Stumphouse Tunnel & Helen, Georgia

Posted by on September 25, 2012

We spent another awesome day with our friends, Kenneth & Cheryl Dyal, yesterday!  We started the day with a drive to Walhalla, South Carolina to visit the Stumphouse Tunnel.   The tunnel was built through the mountain to connect Charleston to Knoxville via train.  Digging started on each end and was supposed to meet in the middle.  The project ran out of money and digging halted and never started again.  Kenneth & Michael walked as far as the tunnel allowed.  While   K.O. and I only walked part way.  (Cheryl stayed in the van as she has some physical limitations that wouldn’t allow her to climb the hill to the tunnel)  I’d forgotten my glasses in the car and my sunglasses made it darker than I cared for in the tunnel after our encounter with Mr. Snake that you’ll read about below.

Kenneth & K.O. in front of the tunnel

Taken from inside the tunnel

Before going to the tunnel we stopped at the picnic area across the street from the tunnel and had a yummy lunch provided by Ken & Cheryl.  Cheryl’s uncle had made some smoked pork for her cousin’s wedding on Saturday and we had that on sandwiches and it was very good!  As we were packing the car up to leave Cheryl noticed a snake sunbathing on one of the picnic tables!  It became the center of attention for a while as we were all amazed (& a bit freaked out!) at the site of it!  Still unsure of what kind of snake it was…black racer, king snake….who knows…all I know is I’d rather not see it (or any other one) again!

This is the area that we enjoyed our picnic lunch

Prepping for lunch

The not-so-great end to a nice lunch

After visiting the tunnel we hopped back in the car and drove another 50 miles or so to the small town of Helen, Georgia.  Helen is a small German-like village in the foothills of the Appalachians.  The village reminded me a lot of Garmisch, Germany.  We took some time to walk around, checking out the various shops.  We all bought some fudge and a few trinkets here and there.  We ended our visit with dinner at The Old Bavaria Inn.  Michael and I each chose something different so that we could share.  I ordered the Wienerschnitzel and Michael chose Sauerbraten.  Both were served with red cabbage (we substituted mixed vegetables) and spaetzle.  Everything was very good!  Kenneth, Cheryl & K.O. had never been to a German restaurant but I think they enjoyed the experience.  K.O. loved the sausage platter he chose!




Dinner with friends!

Yummy! German pretzel!

Spaetzle, wienerschnitzel, sauerbraten & veggies


Michael drove the 88 miles back to the park so that Kenneth could get some sleep.  He works nights and hadn’t slept at all.  It worked out well as they have a Ford Windstar and we had one for 11 years before selling it back in June, so Michael was just as comfortable driving as if he were driving our old van.  We were home by 9:30 pm and relaxed for a little while before going to bed.

3 Responses to Stumphouse Tunnel & Helen, Georgia

  1. Valerie Talley

    Sounds like a great day! Malcolm and I have been to Helen, GA, before and loved it. It is a neat little town. Sounds like we need to make another trip there for the food…as we enjoyed German food when we lived in the Indianapolis area.

  2. deelebe

    Mmm Sauerbraten with spaetzle and red cabbage! Yeah my kind of meal! 😉

  3. malcolmtalley

    Love Helen, Georgia. Have (tent) camped in Unicoi park just north of town. Lovely area.

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