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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I did a “dry run” on loading up my suitcase the other day. It packed so well, I just left everything in there. And I’ve been able to use my smaller suitcase!

The weather for Kentucky THIS week is in the 80’s…but that doesn’t mean I’m removing my “winter clothing” from the suitcase! Hard telling what it will be like by the time we arrive. So with that in mind, I will have some summer blouses to take along…just in case. I also have a winter set of PJ’s and a summer nightgown. I AM SO PREPARED.

Also, I have managed to pack everything in that darn purse (the As Seen on TV one). I took it to town today for a test run. When I got out of the truck and put the purse on (remember it is one of those over/across the shoulder jobs), I thought “This must be what a horse with a feed bag feels like”. I’m really not sure if I like it, but I AM sure when we get home, one of the first things I will do is go back to my old, SMALL purse. At least with this one, I don’t have to worry about someone stealing it from the floor because it won’t be sitting it on the floor by my feet. If anyone DID try to steal it from the floor, they would in all probability get their foot knotted up in that elongated strap. They would trip and fall. I swear you could use strap for a lariat.

One of the places we might go, if time allows, is a place called Cataloochee. This is what the NPS writes about it;

Cataloochee Valley is nestled among some of the most rugged mountains in the southeastern United States. Surrounded by 6000-foot peaks, this isolated valley was the largest and most prosperous settlement in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Once known for its farms and orchards, today Cataloochee is one of the most picturesque areas of the park.

The challenge is getting there. From most places it requires a fairly long trip on winding, gravel roads. However, the roads are well-maintained and fine for passenger cars.

Directions: The most direct route is to take Cove Creek Road (partially graveled). From interstate I-40, exit at North Carolina exit #20 and travel 0.2 miles on route 276. Turn right onto Cove Creek Road and follow the signs 11 miles into the Cataloochee Valley.

A more scenic route (not recommended for RVs) is to take a long winding road, route 32, from Cosby, TN to the Tennessee-North Carolina state border. Here the road becomes gravel. It twists and winds into Cataloochee. (This route is not recommended if your passengers are prone to car sickness.)

I LOVE THAT LAST COMMENT! If we don’t make it there THIS year, there is always next year! It positively sounds like a place we should go! AND TAKE PICTURES OF THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED!


  1. Anonymous9:14 AM

    Even though I was born in Western North Carolina, I never get tired of going to Cataloochee. In fact, we were there on 9/12. You can see my pictures if you like:


  2. Mike, Thank you for the link to your site! It looks like there are some old gravestones in this area. Which route do you take to get to this place? Are there old log homes? I'm envisioning it as being similar to Cades Cove. Thanks for any info you can share! Please feel free to email me at northcountrycampground@gmail.com


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