North Carolina – Day 3

Since I’m behind on the day-to-day activities of our trip…for reference, this was Wednesday. I also want to say that everything turns out OK…

Day 3:

Before packing up our Panther Creek Cabin, we investigated the trail that ran beside the creek. Calling this a trail is being generous. We followed a double set of tire tracks straight up the side of a mountain (literally) until it became less of a wild game path. We decided this couldn’t be the right trail and headed down. Hidden in the undergrowth, we saw another sign labeled ‘trail’.  This one wasn’t much better – we crossed creeks on rocks and fallen logs and used a rope/rotten handrail at one point to make it down a part of the path, but at least we could say we hiked in NC and each only fell down once.

After changing our clothes and finish packing out, we had another white knuckle ride between Cherokee and Maggie Valley. Even with Les’s supurb driving skills, I had to close my eyes a few times in order to keep breakfast down. The first thing we was when coming down in the valley was Ghost Town in the Sky – and nothing was moving. Not a car, person or ski lift. Everything was stopped. When we drove through Monday, everything looked good – maybe they didn’t open until 10. It’s was we drove up to consult the signs.


We started having flashbacks to National Lampoon’s Vacation. We laughed about it for awhile and took as many pictures from the outside as we discussed whether we should try and kill two more days here until Friday or head for home tomorrow since it was supposed to rain – after all, we can sit in the rain and watch TV on our own couch!


We decided it would be best to go to our next cabin, relax and think things through. Then Les’s phone rang – it was our neighbor back at home. He told us there were two horses running loose down 13A and didn’t know if they were ours. Wanting to think logically, while my stomach was threatening to explode…Kobi and Sugar had never broken out before – so it couldn’t be ours.

It was…

Nothing make you feel more useless or more vulnerable than being over 400 miles away from home when what could be a catastrophic disaster hits. I’m on my phone alternating between my parents to assess the situation while Les was across the parking lot on his own phone switching between neighbors.

I cannot say thank you enough to our wonderful neighbors who wrangled Kobi and Sugar back to where they belong or this story could have ended differently. As it way, the horses had an adventure and scared the poo out of my parents and me!

With the crisis averted, we tried to salvage as much of the day as we could, found some antique stores and went to a BBQ place called ‘Butts on the Creek’ for dinner before retiring to our other cabin in the Pioneer Village for the night – still undecided on whether to come home or not the next day.

About Heather Hamel

Growing up with horses is a little girls dream come true. Heather’s dream in life was to be a horse trainer - how dreams change - sort of! She moved to the wonderfully historic town of St. Augustine, Florida and was a historic tour guide and a ghost story teller while putting herself through college to become a special education teacher. After graduating, she felt the pull of horses in her life again. That's when she met Kobi! She learned quickly that when you own horses you become a part time vet, part time nutritionist, and full time equestrian. She wouldn't change a thing! In addition to being completely obsessed with her herd, she still teaches and tutors students with learning disabilities, and more specifically, dyslexia.
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