Orchids forum: Road trip to Franklin NC, Solar Eclipse 2017

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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Fruit Growers Adeniums Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania
Greenhouse Keeper of Koi Cactus and Succulents Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds
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Ursula
Aug 24, 2017 8:30 AM CST

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Unfortunately I don't have good eclipse pictures due to some clouds rolling in 15 minutes to totality.
Instead of keeping on hijacking other threads, I thought I share some pics here.
Driving South to Franklin was not a problem, most of the time we had clear roads, perhaps because we started driving on the 18. We stayed about half way over in Staunton VA and continued South the next day, arriving Saturday, the 19.
Picked up an excellent local wine at the town square! Really good!! I liked that watering can and flower pot!
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Franklin -
Finding decent dinner in Franlin was a bit of a challenge, especially Sunday and Monday, as most restaurants close and others, which stayed open were overwhelmed. This was a little eatery, which was quick and easy. Frogtown Market, the decor was Frogs of any shape and form. One could have Frogs legs too. Ok food.
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Driving around the beautiful Nantahala area, trying to check a mountain top. Found a gorgeous lake!

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The area around Franklin NC is loaded with signs to see Gem mines and Gem museums, so we had to check out Ruby city in town which also had a wonderful museum. I took some shots with my IPhone, tried to capture some of the Dinosaur fossils for my grandson Jake. Perhaps you might find it interesting, we always enjoy looking at crystals and fossils.
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Looking for a spot to take a nice walk we spotted a so-called Dog run, which turned out to be a beautiful path along the river. We also spotted a brewery on the other side where you had a choice of a couple of dozens Beer with some descriptive names and could sit outside to enjoy. Much enjoyed!! Smiling
We did see a lot of Kudzu in some places, along the highway and also here next to the river. And this very pretty Passiflora was growing in a couple places.

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Monday was a super festive atmosphere everywhere, as everyone assempled in their viewing spots. We stayed nearby the Hotel in an open, large parking area. Some people brought colanders to observe progress, I remembered that I had a crocheted shopping net in my trunk, that worked out very well, as one could see the sickle shaped shadows.
As mentioned before, the view of the totality was marred by some silly clouds, moving in during the final 15 min. but it was still pretty awesome and we celebrated with a touch of Champagne.
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Since we still had some time on Monday, we took a ride out to see some local Waterfalls, which were indeed breathtaking! This is part of the Nantahala forest area.
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Starting out early the next morning to begin our ride home proved to be a mistake. By the time we hit Bristol VA, rt 81N became a parking lot. I could see the red roads on my IPhone map, even when a major accident was cleared, there must have been another crash further North. Tons of Eclipse watchers driving home didn't help!! We bailed out in Salem, found a nice place to sleep and ate a really good Mexican Dinner next door. A pretty place, good food and after trying out the Marguerita sampler, I felt no pain. And looking out the window, there was a large flock of vultures, I wonder if they kept looking at rt 81 North....
Next day driving went well. But, it sure would have helped tremendously if one would add a third lane, so the trucks would stay on the right or middle lane. Tough driving!
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the end! Smiling


Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography
Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina
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ardesia
Aug 24, 2017 9:07 AM CST
Wonderful travelogue! You saw a lot in only a few days. Next time you have to bring Jake to see the gems and fossils.

I've done the whitewater rafting in the Nantahala, it wasn't terribly scary but there were just enough rapids and for me it was plenty exciting. Yes, the trucks on 81 are horrible, having to pay such close attention to the road distracts you from the pretty scenery. Loved your pic of the Lobelia cardinalis, we had that all along the riverbank in Maryland but cannot grow that here, it melts in our steamy summer nights. We call those passifloras Maypops down here.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Fruit Growers Adeniums Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania
Greenhouse Keeper of Koi Cactus and Succulents Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds
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Ursula
Aug 24, 2017 10:06 AM CST

Moderator

Ah, then those Passis must be Passiflora incarnata! I always find Passifloras growing in nature totally charming.
At the Gem place you could pick up buckets of gems/ raw geodes for a song. We picked up a two gallon bucket for my son and Jake and Emma to explore! We have no idea what exactly is inside. Should be fun.
The wildflowers are truly pretty at road sides and there at that dog run. Lots of tall yellow compositae, I assume Bidens cernua amongst some others. And also the Joe Pye weeds were the tallest I have ever seen.
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
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hawkarica
Aug 24, 2017 10:15 AM CST
Thanks for the pretty ride. Franklin is where a good friend of mine has a cabin and we stay there from time to time. Nice little town. Maypops are the native Passiflora incarnata down here. They are invasive and will keep coming up for years despite you best effort to eradicate it. Besides, the fruit are not very good.

JIm
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Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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SarasotaPatty
Aug 24, 2017 10:15 AM CST
What a nice trip, thanks for sharing! Thank You!

I often stay in Franklin on my way to the Smokey Mountain Natl. Park...and always hit the first motel on the left when coming into Franklin on 441. I love that whole area up there...the Nantahala, the Pisgah Valley, etc. etc. My ex and I have gone on more than one "waterfall tour" of our own making...there is one you can walk behind and even one you can drive behind!

I've never gone to Ruby City because I always assumed it was a tourist trap but looking at all those fossils & crystals and displays means I will definitely check it out next time I'm up there! Very cool!

What were the temps like? I always go in fall or winter, have never been in the summer.

I'm sorry the clouds moved in right before totality, that was disappointing I'm sure.

Your Mexican dinner looks fantastic and those margarita's make me want to pull out the blender! Hilarious! Whistling
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Aug 24, 2017 12:21 PM CST
Wonderful travel log, Ursula! Thank You! for sharing!
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography
Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina
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ardesia
Aug 24, 2017 2:02 PM CST
Ursula, I understand the next eclipse will be closer to your home. April 8th, 2024
https://www.washingtonpost.com...
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Fruit Growers Adeniums Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania
Greenhouse Keeper of Koi Cactus and Succulents Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds
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Ursula
Aug 24, 2017 5:23 PM CST

Moderator

I am glad you are enjoying the ride!

The weather was the same as in NJ, nice and warm, upper 80 to low 90 degr F.
Patty, you can safely visit Ruby City, I posted only some of the stuff they had on display, it was really a lot to see. Very interesting! Items for sale weren't expensive either!

Yes, I heard too about the next eclipse in 2024, hopefully we are not pushing up daisies by then!! Smiling Nice article, Alice! Thanks!
[Last edited by Ursula - Aug 24, 2017 5:27 PM (+)]
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Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Aug 24, 2017 6:43 PM CST
What a fun road trip (despite the traffic on the way home).. the geodes and fossils looked amazing as did the country side..thanks for sharing!
lindsey
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Fruit Growers Adeniums Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania
Greenhouse Keeper of Koi Cactus and Succulents Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds
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Ursula
Aug 25, 2017 7:03 AM CST

Moderator

Thanks Lindsey!! If I ever go back, I would love to see if one could rent one of the cabins at that Nantahala lake, Lakes End! That was just gorgeous!
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Aug 25, 2017 9:05 AM CST
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There's a bunch on airbnb...probably on VRBO as well. This one looked like it could accommodate your family but I saw some adorable cottages as well.
lindsey
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Fruit Growers Adeniums Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania
Greenhouse Keeper of Koi Cactus and Succulents Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds
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Ursula
Aug 25, 2017 12:26 PM CST

Moderator

At 1250 bucks it better accomodates!! Smiling
Pretty!
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Fruit Growers Adeniums Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania
Greenhouse Keeper of Koi Cactus and Succulents Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds
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Ursula
Aug 26, 2017 6:19 PM CST

Moderator

I pulled out a couple of pics from the solar eclipse on March 28. 2006. We were South of Benghazi in the Sahara and if I remember correctly, totality lasted about 4 min. About 7000 eclipse watchers converged on Libya and were set up in tent cities. It was awesome!!!
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....and for the fun of it, here is a regular sunset in that location. I was waiting to see a touch of green.
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Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Aug 26, 2017 6:53 PM CST
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not quite as exotic as Benghazi..but a green flash at Christmas Cove USVI
lindsey
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Fruit Growers Adeniums Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania
Greenhouse Keeper of Koi Cactus and Succulents Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds
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Ursula
Aug 26, 2017 7:03 PM CST

Moderator

Ohh, you captured that beautifully! Great! Thumbs up I tried, but never got it.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography
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ardesia
Aug 26, 2017 7:17 PM CST
Amazing! It is such a fleeting phenomena, even though it takes several minutes they seem to fly by so quickly. I spoke with a woman this morning who was in St. Matthews, SC, directly in the path and she was still awestruck from the totality phase.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Fruit Growers Adeniums Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania
Greenhouse Keeper of Koi Cactus and Succulents Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds
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Ursula
Aug 26, 2017 7:40 PM CST

Moderator

I am sure she will never forget it! Smiling
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 26, 2017 7:59 PM CST
You made it such a fun road trip, Ursula, although a shame that the clouds obscured the totality phase. Other than the traffic, it sure looks like you had a wonderful time.

We were in Vancouver, only about 75% was the max coverage there. So we just had fun with it. Our friends had a foil-lined dunce cap shape hat that we took turns shooting selfies in, so I sent my kids these portraits of their goofy parents performing "responsible eclipse viewing"
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Then we used a welding helmet to view the sun directly. You had to trigger the filter on the welding helmet using an infra-red pulse from the TV remote so I got this picture of my friend taking a picture of her hubby taking a picture through the helmet while my husband pressed the TV remote button repeatedly. We assured them that they would both be blind soon . . . anyway, we laughed a lot.
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Really, I thought the neatest thing was the crescent-shapes of the sun in the shadows of the trees. Here's one during the eclipse and one after:
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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography
Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina
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ardesia
Aug 27, 2017 12:12 AM CST
Love the pic of the crescents, I never thought to look for them and it may have been too cloudy to see them here.

Eclipse watching in Benghazi and the USVI, just wow. It was certainly never on my bucket list but now that I have seen 99% of one if I am still kicking in 2024 I'll travel to see it.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Fruit Growers Adeniums Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania
Greenhouse Keeper of Koi Cactus and Succulents Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds
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Ursula
Aug 27, 2017 6:56 AM CST

Moderator

Elaine, fun pictures! I like the welding helmet! Smiling
Those crescent shadows are really great! We were looking through a lace shawl in those Sahara pictures and I remember a gentlemen with a straw hat and so the eclipse pattern on his nose!

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