May 9, 2009

Bryson City, North Carolina

We left the Fontana Dam area heading Northeast to a small campground in Bryson City that Kim had found would offer us the 50% off Passport America Club rate for the next few days to sit out the impending rain. As we drove drove through the mountains beyond the Dam, we stopped for one last view of the beautiful Fontana Lake area!

We arrived at Ela Campground on the Tuckaseigee River to find a charming fishing camp, complete with rows of "permanent" trailers along the waters edge.

The rain had already started making it difficult to park our rig in the already soupy ground, but with a little jogging & effort, we made it!
We watched patiently as the rain came down for days, and the River continued to swell.
Along with the downpours came the wonderful rhodadendroms. Those pretty flowers, along with the nice folks at Ela, made the stay enjoyable. We found the area had many local small farms, and took advantage of the fresh corn, snapbeans, strawberries & cantelope...what a treat!

By day eight, the rains had ceased so we discovered that Smokey Mountain National Park was just up the hill from the campground. We took advantage of that first sunny morning with a nice brisk hike up the Thomas Divide Trail.

As we climbed higher along the ridge mountain laurel, iris & forget-me-nots signaled that along with the rains, Spring had sprung...

All-in-all, not a bad area to sit out a week's worth of rain. Kim caught up on her reading, we both worked on photos, and I enjoyed the new ham rig & antenna. We highly recommend Ela Campground to anyone wanting an inexpensive plave to just relax here in the Smokies.