Western NC Mountains


As with some of my friends, I love trains.  A couple of friends and I had chatted about taking a train ride.  So we settled on this past weekend and we chose Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.     The train leaves from Bryson City and travels up the Nantahala Gorge and stops for lunch and returns to Bryson City.  * The train we took was about a dozen cars long (engine and power cars included).  Here are a few of the cars:

Once we reached the top of the gorge, the engine uncouples from the “front” of the train and travels to the rear to reverse the train’s direction.  Now the front is the rear …

From Front to Back

(Click on the link above to see the engine moving from front to rear.

I love train travel and this was no exception.  I will say the train IS the destination.  Here are some of the sights, but the scenery never changes much so the train ride should be your love, or this trip may not be the most exciting. Here are some views:






AND, here are we  three train riders:

Marshall, Chad and Dan.

The most fun was US.  We cut up and carried on and had a hoot of a time.  Once we detrained, we DERAILED.

Never let it be said that Dan can’t find a martini.  Because it wouldn’t be true.  The martinis helped us wash off the trail dust.  And the ones at Derailed and Anthony’s were FAB.

We walked around Bryson City and had fun until some fish tried to eat my LV clutch.  I wasn’t having any of it.  See

Needless to say, I got my clutch back and I made up with the fishy and also made a “FWB” with the Italian.









Somedays I wonder why I am free to roam without supervision, but that’s society’s problem.

At the end of day one we went to Asheville to overnight and have dinner and a few libations.  My very favorite watering hole in Asheville is the stunning The Times at S&W.  Chris and Joe make the greatest drinks.  If you want any flavor, call it, and they will create.  I had two different variations of a Negroni.  One substituted Braulio for Campari.  Oh my how delicious.  If you want the best creations while in Asheville stop the The Times and let me know how much you LOVE IT.  See my OutWithDan twitter post from our stop at The Times.


I went in a different direction from my friends.  They headed south to Atlanta and I headed back west to Johnson City.  Instead of taking the freeway home, I decided to travel the much longer mountain route.  I had heard of Hot Springs NC and wanted to see it.  I had heard it was small and quaint.  It was very small and very quaint and although I may return to explore one day, it didn’t hold much in store for me on this trip.  Here’s one pic from Hot Springs.  (Note the train theme returns):

Along the way to Hot Springs I saw a sign that says “Thisaway” to Historic Marshall.  I confess that this use of Historical is often a ruse to get you to stop.  Sometimes, I feel the Historical just needs a Match to correct the Landscape.  But I was pleasantly surprised with Marshall, NC.  You wind down from the main road along a curvy road until you come to the little downtown mostly along one road.  I parked at the beginning and walked the entire expanse of downtown.  The little touches all along the main street and the side streets were so well manicured and cared for.  It was fun to walk and explore and enjoy.  Here are some of the lovely sites I encountered.

There was a small farmers’ market on the “Island” and a few local churches turning out while I was there.  Everyone said “Hello” and seemed happy.  I am not 100% what one does in Marshall, but visually they’re doing it just fine.

I arrived home mid-afternoon happy.  It was an enjoyable weekend of great fun with friends, great visuals and a non-hurried life.  I approve and highly recommend it!

Peace and love!


Let’s go OutWithDan

  • Sadly, he GSMR website is NOT friendly.  It has schedule upon schedule and so many of them are duplicative and not accurate.  And, not enough concrete info about food and sights are included.  Most links are “possibilities” so the trains seem so much more expansive than they actually are.  And try to get someone on the phone is like calling the pentagon and asking for the chief.  It simply ain’t a-happenin’.  But if you like trains, the train part is GREAT.


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