And In Conclusion

littlepigeonriver
Little Pigeon River, Walking Trail (GSMNP), February 24, 2012

 

Some of you may find the style of this intro a tad familiar. I’ve used it in honor of a friend who stepped in during the toughest part of last week’s training marathon to give me a few hours of joy and fellowship. If you guessed Sharon, you’re right!

::pause for your envy to fade::

After two “whopper” days of training, I arose at 4:00 a.m. on Thursday morning and drove to Knoxville, TN, for a blessedly brief training session. Then it was on to Pigeon Forge (pancake capital of the world) with a whole afternoon free! By previous arrangement, Sharon arrived in her white chariot to whisk me away for a woodsy hike just outside Gatlinburg. I don’t know how far we walked (about 2 miles maybe?), but between the setting (see above photo), the movement, and the wonderful conversation, I felt my emotional energy and balance coming back with each passing minute. Thank you, Sharon!

After our hike-let and a delicious dinner at Calhoun’s, Sharon returned me to my luxury accommodations in Pigeon Forge, mentally refreshed but physically exhausted. I would have invited her up to my room for more chit chat but I’m not sure we could have both fit:

tiny hotel room

No Pilates going on in this room, let me tell you! Oh well, at least it had a view:

amusement park ride

This is some sort of thrill ride in which people are locked in the cage-basket and flipped round and round in big circles until finally, the cage stops at the top and sits there for 3 or 4 minutes with squeals and screams of its occupants biting into the brain of the overly-tired girl next door.
Fortunately, it’s not tourist season so the rides were fairly infrequent and stopped completely around 9:00 or so. Or maybe they kept going but I was sleeping so soundly I didn’t hear them.

I awoke the next morning refreshed and ready for pancakes! The only problem was that none of the pancake houses (or hauses or cabins) were open yet! What’s that about? Breakfast restaurants should open before 8 a.m., off-season or not!

On the bright side, if I’d been inside chowing down on pancakes, I might have missed this lovely morning treat:

rainbow

Note to self: The next time you’re going to stand outside in a windstorm taking pictures of rainbows just prior to leading a training session, don’t spend precious minutes styling your hair beforehand.

Okay, NOW it’s time for pancakes! And lucky me, I arrived on the next-to-last day of National Pancake Week!

sign for national pancake month

I didn’t have to choose from the seven pancake varieties offered; I could have them ALL! And for $4.99!

Thanks to the Peanut Butter Waffle sign I’d seen the day before, I had PB on the brain, so I ordered the banana pancakes with peanut butter sauce (on the side, please!):

peanut butter pancakes

Pardon the pancake messiness. If I’d read the menu description, I might have noticed that they came with powdered sugar sprinkled everywhere. The waitress offered to bring me unsprinkled pancakes, but I made do with some scraping. Also, I removed the butter ball which I hadn’t realized would be served on pancakes that were destined to have peanut butter sauce drizzled on them.

The pancakes were good, but I think the bananas in the batter kept them from being fluffy like good pancakes should be. Or maybe this is not a good pancake house/haus/cabin. Anyway, these three pancakes were all I could eat, so it was time to hit the road.

Thanks to traffic and windy weather, my 6.5 hour trip took 8 hours, but I arrived safely and no worse for wear. I’m spending the weekend resting, relaxing, catching up on exercise, laundering and, I hope, getting caught up on my reader!

Hope you’re having a marvelous weekend!



12 thoughts on “And In Conclusion

  1. Back at ‘cha for the wonderful walk and terrific conversation. I enjoyed every minute and can’t wait for training or otherwise to send you back in this direction again. And BTW, I would’ve graciously refused an invitation for further conversation even if you’d had a luxury suite. Between your hectic week, the FOUR mile walk we took and the dinner at Calhoun’s, by the time I dropped you off at your hotel, you were so tired your eyelids were rolling back in your head!! One of these days I’ll show you where the locals who know go for pancakes!!

    • Really, Sharon? Four miles? Huh. Just goes to show what a lovely setting and engaging company will do for you.

      Here’s hoping for another trip soon! Maybe I can finagle a whole day off next time.

  2. Jealous:) And how clever that you had a hiking scenery shot at the beginning of the post. I immediately knew what was coming. (Of course, I had an inside scoop.)

  3. Wow, what a week! I am tired just thinking about it. But what a great ending–a walk in the Smokey Mountains with Sharon, and some pancakes! Rest up. Cause we want some more of your great bloggy banter!

  4. And Im struck by the rainbow.
    I see my girl draw them so often (daily? :)) it amazes me STILL when I see them in nature….

  5. You sure know how to tell a story Cammy! What fun with your friend & the scenery for the walk – beautiful!

    Those pancakes look delish even though you said they were not the best.

    Glad you got Sharon to give you that much needed break! Home feels good, I bet!

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