Sometimes you realize you are surprised


Former desparate mom
I did a solo drive from Plano Texas to Raleigh N.C.(I know it's crazy but I did it for the puppies).
I headed out the second morning from outside Knoxville, Tenn. I don't think I have ever seen a more beautiful dawn as driving through the mountains of eastern Tenn as the dark recedes. It had mist, and forests. It was a breath taking drive.
Seeing parts of the world has been one of the biggest gifts I have received in adulthood. Seeing the beauty in unexpected times and ways has really been a surprise.

So to those of you in Tenn. I wanted you to know that some outsiders do appreciate what you have even if I just got to drive through.

I feel the same way about the mesas of northeastern New Mexico and the Texas gulf coast. You just don't expect to have your breath taken away but there it is and it's free if you just look for it.

Just thought I'd share. :bow:


Well-Known Member
Fran, I know EXACTLY what you mean!

I live in the western part of Middle Tennessee and what we have here is more big rolling hills as opposed to the real mountains like you'll see in East Tennessee. It's really pretty here too, especially in the fall when the leaves turn, but nothing compared to East Tennessee and the Smokies! We went that way to go to my daughters' wedding in S. Carolina a few years ago and again last year at Christmas. And I think that whole area, from Knoxville, TN to Ashville, NC is probably the most beautiful place I've ever seen! It's absolutely breathtaking! I can't imagine how gorgeous it must all be in the Fall when the leaves are turning! It probably won't be as pretty this year because it's been so hot and so dry that a lot of the trees are losing their leaves already, just turning brown and falling off.

Did you happen to notice, waaaay up on the sides of the cliffs, the stuff that looks like netting stretched across? I think it's really chain link fence material. It's to keep the big rocks and boulders from falling down into the roadway ... what a comforting thought! Did you go the way where there is a tunnel you have to drive through? When we were approaching the tunnel, my son, true to form, whipped out his cell phone, quickly dialed up a friend, and was yelling, "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?" while we drove through! And no, they couldn't! It might have been that half-mile of solid rock that was surrounding us at the time! :blush:


Well-Known Member
Fran, I am a nature girl, too. I love to see a beautiful site by just looking around me.

I went to an Ansel Adams art show yesterday - talk about beauty in nature. Wow! He even made a water stain on wallpaper look good! LOL!


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The Smokey Mountains and The Blue Ridge Parkway are two of the most beautiful places I have ever had the opportunity to visit. Fran, if you get the chance to take a short 3 day weekend trip, just you and husband, drive up from Raleigh to Hwy 11 to Peaks of Otter and Natural Bridge. There is a hotel at Peaks of Otter that is beautiful where you can just see for days.

You can also drive on up on Skyline Drive and see the VA mountains and the Shenandoah Valley.



call 911
WHAT PUPPIES!!!!!- Your writing style is very relaxed and descript, thanks for sharing! Almost could see it in my mind.


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Staff member
husband and I spent a night last December at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC and were awed by the sight of the mountains. It is a beautiful place to go at Christmas time ~ especially sitting on the huge stone back porch to watch the sunsets.

Maybe we could have a board get-together in Asheville.



New Member
When I was a teen I got the opportunity to travel most of the US. I went for the summer with my biodad who was a longhaul trucker. We live in a beautiful country we are so blessed. The Southern states made me wanna move there. They were so out in your face beautiful.

I still to this day thank God for that trip :grin:



Well-Known Member
Oh Asheville is so beautiful too. And Cherokee is right around the corner with the nice There are tons of little towns up in the mountains there that are so quaint.

Did you know that there is the little town up near Asheville where Dirty Dancing was filmed?


Well-Known Member
And to read this on a Sunday, too.
On another thread, I said I wasn't religious. But that scenario is the best spiritual food I can have.
I am very luckly to live on the water, with-4 acres. It's like praying or meditating, 24/7.


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A schoolteacher friend of mine took her then 13-year-old daughter (now 30ish, married with two kids) and some of her daughter's friends to see the place where Dirty Dancing was filmed.

They had a great time and it is now a wonderful memory.

I always planned on taking my girls and somehow never got around to doing it ~ a big regret.

I love that movie!

DEX and I drove over the road for 2 years. One of the best memories I hold of being with him. I loved that time. We hit Virginia and the Carolinas in the fall. Absolutely breathtaking.

The sight that we will remember forever was in New Mexico. It was about 1Am, in the middle of nowhere, on a clear night with no moon. We pulled over, got out of the truck, and watched the sky for I'll bet two hours. The stars dazzled like diamonds, and you saw a shooting star every 5 seconds, no kidding. They were everywhere. You just do not see that in the city. Between the smog and the lights, you can count the stars (usually 10). When we were watching these stars, we were like 2 kids on Christmas. We could not fathom that we were looking at the same sky that we see in Chicago.

Wiped Out

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Sounds beautiful. One thing I really miss from being a child is all the traveling we did and getting to see beautiful sights.


Active Member
I know exactly what you mean, Fran.

On our drive from Michigan down to Florida through the years, I've also had my breath taken away by the view when we enter that area. It's just gorgeous.

Glad you and the pups enjoyed the ride.



Former desparate mom
Lisa, the puppies are getting used to being with their new mom. They are about 2yrs old so they have had a couple of homes and some foster parents. It's why I wanted to stay with them during the move or they would have flown. Much easier on this mom.

Lone Ranger, I adopted 2 dogs from rescue about a month ago. They are littermates. Cowboy and HoneySue are their names.(how could you not love a HoneySue?) They are big dogs but gentle and needed to stay together.

Donna, I think Tennesseee has some of the most beautiful landscape from one end of the state to the other. I plan to do a lot of touring in the N.Carolina area and then spread out to Tenn. as time goes on and we are more settled.

Janet, I spoke to husband about visiting the area where the Natural Bridge is located. It's definitely on the "must see" list.

BigBadKitty, the drive from Albequerque to Taos N.Mex. is one of my favorites too. It's high desert and mesa's but it's so unique that I doubt you will see anything like it anywhere else. The Royal Gorge is amazing. We return frequently because it always makes me feel lucky to have passed through. I imagine what it was like in the days of the wild west. How did someone make it across with no water and convenience stores?

I guess I get used to seeing things or we have preconceived notions of what something will look like but the reality can be so different. Keeping an open mind to beauty leaves you so much more room to enjoy what is around you and let's you be surprised at discovering something that adds a positive to your soul.

It's amazing to me at how friendly and helpful people in NYC are everytime I am there. It's sort of a surprise. Doesn't really fit with what I expect. There is a beauty at being pleasantly surprised.

Looking around and seeing beauty just adds so much richness to your life. We could just drown in the difficult child negativity if we choose to do so. Don't you think?


New Member
I have really enjoyed reading this thread. The beauty of life has really sustained me through the years.

I spent a year in the desert southwest in 05-06 and every morning I walked on a desert trail for my dose of "medicine". The desert landscape is such a spiritual place for me and greatly helped to heal me. And those AZ winter sunsets are so beautiful, tears would come to my eyes. Right now I live in Austin, a city full of natural beauty amidst the bustle of urban life.

I believe Nature has a powerful influence over our lives. It can transform us...sometimes by taking away and sometimes by giving more than we expect.

Thank you, Fran and others for your insights!