Cross country: Final Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

June 30, 2013

Have you ever closed your eyes and just put your finger down on a bunch of items to choose one? Well, that’s how it is when picking out a location and RV Park to stay in. I went on the internet and found Pigeon Forge and this Park. I did this without knowing anything about the location. And you know the rest!

Today, on our way back into the National Park from a different direction, we found the nice quiet, sleepy town we thought Pigeon Forge was. A lot of parks do not advertise on the internet. Actually, if we hadn’t stayed in Pigeon Forge, we would have missed two great shows. So, everything worked out fine.

Our excursion into the National Park worked out great today too. We took the Cades Loop. The loop itself was 11 miles and to get to it was about 12 miles. It was pretty. Set in a valley, the Park’s meadows were beautiful. We did see some wildlife—three bears and a couple of deer. I got a great shot of the deer, but the bears were really too far away. But you’re going to see one of them anyway!

Also, there were more cabins and churches. I’m only going to show you one of each. I think by now you’ve seen enough cabins! On the way home, traffic came to a halt because of a motorcycle accident. They air lifted the cyclist out for medical attention. We only hope he is okay.

Tomorrow, we are moving on and will be doing two overnight stops so we can get to our Park near Washington, D.C. by July 3rd. The campgrounds in towns close to D.C. are expensive, between $50 and $60 per night. I’m sure the hotels are just as expensive relatively speaking.

Because we will be traveling for two days, I’m going to take a rest from doing the blog unless something happens that you absolutely need to know. I’ll be back on the air July 3rd. Let’s hope I picked out some good parks on the internet.

 

Cross country: #2 Pigeon Forge Tennesse and the Great Smokey Mountains National Park

June 29, 2013

What would you do for $100.00? Would you sit and listen to a 90-minute time share presentation? We’ve done things like that before, and it wasn’t bad. So, we signed up. BIG mistake! It took 3 hours and 15 minutes to say no! There went our morning. The negotiation was fun though. We got them down from a three-bedroom for a week at $75,000 to a one-bedroom every other year at $7,000.

We did make it to the Park, but not on the drive we thought we would take. We took a shorter drive, but pretty. They had a great picnic site that had a table at every parking place. The driveway on each site was deep enough for two cars. After being frustrated with the time share fiasco, it was great to sit and enjoy lunch under the trees.

This auto tour ended at the Cingman’s Dome Lookout, 6,643 ft. in elevation. On this auto tour, you couldn’t drive all the way up to the lookout; you had to walk a very steep ½ mile (Or at least they said that it was, but it seemed like a mile.}. We huffed and puffed our way up, but made it. And, it was worth it as you will see in the images. Even through the haze and cloud conditions, it was worth the climb. Going down was much easier.

As in yesterday’s tour there were streams and waterfalls, but I’m going to show you the landscape shots. Tomorrow we are going to go to Cades Cove in the hopes of seeing some wildlife. Except for the ducks that seem to think they own the RV Park, we haven’t seen wildlife here.

Tomorrow is another day, and we won’t be saying okay to any presentations again, even for $100.

 

Cross country: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

June 27, 2013

What a show last night! And it was free, courtesy of Mother Nature. It was a night full of loud thunder, dramatic lightning and torrential rain. We must have had at least 2 inches of rain fall on the Park and the creek behind it.

I’m sorry that I didn’t take pictures yesterday so you could see the difference last night’s storm made. But take my word for it, the creek wasn’t moving and was well below the picnic tables. There was a family tenting down in the tent area, but no more!

We are going to have possible thundershowers for a couple more days, so this will be interesting. The humidity is above 80%. When you come out of an air-conditioned building, your glasses fog up. My hair, which I decided to make pretty today since I wouldn’t need to wear a hat (no sun), has curled without any thought to what would look good. So, on goes the hat anyway.

We journeyed out to find out how to get to the National Park, which was our original motive in coming here, and to take some shots of what we did find when we arrived yesterday. Honestly, we were not prepared for the spectacle of attraction after attraction. We saw an upside-down building, the Titanic, and King Kong! Then there were shop after shop selling anything and everything. I have images of the upside-down building and the Titanic to show you.

And, best of all, we found a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. Yum!  I’m going to have a Weight Watcher problem here. But, that chocolate topped, custard filled doughnut tasted so good. When I finish the blog today, I’m walking the dog. Then maybe I’ll walk him some more.

Tonight we are going to the Smokey Mountain Opry. It’s supposed to be a variety show with all kinds of music and comedy. We could have gone to the Hatfield and McCoy’s dinner show or the Lumber Jack Feud dinner show. All the restaurant chains are here, and there are shopping outlets too. You can shop your heart out and get rid of your money too.

Tomorrow, we are going into the National Park for some nature trails and solitude. We may take in the magic show after dinner. I just hope Mother Nature doesn’t put on another show.