Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Strolling around Whisperwood with an intimate Gatlinburg wedding

Sometimes Indian summer in Tennessee lasts all winter! Our gorgeous November 16th wedding of Chad and Amy was perfect for her gown, with warm sunshine and glowing light. They chose inside the chapel for their vows, but a stroll around the grounds before the wedding cake gave opportunity for romantic moments. Our Cosby Creek tumbles by the old cabin. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just up the road. Our horses, Australian shepherds and mountain scenery make every visit a romantic moment. Best wishes to Chad and Amy, childhood sweethearts! May the mountains go with you.

My horse Dreamcatcher likes to welcome guests to Creekwalk Inn. He is just 4 and a Thorcheron, a big fellow who has jumped all our electric fences so he gets his own five foot high paddock. Any dressage riders out there who are dedicated to gentle beginnings for horses? By the way, a Thorcheron is a cross between a Thoroughbred and a Percheron. My other friends at Whisperwood are Griffin, my year old Australian shepherd, of course others, too! Will share their antics in future posts.
Thanksgiving this year should be glorious with all organic vegetables and a turkey from Earth Fare...lots of rooms open still, so come and bring the family! A Gatlinburg Thanksgiving can't be beat with Christmas lights, maybe an early snowfall in the Smokies, hiking and relaxing by the wood fire.

Janice Haynes
Creekwalk Inn Bed and Breakfast and Cabins at Whisperwood Farm, Great Smoky Mountains, Cosby, TN

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bed and Breakfast Travel: November in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

My guests at Creekwalk Bed and Breakfast and Cabin Rentals in Cosby, TN, outside Gatlinburg, TN, have been buzzing about bear sightings, gorgeous views, waterfall s. The breakfast talk, when about the outdoors, is always animated. We have seven tables for two gathered in the living room, the fireplace burning bright. I think Steve and Bettina showed me the most amazing photography, snow on the top of Mount LeConte at the Mount LeConte Lodge. I had suggested the Alum Bluff Trail as a fun trail with great views for fall and the weather gave them fall and winter in the same day, and they brought back photographs to show me.
Many of my guests are very fit and enjoy extreme hiking. The Backpacker Magazine highlighted the hike to Mount Cammerer as the best hike in the southeast, and Steve and Bettina cruised up that mountain after an early breakfast last spring. That is a 12 mile round trip hike to a fire tower with views of the peaks surrounding, layer on layer. Alum Bluff is just 8 miles, so easy for them this fall. If a fast hiker is trying to pass, you might want to yield and let them go on ahead. (Just a tip on trail courtesy.)
Enjoy the mystery of this early snowfall photo at the top of the mountain taken by the Buntings.. We are looking at lots of color now even though many of the leaves are on the ground. When the leaves are gone in the Smokies, we still have lots of greenery, with rhododendron understory thickets and mountain laurel mixed in with all the pines and hemlocks. The views for winter hiking are amazing and the best of any time of year.
Enjoy the trailheads at Greenbrier, Cosby and Big Creek, all just about 20 minutes from Creekwalk Inn in Cosby. There are many other places to pick up trails between these three areas, such as the virgin timber on the Albright Grove Loop trail. Tree hugging there takes five people or more to reach around the trees! This is a majestic trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Any of these trails that you may have hiked in the spring or summer are a completely different experience in the winter. On winter I hiked all the way from Cades Cove to Hot Springs, NC, in day trips average 6 to 10 miles per day, just heading out one day a week. Lunch by an icy stream and a hot thermos of tea is magical any time, but especially in the winter. If there is a dusting of snow, the animal tracks are fun to study. Bears do get up and pee in the winter! I think UT did a big study about bears waking up and why , and found up they get up to pee in the middle of the winter. They do go back to sleep, so not to worry!
The horses are looking handsome with a backdrop of mountain and fall leaves. Our mountain vistas from Whisperwood Farm in Cosby are a joy year round. Here are a few shots from this morning.

Janice Haynes
Creekwalk Inn Bed and Breakfast and Cabins at Whisperwood Farm, Great Smoky Mountains, Cosby, TN

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gatlinburg Bed and Breakfast features historic outpost cabin

Janice Haynes
Creekwalk Inn Bed and Breakfast and Cabins at Whisperwood Farm, Great Smoky Mountains, Cosby, TN

Historic Settler's Cove Cabin on 30 acre farm adds texture to a Gatlinburg bed and breakfast stay in the Smoky Mountains. Our first bed and breakfast guest came to this historic cabin in 1987. Tifton and I moved out to a camper on the creek and welcomed our guest into our loft bedroom! It is a unique way to begin being an innkeeper, moving out of a house with only one bath and one bedroom, so we could make room!

Today I revisited our cabin and enjoyed swinging in the porch swing. This Gatlinburg area cabin was built in the early 1800's and was in the Fox family until the 1960's, I believe. We were the 3rd in line from the original family and have preserved everything we can about the place, including the chestnut rail fence circling the maples around the yard. A spring at the foot of cliffs marks the spot where the early settler's set up their log home.

We lived at Settler's Cove for 5 years, brought our first baby home there in 1987, and our 2nd. Instead of selling, we decided to share our cabin with guests. It now sleeps up to 10, with 5 beds, 3 in the loft, one in the smokehouse, one in the living room. The bathroom has a claw foot tub and their in a hot tub in the yard near the picnic table and camp fire ring. I have to explain carefully to guests that there are 3 beds upstairs, not bedrooms! Gathering around the campfire at Settler's Cove is the perfect storytelling backdrop to share your family sagas. My Gatlinburg honeymoon cabin lovers enjoy the sense of history, walking in the meadows, dipping their toes in the icy spring that nourished the early pioneers. I played in the spring with my babies and we enjoyed freezing ourselves on hot summer days.

Hope you enjoy this poem I wrote this morning from the swing. We had an Airedale named Duffy and a few hens laying eggs. This poem is about one hen in particular who began dueting with Duffy on the porch rail. I enjoyed going back to the farm today to clean, memory hugging!


And could I be so
precious as to have
homecoming's wherever I go?
Here I am at Settler's Cove
on the swing
time traveling
Duffy and the chicken on the
rail singing
alternating Airedale gentle
wheezing moans so tenor
with soprano crooning of
raised beak
no dueling banjos
on this porch
the farm music we
shared each evening
our untrimmed
Airedale and our red hen
blending against
ancient wood
alternating voice
this cabin built 200 years ago
this porch to celebrate place
and a swing to undulate
with time
like tides or breaths
or heartbeats
I roam through time
and celebrate
moments etched
my mind seeing
multi-dimensional overlaps
of fur and feathers

Yes, you can leave the farm (Settler's Cove) and come to breakfast at our Creekwalk Inn (www.creekwalkinn.com) in Cosby...sometimes we even deliver!
Loving the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

“Under the Apple Trees”, an original play by Duay O’Neil, is playing in Cosby at Carver’s Orchard April 24, 7:00 p.m., April 25, 7:00 p.m., and Sunday afternoon, April 26, 3 p.m. Tickets are $10.00.

This is an outdoor performance, weather permitting, or we go to the apple barn if the skies are inclement. Rain or shine, the show goes on.

The set is an old log cabin. There are 31 members of the cast. The story is of the Carver Family, early settlers in the area, and their journey to their present orchard 75 years ago when the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was formed and their land was bought by the park.

Mountain music opens and closes the show with Dave McClary on the old time banjo with his band. Seven of the Carver family are cast members.

If you enjoy storytelling and lore of the mountains, you will feel as though you have gone backstage yourself…not behind the set, but backstage into the memories of the Carver family from before the Civil War, through the depression, and to the years they left their home in the Park and resettled at the present orchard site. Secrets are shared.

My reaction to the play was to call my aunt the day after opening night April 17th and ask for some more of her stories. She is 88 and I want to know all that she can remember, not just from her lifetime, but from the stories she heard as a child from her grandmother.

Janice Haynes
Creekwalk Inn Bed and Breakfast and Cabins at Whisperwood Farm, Great Smoky Mountains, Cosby, TN

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gatlinburg bed and breakfast Great Smoky Mountains Ramsey Cascade Waterfall

The Great Smoky Mountains is my home. My inn is nestled in a little valley, in a little town that doesn’t even have a mayor, or any incorporation. Yet I am within 20 minutes of 4 Great Smoky Mountain National Park entrances and I love to hike.

I am just 30 minutes from Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This photo is one of the challenging hikes for my inn guests who are fit and ambitious…eight miles round trip to a gorgeous waterfall, Ramsey Cascade, in the Greenbrier section of the Smokies, between Cosby and Gatlinburg. I love to pack lunches for my hiking guests. The last thing I want for them is for hunger to strike when they could be relaxing on the top of a mountain or at the foot of a waterfall. This photo was sent in by one of my guests. I love the stories at night of the trail. I have hiked from Cades Cove to Cosby and then on to Hot Springs, NC, planning day trips. I love winter hiking. Right now the spring flowers are leaping out of the ground. We have trilliums, mayapples and flocks up everywhere along the creek bank next to our bed and breakfast. I grew up in New Hampshire in the same beautiful chain of mountains, just moved south to a different climate. I’ve been in the south since I was 10. The plants in the park are the same, the teaberry leaves to chew that taste like wintergreen. I chewed them as a child and still love to crunch the leaves and make sure it is the right plant so I don’t poison myself, then have woods candy, as I told my children when they were little, too.
We have waterfalls all over the park and the spring rains make wonderful sprays of water, even more magnificent than the summer falls.

Janice Haynes
Pedestrian (hiker), innkeeper, Creekwalk Inn
Great Smoky Mountains, Cosby, Tennessee