Saturday, November 9, 2013

Nantahala Outdoor Center

I’ve wanted to visit the NOC for a long time, ever since our paddling days.  

Just 20 miles away, the NOC sits deep in the Nantahala River gorge, deep in the Nantahala National Forest.  It’s a complex of buildings including a gear shop, bike shop, several restaurants, a country store, the rafting/paddling/zip-line center. 

I didn’t expect to see many people on the river today due to the brisk temps and gloomy skies.  I only spotted a couple and they didn’t look like they were having fun.

The Appalachian Trail passes right though the property. See the Thru-Hikers register and hiker’s box.  One entry reads: Cheeseburgers!  Whiskey!  Women! Cheeseburgers!

By lunchtime I was thinking cheeseburger! myself, but then I saw this menu item: Trout Cake Sandwich made in-house with local rainbow trout on a Kaiser roll with chili garlic ranch dressing and fries.  It was rather like a large crab cake. 

I was thrilled that my table happened to be facing a big-screen TV showing the Auburn vs. Tennessee game.  I had already reconciled myself to missing the game.  

As I texted John, you just can’t plan this stuff.  But the Tigers had the Vols well under control so I didn’t stick around for the end of the game. 

At the outfitters, I bought a little decal for the GDB.  The sentiment reflects how I feel these days. 

Heading back toward Cherokee, I stopped at an RV park for a propane fill-up.  I’ve really been going through the stuff with all these overnight lows hovering in the high-20s to low-30s.  I really like running the furnace though; it makes the GDB even more cozy.  

All day I practiced my diligent down-shifting skills.  I must have gone down 10 inclines with 5% - 8% grades but I don't think I used the brakes once. 

Then I detoured through Bryson City, with its charming downtown looking all Christmas-y.  

I just love a small town with a thriving business on Main Street called Dry Goods Store.  I don’t even know what that is, but it sounds pleasingly quaint.

Next I stopped in Cherokee and strolled around.  The main strip is packed with souvenirs shops with names like Tomahawk Trading Post.  The proximity to a casino means pawn shops, which I confess a weakness for.  For some reason, I always want to walk out with a guitar.  Even though I don’t play.

I returned to my parking space for the night and walked the nice footpath towards the Casino so I could explore it properly and get some exercise.  It’s quite a distance to the entrance.  So far, in fact, that my section of the lot has a series of 4 shuttle stops.

Footpath following the creek.  You can see the casino in the distance.  Note the picnic tables set out for the RV crowd.

The Casino is massively massive with 11 restaurants, spa, and adjoining mega-hotel.  

Web Photo

I checked out the poker room because John and I like to play.  It’s the only gambling we do.  There were lots of tables (all full) but ….. no cards.  Bummer! I just don’t care for playing on computer screens. 

It’s a nice casino and, naturally, very busy on a Saturday.  The neighborhood is filling up.  I count 12 other RVs here besides me. 

I'm hoping to get the Alabama vs. LSU game tonight but I’m not sure if I can pick up CBS.  If not, I can always pop back into the Casino to watch the 4th quarter should the game be close.


  1. Definitely NOT a close game...WAR EAGLE!!! You brought back some memories for me today. Mike and I spent some time rafting the Nantahala many many years ago!! In fact, we weren't even married yet...YIKES!!! Great memories!!!
    That sandwich looked really good...hope it was!!

  2. Hey Happy Ts,

    It was good - a little under seasoned, but good. It's 7:30 and I'm still not hungry for dinner. So that's good too. War Eagle!

  3. Really enjoyed looking at your NOC and Cherokee pictures. Seeing the picture of the little restaurant on the river brought back a flood of good memories. Thank you!

    1. I see you were just up here recently. Glad you got to see the leaves at their peaks. Thanks to the congressional crybabies, I (and many many others) missed the peak.

  4. I think that you have lived a charmed life since you got the GDB. :)

    I loved the NOC photos -- especially the hiker registration and goodie box.

    And the Cherokee area is beautiful. I have only been once -- to a Casita rally. But I could have wandered the area a lot longer.

    So much fun to follow you!

    1. You know, I think you are right. Around the time I found the GDB, things started getting back on track. And it's been getting better ever since.

  5. I love the restaurant on the water. The water looks like it was really moving, yet the guy in the yak didn't seem to be having any trouble.
    Path ways along a water way is my desire.

  6. Hi Kimbopolo:
    I'm so enjoying your posts, but each leaves me with questions about you and your life. Guess I need to go back to the beginning for answers re: marriage, work, choices, etc. I'm so curious! Anyway, I love your enthusiasm, writing ability and photography. How much time / day do you spend 'working?'

  7. Hi Mary Pat,

    I can't point you to a specific post about all that as it's scattered throughout. I do have some posts labeled "choices" so you might try that search. Basically, I'm married to a great guy (30 years) who supports me no matter what, as I do him.

    Prior to getting the GDB in August 2012, I guess I wrote more about life.

    At present I'm only teaching one class with a very small enrollment so I probably work for an hour a day average. Next month, however, I'll be teaching 3 classes so I expect that daily average to go up significantly. That's OK, though. I love what I do. And, so far, the marriage of online teaching and traveling is pretty harmonious.

    Thanks for the compliment!

  8. That sandwich had my mouth watering, and your pawnshop/guitar line had me chuckling. You see so much and enjoy it all. Nice! Oh, and I also love your decal. Life IS good, isn't it? :)


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