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