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.
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.