Tat Days Trip—Part 3


Wanda Tripp (GA), Karen Bovard (The ShuttleSmith, NE), & Randy Houtz (GR8 Shuttles, CO) enjoying lunch (thanks Wanda!), conversation (two hours+ hours worth), and a beautiful view at Tallulah Falls Gorge overlook, Georgia

Just outside of Taccoa, GA where Tat Days was held was Taccoa Falls, located on a college campus. I walked the short path (photo 1) to view the Falls, which were quite impressive.DSCN0995 DSCN0994

As I was leaving Taccoa Falls entrance, I passed Wanda Tripp and Randy Houtz entering and we waved at each other.  A short time later we remet at a marvelous little place called Tallulah Falls Gorge Overlook in Georgia.  There was a gift shop selling unique soft drinks in an old cooler that I just had to try–Cheerwine and Dr. Enuf.  This unique stop also featured boiled peanuts, a gorge overlook (on the lower level) and a BBQ restaurant on the upper level (also a gorge overlook).


As Wanda, Randy and I were chatting on the lower level gorge overlook, the kid (in this picture below) hung the sign he is holding down from the upper level overlook, advertising the restaurant.  We thought it was sooo funny and decided to reward this kid’s ingenuity in marketing by patronizing the restaurant.  We were NOT disappointed.  As we entered he gave us samples of muscatine (grapes?) that he had just picked alongside the roadside.  They were good and quite a treat.


We had “BBQ Sundae’s”—Pulled pork at the bottom, a layer of purple beans, and then coleslaw.   It was delicious!!!!  Pictured in the food picture is the unique softdrinks (‘Pop’ in my lingo) that we drank.  I’ve never seen these sold anywhere else.


The chef (seen talking to Randy Houtz in the picture below) said that the BBQ Sundae was how his Cherokee-heritage family ate BBQ.

The view from the restaurant was just georgeous.  There was a ‘big ditch’ behind us that was impossible to photograph to do the depth of the gorge justice.  The three of us must have spent at least 2 hours talking, enjoying the conversation (tatting of course), the view, and the weather (which was perfect).


The only other pictures that I have of my trip home was of my stop in Hannibal, Missouri.  This is the Mississippi River town made famous by Mark Twain.  Downtown Hannibal was a fun stop.  I only went into two shops but both were very unique.


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Trip to Tat Days–Part 2

In this post you will see all the pictures I snapped at Palmetto Tat Days 2014 in Taccoa, GA held a week and a half ago.



This is me, Karen Bovard, The ShuttleSmith at my vending table—proof to the IRS that I WAS there!


This is my wonderful roommate, Wanda who honored me by tatting and wearing a motif I designed–what fun for me to see!

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Trip to Tat Days–Part 1

I started my trip to Tat Days in Taccoa, Georgia on Saturday, August 30th from Omaha, Nebraska.  I had bought concert tickets (something I rarely do!) to see Journey but the concert was on Sunday and didn’t want to wait two days to leave on my adventure…so I sold the tickets.


My motorcycle ‘on the road’

This trip actually appealed to multiple facets of my life that I enjoy:

  1. To travel on my motorcycle which allows me to think and pray.  I spend the first half of the trip letting go of the details of my life at home.  Then I spend the trip on my way home, contemplating what I need to do (mentally and physically) to go forward appropriately in my life.
  2. Taking secondary roads (not interstate highways) and seeing ‘real’ America
  3. Camping via motorcycle–the challenge of being comfortable and finding unique places to stop
  4. Eating in local restaurants–finding new/different foods.  I really enjoy eating breakfasts in small town cafes on/near main streets.
  5. Talking to new people (I really am my father’s daughter!).
  6. Riding (that how motorcyclists travel) curvy/twisty roads
  7. Going to Tat Days Tatting Conference.
  8. Seeing old tatting friends from the past.
  9. Meeting new tatting friends.
  10. Getting re-energized in my love for tatting
  11. Selling my tatting books.
  12. Selling my leather and copper-enamelled tatting shuttles—seeing how well-received they were.

So I travelled on my motorcycle.  I had two luggage cases, one on each side, at the back.  On the seat I strapped down two water-resistant bags that held my camping gear.  One bag had my tent and a ground-cover to put under the tent.  The second bag held my bedding which includes a blow-up air mattress, a down-filled sleeping bag and a fleece sleeping bag.  This way, I am ready for either hot or cold sleeping conditions.  I should point out that I sleep VEEERRRY comfortably in my tent.




My ‘home’ for the night.

As I mentioned before, my MO is to ziz-zag my way to my destination, taking secondary (not interstate) roads.  Along the way I found and became a ‘Country Store’ Junkie!  I discovered some very quaint, old-time stores in the middle of nowhere–usually where 2 roads intersected.  Many of these stores sold gas, basic groceries, snacks, and sometime simple meals.  I didn’t mind paying higher prices for gas for my motorcycle to use as an excuse to stop at them and explore.


This store in Tennessee featured the original shelves and displays



Just outside this same general store was a tobacco barn–a unique sight for a Nebraska Farm Girl.


Tobacco crop hung to dry in TN


One of the highlights for me as a motorcyclist (especially being from Nebraska–land of straight roads!) was traveling in the mountains and riding on curvy/twisty roads.  I spent alot of time in Missouri, Tennessee, North Carolina, and northern Georgia enjoying the roads and exquisite scenery.  I went to the ‘motorcyclist’s mecca’–a road called “The Dragon’s Tail”.  It’s a  very unique road that boasts having 318 curves in 11 miles.  What you do is stop at a certain vista point and get off and interact with other motorcyclist, then ‘ride the dragon’ to the other end at a place called Deal’s Gap and get off and interact again with motorcyclists, looking a other’s motorcycles, eating, and buying t-shirt souvenirs.  At Deal’s Gap is the infamous ‘Tree of Shame” where motorcyclists who crashed on The Dragon’s Tail (happens alot!) hang broken parts of their motorcycles on it.


The “Tree of Shame” at the end of The Dragon’s Tail road.


My motorcycle at the vista point at the northern end of The Dragon’s Tail road–quite the vista of the Smokey Mountains


Cool metal dragon sculpture that you have your picture taken with to prove you rode the Dragon’s Tail road did indeed  ‘slay the dragon’–which means you didn’t die in the process of riding this very technical road.


Another picture of my camping at a motorcycle-only campground. I met alot of nice people coming in for a Kawasaki Concourse Owner’s Group Rally. I called my husband to say that I ‘was at home’ by the welcome these people gave me.

Next post will include Tat Days photos and memories.


I’m Back from Tat Days in GA

I’m back (a little early) from Tat Days in Taccoa, GA.  I actually went to work today because I hate to waste vacation days.  I use my vacation days to get away from Omaha.

I had a great trip for the most part.  I spent 5 days traveling on my motorcycle to get to Taccoa, GA, camping every night along the way.   Yes, I did get rained on (mostly at night) and there was one day that the temperature was hot.

I spent the time going seeing everything I wanted to see which included some very scenic roads in Tennessee and North Carolina.  I had one minor mechanical problem with my motorcycle but an ‘angel’ came by and fabricated a solution to my problem.

I went directly home and should have gotten to Omaha on Tuesday but was caught in a major storm in NW Missouri, 100 miles from home.  I was smart enough to get a motel room and waited out the storm till the next morning.

I will post pictures of my trip and of Tat Days very soon—when I have the  pictures with me and the time to post them.

As always the Palmetto Tatters hosted a superb Tat Days happening.   If you get a chance to go….DO IT!!!!  I guarantee you will not be disappointed.  It is tatting overload….and you will love every minute of it!