GA: Winnie Rebels

Our hosts picked a beautiful place for our October outing in Franklin, NC that was filled with southern hospitality. The Eubanks and Wheelus’s were our gracious hosts, who had planned a delicious menu for our weekend adventure in the Smokies. Once the rain cleared out – the weather was perfect. 8 campers and 14 members made their journey for a long weekend of fun: Jim & Barbara Bell, Fred & Kathy Genrich, Dennis Harrison, John & Leslie Keener, Charles & Bess Stewart, Yolanda White, and hosts: Bobby & Wanda Eubanks and Allen & Patty Wheelus. Our events started Thursday late afternoon with lots of hors d’oeuvres in the club room where we met and welcomed our new members Charles & Bess Stewart from Oxford, GA, got reacquainted and caught up with each other. It was so good to see each other! Y’all must know that if you go to Stone Mountain between now and November – you might just see Charles in his natural role as Santa!

Two people smiling

Breakfasts together are always good, and Friday morning, our hosts got us started with a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits, grits, coffee & orange juice. Shortly after breakfast we all finalized our plans for the day of exploring. Some of us went after the waterfalls towards Highlands, NC, some went shopping in Franklin, others just hung out at camp. We saw Dry Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Bust Your Butt Falls, and several others – beautiful and amazing!

Group standing together with waterfall in the background.

At 5:30 PM we all met at the Motor Co. Grill in downtown Franklin for dinner. We had fun trying to remember the names of old-time celebrities they had pictures of along their walls. What a great place for a burger and fries – our waitress did a great job with our group too! 

People ordering at counter of the Motor Co. Grill

After dinner, we hung out in the club room and watched “a” game on the big TV in the Club Room, while others played “Chase the Ace” - aka “Screw Your Neighbor”. The big winners were …….Leslie & Kathy. Unbeknownst to us, a big rain was headed our way that night – luckily, we ended our night at a decent time and got back to our campers right before it hit! It rained all night - this was the last of the rains that had been fueling all the rivers, creeks and waterfalls. Saturday morning, our hosts prepared another excellent breakfast for us again with pancakes, bacon, and grits, and served coffee & orange juice – it was delicious! This was followed by very short meeting – 17 minutes? Then we broke for today’s adventure. Saturday’s adventure included strolling through the nearby towns where we found some great buys and added to our Scottish garb and Halloween costumes. Dennis took the Genrich’s and Keeners up to Cherokee in search of Elk and mountain views. It was a beautiful drive, we stopped at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and walked through the Mountain Farm Museum and saw how the pioneers lived along the Oconaluftee River. We got so many beautiful pictures!

People standing together for a photo beneath trees with river in the background.

Then we drove up to Clingman’s Dome – and found several thousand other tourists that had the same idea – it took almost 2 hours to get up there and park before our hike. The traffic was so slow, we were taking pictures of rocks and plants along side the road. The day was georgious, very clear and the views were beautiful.

View of rolling hills and landscape from Clingman's Dome.

We thought our day was a bust for seeing elk, but, on our way down, we saw them! Our trip back to camp was delayed about an hour. Our first sighting was along the forest’s edge in the shadows.. It was hard to see them but we snapped away. Then, further down the mountain on the other side of the road, we saw a bunch of other cars stopped watching an elk family of 8 that were coming out into the field – including a big beautiful buck – we heard his cry and do have his sound byte! We spent about 45 minutes taking pictures of this group. Pretty amazing! When we thought we were done seeing elk, there was one right next to the road! We slowed down and got our final shots. We only got honked at once. But we didn’t care - we got great pictures and what a memory!

Elk in grassy field.

While we were out having fun, our hosts were busy working on our dinner – a huge pot of a Low Country Boil, and homeade hushpuppes and deserts – pecan pie, lemon bundt cake, raspberry cookies. That Low Country Boil was full of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, carrots, and corn – and seasoned perfectly. Man that was good! We all went back for seconds, maybe thirds. We rolled out of there quite content! That was so good – I’m sorry for those of you that missed it. After dinner, we hung out nibbling on tonight’s desserts & leftovers, watching Georgia beat Auburn, and played 5 Crowns – Yes - a new card game was introduced! When Kings went wild – the last round was made and who got lucky for the win? Killer Keener.

We want to thank Wanda, Bobby, Allen and Patty for a great long weekend together and we hope to see y’all December 3-5 at River Rocks Landing in Gadsden, AL.


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