My New Year Celebration

Sunflower-painted building at Slickrock Road and US 64 near Bat Cave, North Carolina
Sunflower-painted building at Slickrock Road and US 64 near Bat Cave, North Carolina

This year Kathy & I had an opportunity to do something a little different for New Year’s Eve. Certainly different than most people we know, although most people who know us would thing that it made perfect sense. As many of you know we are on Baby Watch these days, as Grandson #1 is due at any time. We want to be ready to assume our roles as soon as it’s time, so we so we haven’t been making any advance plans.

"Most Photographed View in the Smokies" Vacant building along SR 19 between Maggie Valley and Soco Gap, North Carolina
“Most Photographed View in the Smokies” Vacant building along SR 19 between Maggie Valley and Soco Gap, North Carolina
"This Indian Needs Your Business" Vacant building along SR 19 between Maggie Valley and Soco Gap, North Carolina
“This Indian Needs Your Business” Vacant building along SR 19 between Maggie Valley and Soco Gap, North Carolina

Daughter-In-Law Kristin had a doctor visit on Wednesday, and baby Edison didn’t seem to be in any hurry, so we decided to look at options for a New Year’s Eve celebration. As it happened everything sort of fell into place. I found out that I would be excused from work early on New Year’s Eve, our favorite Waynesville restaurant, which had been booked solid for a week or more, suddenly had an available reservation, so I grabbed it. We got a room at the little motel we like to visit there and made plans for a last minute getaway. We’ve had lots of practice and were packed in minutes!

"The Shack Dish Barn Factory Outlet" Vacant building along SR 19 between Maggie Valley and Soco Gap, North Carolina
“The Shack Dish Barn Factory Outlet” Vacant building along SR 19 between Maggie Valley and Soco Gap, North Carolina

We had a nice dinner then drove to a couple of our favorite overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The sky wasn’t real clear but we got above a dense layer of fog and were able to see some lights in the towns below and plenty of stars above.  We had taken along a bottle of bubbly but decided not to drink it then drive back down through the muck.  I had my camera along but decided that trying to learn night photography would probably ruin the moment and stayed in the car where it was warm. 😉 We made our way down through the fog and were back to our room shortly after 11. I remember hearing some noisemakers at midnight but that was about it.

Out of Order
Out of Order

We had a leisurely drive on New Year’s Day, and I stopped along the way to make a few photographs. Nothing spectacular or probably portfolio-worth, but it was a nice way to spend the day. We are now back on duty as Grandparents In Waiting, and waiting patiently!

Sunflower-painted building at Slickrock Road and US 64 near Bat Cave, North Carolina
Sunflower-painted building at Slickrock Road and US 64 near Bat Cave, North Carolina

8 thoughts on “My New Year Celebration”

    1. Well, I did say that it was a last-minute getaway! 😉

      I don’t suppose those photos really compliment the more positive tone of the article but that’s what I got!

  1. There’s something rather photogenic about this forlorn and cheerless place. Perhaps not portfolio-worthy as you suggest but these photos have something to say all the same. All the best with grandparenthood Tom.

    1. This is an interesting response, Cedric. I struggled with how to present these photos. When I was taking them I thought that they would be good subjects for black & white. And I made black & white versions of them. But the more I looked at them I felt that the color, or lack thereof, showed better what I saw and felt as I was taking them. The fact that it was an overcast day tends to make them even more “forlorn and cheerless” as you suggest.

      The “most photographed view” place has been there since I was a kid, and they used to have a live bear there that you could stop and see. In many ways these places reflect crushed dreams or the passage of time. Some people may see this as a business opportunity, but that would not be my take on things.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comments over the past year and beyond. And also for the good wishes for grandparenthood. That will provide material for future posts, I’m sure, and I’m looking forward to sharing.

  2. My first question, is “do they have running water in your hotel room?” 🙂 That men’s room looks interesting so the second question is why?” Where’d those cinder blocks come from? You have your own Bodie right there. On the serious side those Smoky Mountains are such a beautiful place and full of history, as your images show.
    Anyway, glad you two were able to get away, have some time alone in preparation for this grandparent gig you have coming up. Happy New Year!

    1. See Monte, I’m trying to prepare Kathy for a scaled down retirement budget. We’re probably not going to be able to afford the Four Seasons and possibly not even the Wal-Mart parking lot, so hopefully this will make what we can afford a little more appealing. 🙂

      What I love most about these places is that they do in fact have a wonderful view and many of them have a long history. A few of these businesses are only open seasonally, but in general they are in places that are quite difficult to attract drive-by business, so they frequently change hands.

      We are looking forward to our new roles and are anxious to get started. He will be here when it is time, so we are patient!

  3. You and Kathy have a big year ahead with that first grandchild due any day now and I hope the year 2016 is wonderful for all your family. All the best!

  4. Thanks, Brooks. Things are going to get exciting around here real soon! Photos to follow! 😉

    Sorry we missed seeing you and Bonnie on your most recent fly-by. Hopefully we can catch up with you on another pass.

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