I'm not referring to Smoke Hole Caverns, the touristy stop on Rte 28 that offers tours of some interesting underground caves. I've been there several times with my sons and grandchildren. The real Smoke Hole is another cave, but this one is on top of a mountain. The cave is shaped like a beehive, with a hole in the top. Native Americans used to smoke their meat in the cave, hence the name.
On our return trip last Sunday, we had to pass the road to Smoke Hole. "Turn up there," I told my husband. He sighed; he knows my whims and my urge to "just look" at places along our travels. And that I'll probably ask him to stop many times so I can take photos. The man deserves a badge for patience.
Soon after we started up Smoke Hole Road, this sight greeted our eyes...
And it just got better from there. Tumbles of rocks, small caves, sharp turns with breathtaking views were everywhere. After what seemed like 10 miles, but probably was more like 5, we came to a small settlement. Fishing camps were everywhere, because the road came out on a back stretch of the South Branch of the Potomac. An old store and this log church were on the bank above the river. The church was built about 1850 and was known as the Episcopal Meeting House.
We finally got out to Rte 220, and came out at last back on Rte 33 after completing a long, large circle through the mountains. Seneca Rocks was a beautiful as ever in the late autumn sunlight.
When we got home, we were greeted by our visitors, oldest son George and his son Clayton. They came home for a few days of deer-hunting. Luck was with them, because they both went home yesterday with a deer for the freezer.