What a treat to wake up with nowhere to go on time. Sunny too. Last night was our first night in a hotel,the first night of so many I have booked in advance for this long trip.
No, it wasn’t The MOuntaineer, though there was a time I would have gone for signage over the promise of comfort. I used Tripadvisor to plan this tour, and also the advice of a friend (who was it?) who said, go with the best beds. Within our budget, that’s what I did. Thus, the Country Inn & Suites,
Boring corporate signage (I hate these signs that are just logos on boxes of lights) but the bed and pillows were great and the breakfast was tasty egg burritos with salsa (hurray for Mexico, everywhere we go) and it went well with my leftover greens. Plus, when I checked in and answered that we were on tour with a book, the guy at Recception said, “I love Malaprops. I go there whenever I can. I saw that big book”. Can you get a better welcome than that? I love being back in this part of the world. My very first road trip was with my friend Ita in 1972 to a fiddlers convention somewhere in the mountains here. I have a picture of me in an African print smock with a single braid, in front of a sign that said
Maggie Valley. Can you read it? On this trip too many pictures will be taken from a moving car. Still, we’re in the Smokies and the music is suddenly good: Richard Thompson, Alison Kraus, Joan Osborne. That’s the good stuff. And Road Food. Big nature (last night we heard owls from our room at the Country I&S) and BBQ.
Once again, the signage isn’t much, but Buddy’s was voted Best BBQ in Roane County. Gets my vote.