The leaves have peaked in most areas, and we’re bracing for a cold snap. It is expected to freeze hard over the next few evenings, so if you haven’t done your winterizing, now’s the time. We actually had two hard freezes in October, unseasonably early for us, and we’ve had several heavy frosts, the latest being on Monday morning. All this tends to fit what the old boys have been predicting, an early and hard winter. With the cold snap, most of the firewood yards have been hit hard. If you need wood, you might try Jerry Gibbs on Douthit Road, off Hwy 60, just north of Mineral Bluff. He has a bigger operation than most. The best thing to do is just to go out and talk to him in his yard, which is right off the road.
We’ve been able to get out and do some hiking, which I highly recommend now that the colder weather is here. We’ve tried parts of the Benton McKaye in the Cohutta Wilderness, and parts of the Appalachian Trail near Three Forks. With some of the leaves off the trees, we’ve seen some beautiful vistas. We even had a rare daytime bear sighting in the Cohuttas, always a kind of peak outdoor experience.