It feels odd being here near the park and not actually living in the park and volunteering. We feel just a little out of place but are also enjoying the free time. Today we just had to go visit our park friends. Boss Larry told us he would be at the Cosby campground all day today. We drove to the entrance kiosk and met the campground hosts there. Larry was at the ranger station doing paperwork. Here is a shot of the Cosby ranger station as we were walking up to the door.
Larry was busy entering campground host hours into the computer. For those who have recently started following my blog, Larry is a park ranger and specifically a Visitor Use Assistant. He is our point of contact when we volunteer and I call him Boss Larry.
I was getting hungry and Andy suggested trying The Giggling Pig in Cosby for some barbecue. Larry said, even though he does not eat meat, it smelled really good when he drove by Hungry Bear BBQ this morning. With a barbecue recommendation from a vegetarian, we headed on over. There were a lot of cars in the parking lot, and the inside was packed with a line of people waiting to place an order and others waiting for their orders to be ready.
I love the way the smoker is right next to the highway attracting hunger passersby.
We sat out back at a picnic table near a nice pond. Actually, I did not take this photo from our table. We were a bit farther back.
When we walked back around front, I walked over to the “real” barbecue cooker to document where they smoke meat in large quantities. The whole red structure is the smoker. The man was not handling meat but was pulling large sheets of aluminum foil off a roll and laying them on the table.
Since the entrance to the Greenbrier area of the Smoky Mountains National Park was right across the highway and we have never been there, we took a little exploration drive. It is a narrow paved road near the entrance but turned to gravel farther on. Then the road became very narrow, too narrow to pass oncoming cars in some places. It is about five miles in to the Ramsey Cascade trailhead but, we also followed a side road of undetermined length. It was a longer side trip than anticipated. We crossed several one-lane bridges and stopped at one so I could take a picture of the Little Pigeon River.
We met up with maintenance-man-extraordinaire Spence back at the Cosby campground. It was his quitting time but he stayed around to visit with us. Maintenance-Lady-Linda also joined us.
Linda told us that her daughter-in-law had cancer last May. Sadly, she died this past week, leaving Linda’s son and ten-year-old granddaughter. Today was Linda’s first day back at work and she is still in mourning. It is so hard to lose a family member.