Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NC: Check out Chipmunk Road This Summer

 Map of Heintooga Ridge Rd, North Carolina
 
Chipmunk Road. That’s what I call it.  If you are one of the lucky adventurers to traverse Heintooga Ridge Road within the Great Smoky Mountains, you might agree with my name for the road!

Chipmunks are everywhere, emerging from and disappearing into expansive burrows, complete with chambers and tunnels, built into the roadbed itself.

How could it be?

First of all, if you are on a waterfall hunt or prefer fast drives along paved backroads, don’t take this route.  Chipmunk Road is for folks who appreciate driving slower than they can walk in order to take in all that nature has to offer from the comfort and safety of their vehicle.  So, open the car windows or put the top down, shift into the lowest gear, and enjoy the drive at 5 - 10 mph—max!  Without the windows down, most of the sounds, smells, and sights are missed.  Don’t worry about oncoming traffic — it is a 13-mile, one-way, unimproved, backcountry road, Subaru and dog approved.  Silence is mandatory, so consider leaving the kids and talkative friends and relatives at home.

Even during the height of tourist season, several days may go by without wildlife being disturbed at all except by occasional hikers making connections to Cataloochee and Mount Sterling.  On the average only a few drivers a day choose this route, and it is seasonally closed from November to late May.

27 comments:

  1. Mr Brock, I was on this road, and pulling a 30 foot travel trailer... yes go real slow and stop often, the sights and sounds were spectacular! You do get that on the main road.

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    1. Wonderful! I could go full time in a flash. Did you camp in the area? I've taken three summers off and gone a different route from west coast to east coast and back. Just marvelous.

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  2. We did camp just outside the park, no camping units were available at the times. I too have crossed these states 7 times and I always route myself on secondary roads.We used to take weeks to go 1000 miles, we hit every library and museum on the road.

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    1. I too have crossed these states 7 times and I always route myself on secondary roads.

      Yes, I always look at the map and take the road not taken. Came around a corner in Idaho, I believe and had to stop while the mother chicken and her brood crossed the gravel road nonchalantly ignoring me while I viewed a log cabin in the distance with smoke curling out the chimney. I believe this was May and the camping in the state parks was free as well was the firewood stacked.

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      We used to take weeks to go 1000 miles, we hit every library and museum on the road.

      Not that slow here and had my line and sinker in every bit of water visible instead of museums and libraries. :) Do you still camp?

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    2. Oh yes, in fact I am writing this in Basin, Wyoming. I am staying here a month which ends on the first and have roamed over the country side into the Wind River Range. And yes I too have the urge to drown worms along the way. I am heading to the central part of South Dakota next and will stay there a month and roam hither and dale.

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    3. Wow, so you are full timing, correct?

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    4. Yes, I no longer have the missus.. and it is me and my 10 pound sausage chihuahua, Guido. I pick an area and find a nice quiet little park and then range the country side enjoying the museums, libraries and fishing holes. the reason for the month stays are for my S/S and pension checks to catch up... and when I am flushed I drive on...

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    5. :)Sounds fun! Do you ever get to NC?

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    6. I am hoping to catch one of your Patcons

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  3. In fact I have, I have been to the Smoky Mountains a couple of times, in fact I am heading that way and figure to be there in October and then head a little south to winter, it is getting hard to winter over in the Northern states, too damn cold...

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    1. Well, the Fall PATCON is the first weekend in October, so maybe you can make that work. Better than that, come earlier to my Cape Carteret place and stay for awhile as the beach is still very nice in September.

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  4. Thank you, that is very gracious! The Fall Patcon was the reason I was heading that way! I could leave early from where I was planning to stay in September. Being free, white and 21, have trailer, and the road to rise to meet me? What could go wrong? Do you surf fish?

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    1. Being free, white and 21, have trailer, and the road to rise to meet me? What could go wrong? Do you surf fish?

      :) Damn, wish I was 21! I have no surf poles now, but do have four others which work fine. I'm just 10 minutes from the Emerald Isle Pier, so come on down!:)

      https://goo.gl/maps/EDg19Z4wQym

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    2. I wish I was 21 too... 57 here and the 58 is closing very fast...

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    3. I'm ahead of you, unfortunately, but plan on getting younger when I go back to Vietnam after the PATCON. :)

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  5. I should feel at home, you have Cedar Point close by, my last name is Cederquist

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    1. Ha! They have one of the top 100 specialty beer stores there. :)

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    2. I can see we are going to have to taste test all those specialty beers....

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    3. That Goose Creek RV place over in Ceder Keys a nice place?

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    4. Cedar Point and yes, but the driveway should do.

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    5. You do have a long drive way, but I would not impose on you or your family.

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  6. Beautiful! Thanks!

    Brings back memories of West Virginia family history that I haven't read in years. Great,great grandad is buried several miles up such & such river, on the left bank & under a big tree. In an effort to scare off any bears, my grandmother carried flaming, rolled-up newspaper torches during night treks to the outhouse. I'm guessing that they couldn't afford a chamber pot. Have to admit that that old-time stuff fascinates me.

    Thanks, again!

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    1. That is fascinating. I went to military school in West Virginia.

      http://namsouth.com/viewtopic.php?t=2147&highlight=greenbrier

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  7. Very pretty, thanks for linking to it. YouTube has done a great service by allowing others who aren't close by to appreciate the sights and sounds of faraway places and locations. Not quite like being actually there, but close.

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