Friday Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide

Step into the twilight zone as we discover the Road to Nowhere, an artifact of the days when big government thought they could help. In the 1930s and 1940s, Swain County gave up the majority of its private land to the Federal Government for the creation of Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Fontana Lake is actually a reservoir for Fontana Dam, which was built as a TVA project during World War II to produce electricity for ALCOA aluminum plants in Tennessee as well as for Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manhattan Project. Hundreds of people had to leave the small Smoky Mountain communities that had been their homes for generations. With the creation of the Park, their homes disappeared, and so was Old Highway 288 the road to those communities. The old road was buried beneath the deep waters of Fontana Lake. We’ll explore the dark tunnel and admire the vistas as we find this lost horizon.

After lunch in Bryson City and the Road to Nowhere, we’ll run down one of the jewels of the region, Highway 28 aka the Moonshiner, as it wraps around the mountains and hills near Bryson City and Franklin. Along the way, we’ll discover an ancient remnant of America’s past. The small community of Cowee near Franklin has history dating back 1,400 years! We’ll drive the winding mountain roads for gorgeous farm views, visit local artists at a repurposed school and enjoy music jams at a well-known general store in the Cowee-West's Mill National Register Historic District. You can stay if you like, and enjoy the step-back!

After Cowee, we’ll have a bit more time to look out, not just keeping our eyes up, as we glide back down highway 64 and then into our Brasstown Valley Resort.

The day is long, with many a winding road. Enjoy!

Group Leader: Ted Dannemiller, Blue Audi TTRS
Pace: Spirited