDormand, Woody Harelson and Peter Dinklage.  Oh yeh, and while I’m on a name-dropping binge, Jennifer Lopez was spotted kickin’ around in Asheville with Woody after visiting the set in Sylva.  Just hangin’.

Back to reality.  Nearby, there is a large Native Cherokee site known as Judaculla Rock, where, hundreds of years ago, petroglyphs were carved into a protruding, western-facing stone that is overlooked by the mountains and warmed by sunsets.

Doug and I had the privilege of discussing the significance of this petroglyph site with a Cherokee Native at Oconaluftee Village (I’m fascinated by Native culture).  He was familiar with the Judacullah rock and feels that it is a map of Cherokee villages and homes.
The depressions in the rock show at least ten stick people, a winged figure, cross-like etchings, rings, deer tracks and claw prints and yes, I think there is a map-like pattern all around.  Fascinating.
What do you think???
Nobody really knows what Judaculla Rock represents, but it is a beautiful, humble reminder, a message from the people who lived in that area so long ago.
It’s a shame it isn’t protected from the elements
but perhaps that will come.
Returning to Cherokee, we passed these Hot Rods on the road. Fortunately, they parked for lunch and I was able to skulk around the parking lot to photograph their immaculate vehicles.
Now there’s something you don’t see every day!
This car was towing the smaller version which serves as a trailer!
These folks were part of a Hot Rod Rally.  Quite the culture jolt for us after our past few days of getting back to nature ….
I guess that’s what I love most about this trip.  Every day we are privy to something we wouldn’t normally experience.  I am so grateful that we are able to make this journey happen.
#vintagehotrods, #sassysunflowers, #healthy lunch, #great dane dogs, #travel, #Cherokee, NC

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