Thursday, April 12, 2018

Murphy, NC in the Smoky Mountains

Red Bud in bloom on the Murphy walking path

 Murphy NC was a beautiful surprise.  We picked it because it was convenient to the Tail of the Dragon and so many other great motorcycle roads, what wasn't part of the plan was problems with Lance's bike and cold, cold rain. Kismet, otherwise we wouldn't have stopped riding long enough to really explore the town.

On Wednesday, in advance of some anticipated big storms, we stowed the bikes in the trailer.  Shortly thereafter, some friends we met in Mexico Beach FL last January rolled up, tired but grinning nonetheless. They had been migrating home to Michigan when they saw an ice storm was headed that way too, so they decided to linger a little longer in the South and wait it out. They pulled out a map, realized we weren't far out of the way, and surprise - they showed up at our RV resort. Hooray.

Methodist Church in Downtown Murphy.
The hills in the background show you why they are called the Smoky Mountains

Murphy's adorable downtown has granite and brick everywhere.  In fact, our RV park had a 250'-deep pond which was full of granite at one time, long ago quarried and still adorning local buildings.  There's a walking path along the river from the park downtown where the kids' softball leagues practiced in the rain, past the fishermen fishing for bass, ("trout ain't legal yet"), on past the old railroad depot, with lovingly restored cast iron and rock.

The granite that adorns the Cherokee County Courthouse is made from locally-dug granite

The stonework on this building that is the centerpiece of downtown is stunning

 One morning we even got to indulge in one of my favorite touring pasttimes, sipping a fancy cup of coffee at a downtown coffee shop and people-watching.  There was a funeral happening a block away later that day, and the grey-headed Veterans looked smart in their uniforms, all pressed and orderly, nodding subtly to one another.  I've noticed that all the older men around here seem to have full heads of hair still, and I casually wondered while sipping my coffee if they've been blessed with great genes here in North Carolina or if it's more about the clean air and a more comfortable pace of life.

There are a great many motorcycle roads unexplored still on the Smoky Mountains, and this town has lots more to offer than we were able to fit into just one week.  We'll be back.

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