Monday, November 23, 2015
Further up into the mountains
We spent most of Saturday and Sunday up to the Northeast. Higher into the mountains. Even at our lower elevations, the ridge lines and mountain tops were covered in frost all day long. In the North Carolina Blue Ridge it was colder. Not many people on the roads, even though Thanksgiving is coming up. We stayed off the bigger roads and just used small mountain two lanes. They don't get much traffic at the best of times and right now, with the cold, we hardly saw anyone.
It's 18 degrees outside right now, at about 0630. It will go on getting colder for another two or three hours, then start to warm up though it's not expected to get over 45 degrees today.
I have to run over to another county tonight to see some folks, and I'm not looking forward to that. It will be after dark before I even leave here, and I'm not much for being away from home after dark. Sometimes you just have to match other peoples schedules, though.
One reason we went so far up into the mountains is to get to some of the real general stores that are left.
Not the touristy ones, but the stores in very isolated communities that carry everything you need to get through the winter here.
There are three of these within half a days drive of my place. If you went back to 1888, and walked into a general store, you would find everything from food, to clothing, to hardware, to guns and on. That's how these place are.
Once a year at least, we make the trip. Usually just before first snow, but we went a little early this year.
The people up in these isolated hollows are not particularly friendly. Most of them are elderly. Some of them have never seen the sea or been to Atlanta or any other big city.
They don't want anything to do with the outside world. To get along with them, you need to not ask stupid questions, or try to make small talk.
Yesterday we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants out in the woods at a cross roads in North Carolina. They have a great breakfast buffet. Eggs, bacon, ham, biscuits, gravy. Not fancy, but good. Good coffee. Quiet place, the way I like a restaurant to be.
We did all our necessary shopping for specialty items, and ended up at the El Cheapo grocery store where we filled up the last little bit of space in the Cherokee with food supplies. If you put the back seat down and use the Cherokee like a truck, you can cram a lot in there. It was a weekend well spent.