A recent move has set me on the search for new shortcuts to work. GOOD NEWS! From my old hideout to the new, I first dropped nine miles, and, thanks to some wonderful mountain byways, three more are gone.
The byways are so quintessentially “hill country” that I have to attempt a description. First, there’s a sharp curve to the right, then back to the left, then up a little to the right around a curve so blind that there’s a mirror at the end of the drive to enable safe entrance to the road, then a steep downhill that cuts sharply left before swinging sharply right around the next blind curve, and then a first pass over the creek….okay, guess I won’t do the whole six miles, but I could!
Truly, the land is extraordinarily beautiful in these hollows…lush stands of trees covering the hillsides (can’t wait to see them in fall) – reportedly more full than in several years, thanks to a late spring frost last year. Narrow meadows in between, gentle green spaces, some receiving just a slice of sunlight, but still quite hot on summer afternoons. The bounty of flora in the area contributes to the “smoke” of the Great Smokey Mountains. In the early morning, mist rises from the valleys and wandering creeks in a bewitching haze, fracturing first sunlight, whispering of the heat and humidity to come.
There are roof lines among the trees on seemingly unreachable hillsides – where are their driveways, I want to know? One hill is so steep that, if I don’t get a good running start at it, I have to down shift to make it to the top – but I always look at that spot for the four horses peeking out of their barn, out over the valley. Right up against the road a little further back (just before the church on the hill) is the murky, reed-ringed pond of one farm, and on several of the most warm recent afternoons there has been one cow standing deep in the middle of the pond, with a few ducks paddling around. The rest of the herd is keeping to the deep shade of a stand of trees at the bottom of a steeply terraced hill. They must have a way around, because they sure can’t be going over that one!
To my dearest friend, Lisa, darlin’, I love you to death, but there is not enough Darvon in the continental United States to make it possible for you to accompany me on this particular drive, no matter how desperately you might want to view this piece of heaven! On a couple of hills, even the driver’s stomach does a flip at the top – and I promise, I’m never airborne!
I hope you get to visit this part of the world and travel a few of these mountain roads yourself one day soon.
~Janet @ The Christmas Place