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September 21, 2020

Appreciating Petrichor In Any Season

Are you familiar with petrichor?  This is the earthy smell produced when rain falls.  The word comes from the Greek petros, stone, and ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in mythology.  Scientists speculate that humans enjoy the scent of rain because our ancestors may have relied on rainy weather for survival.

Most people find petrichor to be very pleasurable.

Rain releases a fresh, earthy scent.

Surprisingly, this common smell was not given a name until a scientific paper written in 1964.  The authors described how the smell comes from an oil exuded by plants in dry weather.  The oil is absorbed by clay-based soils.  When it rains, the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin.  Geosmin is a byproduct of certain bacteria and is released from wet soil.

Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used high-speed cameras in 2015 to record how smells move in the air.  When a raindrop lands on a porous surface, air from the pores forms small bubbles.  These bubbles release aerosols which carry the scent.  Petrichor is more common after light rains because raindrops that move more slowly produce more aerosols.  

If the rain is a heavy one, the scent can travel downwind and alert people that rain is on the way.  Farmers often talk about smelling rain in the air.

Petrichor Described Poetically

Scientist T.L. Phipson described the phenomena in somewhat more poetic terms in 1865.  His notes refer to “the fragrance emitted by thousands of flowers . . .” that were “absorbed into the pores of the soil” and only released by rain.   

This poem by Jayde E is entitled Petrichor.

The scent of rain on dry Earth.

Churning like seawater on a stormy day.

Rising from the ground like bluebonnets on a summer evening.

Petrichor is a delight.

Wafting about beneath soft grey skies.

Traveling on the cool breeze like fairy dust in the wind.

The scent of nature.  

As fresh and invigorating as a thing could be.

A promise of new life.

A promise of new days.

A promise of more nights.  http://www.powerpoetry.org

The next time you visit Buckhorn Inn on a rainy day, we invite you to sit on one of the porches and savor the petrichor!

September 14, 2020

Foothills Parkway is an Area Treasure

Have you travelled along the Foothills Parkway yet?  This is a national parkway that traverses the foothills of the northern Great Smoky Mountains.  The completed parkway will be more than 72 miles long and will connect U.S. Route 129 with Interstate 40. Today the parkway is 38.6 miles long with the remainder to be completed in the future.

The Foothills Parkway offers breathtaking views in all seasons.

The views from the Foothills Parkway are magnificent.

 

 

Portions of the parkway run through parts of Blount, Sevier, and Cocke Counties in Tennessee.  Sections cross a series of high ridges running parallel to the Tennessee boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The road offers unobstructed views of the Smokies to the south and the Tennessee Valley to the north.

Many of our guests like to drive the section known as the “missing link”.  This 16-mile drive features magnificent views with many overlooks from which you can take photos and enjoy the scenery.

History of the Foothills Parkway

Congress authorized the parkway in 1944 as a scenic road that would provide magnificent views.  http://www.nps.gov/articles/foothillsparkway  The first few sections of the parkway were finished in the late 1960s.  The 5.6 mile section between I-40 and Cosby was the first to be completed.  Crews worked for several decades on a 16-mile segment from Walland to Wears Valley.  They nearly finished it.  But the construction hit rugged peaks and valleys.  The walls they built crumbled and the soil was filled with minerals with the potential for environmental damage.  Because of these issues, the project was placed on the backburner in 1989.  The 16.5 mile gap in the road left behind became known as the “missing link”.

In 2009 federal stimulus money got construction started again.  The Missing Link of the Foothills Parkway opened to the public in November 2018.

The parkway entrance is off of Wears Valley Road.

As always when you are visiting the mountains, be sure your brakes and tires are in good shape.  Be sure to have a plenty of fuel as gas is not available in the park.  Using a lower gear on steep downhill terrain can avoid hot brakes.  And be extra careful if the conditions include precipitation or low visibility.

 

September 8, 2020

You Love Us! You Really Love Us! Trip Advisor Says So!

Each year Tripadvisor evaluates reviews, ratings, and saves from travelers worldwide. They use that information to recognize the very best. Thanks to your reviews and ratings, Buckhorn Inn is a 2020 Travelers’ Choice Winner! We are in the exclusive group of the top 10% of hotels worldwide.

Thank you for sharing your Buckhorn Inn experiences with other travelers. We are so grateful for your support.

Here are some recent Tripadvisor reviews:

First time visit for us but traveling with friends who have stayed there previously.
Couldn’t have been more pleased from checking in to checking out. Room was spacious; bed very comfortable, and the food…fantastic. Breakfast had several choices, all of which were great. Had dinner there one night and service, food, and attention to detail were spot on.
Saved best for last…the view. Unforgettable to sit and take in the view of Smokies and Mt Leconte. Beautiful.
Overall, can’t wait to visit again. The perfect blend of old charm, great service, and nature views.
Stayed in Premier 1. Great room!

We needed a peaceful get-a-way in nature and Buckhorn Inn provided a soothing healing balm to our souls. The setting is tucked away from traffic and the staff is very accommodating. Our breakfasts were superb and daily snacks were a pleasant surprise. This is an older Inn with modern conveniences. They also practice safety measures during this time of social distancing.

I have lived in East Tennessee for 30 years. I have never found a better inn than the Buckhorn. If you want gracious service, clean lodging, and terrific food this is the place for you when visiting the mountains. My wife and I have been guests on numerous occasions and we have never been disappointed.

Gorgeous little inn, tucked away in the Smokies, with beautiful views. We had a wonderful stay; we’ll make it our regular stop whenever we’re in Gatlinburg. Centrally located, so it’s not too far from anything, but hidden away so it’s private – wonderful inn!

I happened upon the Buckhorn Inn while searching for a place in the Gatlinburg area and decided to take a chance. This place is amazing, relaxing and a hidden gem in the middle of beautiful mountains! Our room which was premier 4 was nothing short of spectacular. The breakfasts are delicious and they do offer special dinners which are equally delicious. Everyone that we encountered was very friendly. This was the first time we really traveled
during this pandemic and I felt completely comfortable and safe at the Buckhorn Inn. This is a place we will definitely book again.

I had had dinner at the Buckhorn a few times through the past few years.
I finally got the chance to stay there! Stayed in Cottage #7, perfect, in my opinion. The cottage was small, clean, and very cozy. We loved the jacuzzi tub in the bathroom!
It rained a little during our visit, but that only added to the charm of the surrounding scenery. The screened-in porch and balcony off the bedroom were so adorable.
Dinners and breakfasts, included in the price, were well prepared and planned. My only regret is that we could not finish all of our food!
Not enough good things can be said about the staff…warm and welcoming and cheerful. Yes, this must sound too good to be true…but it is true. And listen to this: fresh brownies or cookies in the afternoon. We met some wonderful people in the common areas, and we toured the grounds. The swans are magnificent.
Please try to stay here, it is close, yet a world away from Gatlinburg. Maybe hike to Laurel Falls, as we did.
Obviously, I cannot say enough good things about this place!

A Honey of a Recipe

Apples and honey on a wooden background

Honey-Glazed Roast Pork with Glazed Apples

Thinking about honey reminded me of a dish I had at a Boston restaurant one fall.

We spent a crisp, sunny afternoon walking the Freedom Trail and ended up at charming little restaurant. The special was a pork roast glazed with honey and cooked with fragrant apples. This recipe is very similar to that dish. Cider would be delicious with this! If you prefer wine, I would suggest an off-dry, fruity, low tannin wine to pair with this dish. Perhaps a chardonnay or a pinot noir. It makes four sweet and savory servings.

 

 

 

Honey-Glazed Roast Pork with Apples
2 ½ lb. pork loin roast, tied
2 tablespoons honey
4 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
2 medium yellow onions cut into 8 wedges each
2/3 cup dry apple cider
5 tart apples, cored and quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the pork in a large roasting pan and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the honey over the pork, then arrange the herbs on top. Scatter cubes of butter over the pork. Arrange the onions around the pork. Pour the cider into the pan and bake until a thermometer reads 120, about 45 minutes. Scatter the apples around the pork and bake until the fruit is tender and the pork is golden brown. The thermometer should reach 160. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes. To serve, cut the pork into slices and serve with the baked apples and onions. Drizzle with pan juices before serving.