Monday, August 11, 2014

SPIRIT OF APPALACHIA

We recently visited our friends, Ronnie and Marianne DiGiglia, in Blairsville, GA.  Blairsville is about 2 hours from Flowery Branch, and Google Maps directed us through something similar to the Tail Of The Dragon on the North Carolina/Tennessee border. Thank goodness we were in the car and not the motorhome.  I may not have taken a photo of every direction sign we passed, but a few of them looked like this:
U.S. Highway 19 - Cleveland, GA to Blairsville, GA
The time we spent in Blairsville was interesting and the DiGiglia's are world class hosts and tour guides who are familiar with all there is to see and do in the area... lucky for us.  We found the beautiful Nottely Dam and Lake (part of the TVA system).  Before the water in this dam reaches the Ohio River the same water has produced electricity in 9 other dams.
The Nottely Dam and Lake in Blairsville, GA
Sleepy Hollow in Blairsville!  We had read about Sleepy Hollow on Roadside America, also viewed a segment on HGTV, never imagining we would visit here!  What a treat if you are into unusual sights on the road.  Sleepy Hollow is a family-run business and we were impressed that the owners/creator, Art Millican, Jr. (and his wife, Wendi), was a former Disney artist and model maker, consultant to Dollywood, also helped develop Michael Jackson's Neverland.  The owners are on-site and if you leave without a big smile on your face you may need to reassess your inner-whimsey.  Yes, there are fairies in-residence, and people of all ages are welcome to visit the enchanted gardens.
Sleepy Hollow - Blairsville, GA

Sleepy Hollow - Blairsville, GA

Sleepy Hollow - Blairsville, GA

Sleepy Hollow - Gypsy Vardo - Blairsville, GA

Sleepy Hollow - Blairsville, GA
This turned out to be a day of new discoveries for us.  Surprisingly, we meandered into North Carolina without any problem whatsoever.  We arrived in Brasstown and discovered the John C. Campbell Folk School, a 300 acre blend of history, art and natural beauty, founded in 1925, rooted in the traditions of Southern Appalachia and other cultures of the world.  Fortunately, we were able to browse the huge Craft Shop, a destination in itself.   Rand McNally has identified the Folk School as one of the top 30 U.S. destinations in their "Best of the Road".  We'll look forward to returning to Brasstown to discover more of the spirit in the heart of Appalachia.  After seeing the map of the school, it would take more than a day to tour all they have to offer. 

Brasstown, N.C.

Entrance to John C. Campbell Folk School - Brasstown, NC

Craft Shop Building - John C. Campbell Folk School - Brasstown, NC

Craft Shop - John C. Campbell Folk School - Brasstown, NC

Stone Bench - John C. Campbell Folk School - Brasstown, NC
At the end of our enjoyable day we returned to our campsite at Old Federal in Flowery Branch, GA, on a less perilous road.  Our trip was an enjoyable day spent with special friends.
The Mountains of Northern Georgia 
  
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