Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gatlinburg, Tennessee! "Heart of the Smokey Mountains!"

The next morning we loaded up and headed to the smokies. We went through Knoxville, turned south toward Seymour and down to Maryville, then back to Pigeon Forge. There was a high mountain across to Gatlinburg and we wanted to experience the coolness of the mountain air. It was in the high Nineties when we start over and the cool air felt like walking into a "Air conditioned room." There were several pull-overs to give you a chance see the valleys below. You understand why it's called the smokies....the valley looked like it was filled with smoke.

When we got into Gatlinburg, since we had no reservations, we pulled into the first r.v. park we saw. They had a few vacancies, so the management took me on a tour in a golf cart to check them out. The whole park was in a real "hilly" area and the spots were hard to get into. We decided to try elsewhere and drove around. We saw this place that looked like an "Ole timey motor lodge", it had a drive down the side "R.V. Sites", so we turned in. In the rear of the main building was your dream sites of about 20 spots, easy in and out, shade, all hook-ups and a large swimming pool and a new bathhouse. Talk about Luck! We were about a mile from downtown and several stores and business' along the way.

We checked in, the prices were very reasonable, with plans to stay about three days. After our "Junk Food Fix" and a quick tour of downtown, the kids were really to get into the pool. That night, it was so cool and the air so fresh, that sleep was a pleasure after our trip. The next morning after breakfast, we headed into town to see the sights. The main attractions are along the main street with your usual shops. There were several craft shops, eating places, but the main attraction was the "ski lift" that provided rides up the mountain to the top. There was a lodge at the top with a restaurant and sovenir shop for the tourist. You could get to the top of the mountain by car, but the lift was an experience.

The next day, we decided to make the drive across Mt LeConte (elevation 6593 feet) through the Newfound Gap into North Carolina. We went over to the Cherokee Indian reservation and toured their village. The tours were very informative that explained their crafts and cultures. As usual, there are people in the tour that tried to be cute and asked a lot of insulting questions. Our tour guide was a young girl of college age that knew how to put them in their place. After a few more insults, the culprits were asked to leave. While we were there, it started to rain and the tour was cut short.

On the way back across the mountain to Gatlinburg, we came upon a large gathering of cars and people. We thought it was a accident of some kind and pulled over off the road and then discovered it was a Bear sighting. People were running up a hill to a cave, where a "mama bear" was with her cubs. Instead of keeping their distance, people were crowding close to get pictures. After a while, the Mama had enough of this and starting charging toward the crowd, which sent everyone running to their cars. After getting back on the road, we starting smelling something and discovered that someone had stepped in some bear poop.

We left the next morning for the drive back home, going through Knoxville and Nashville before stopping at my brother's home in Jackson for a break before making the final two hour trip home.


  1. Loved the tour. I've driven most on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but never actually spent time in the Smokies.

  2. Hehe...Keep away from those mama bears, and the bear poop for that matter. :)

  3. We must have been at Cherokee at the same time. I also saw a young Indian girl put a rude sucker in his place. He made a "cute"comment about Indians scalping. She leveled him with a stare and said that it was the white man(the French) who taught them to scalp. Can't remember clapping but I should have.
    Good post Arkie

  4. Thank you everyone for visiting....Hope read some of yours soon!!!

  5. How are you remembering all of this stuff? All I can remember is agreeing to ride the 1st 2/3 of the trip across Tennessee in the back of a pickup truck sitting in a lawn chair, only to take my turn just as we were getting into the Smoky Mountains. And I do believe it was the Rock Lady who stepped in the bear poop! But not before Arkie38 pulled out the 8mm camera urging us to get closer to the bear for a family picture suggesting that maybe one of us shake hands with the bear. You now know why the bear pooped!