We went to see the smoky mountains a couple of weeks ago. It was a lovely trip. Enjoyed the nature, [after 3 days, it actually became too much of nature, esp for DH, and I thought he was a town boy!] with the smoking mountains, the trails, that say ‘moderate’ and then take you on this steep walk round and round, on gravel and chameleon filled paths, with one edge sloping dangerously down to God knows where.
Itw asn’t too bad a drive, about 300 miles down I-85 all the way down VA, and an hour into Tennessee, and then about an hour on the rural roads leading into Pigeon Forge, and then onto Gatlinburg. Pigeon Forge is actually a fun place. It’s like Las Vegas without the adult fun. They even mimicked the strip, with huge neon signs, ferris wheels, and ton and tons of $30/night motels. There were kids everywhere! So much of family fun, and then there were these toned campers and hikers with huge backpacks and killer legs just to bother the less fortunates.
Clingman’s dome was awesome. It was truly like walking in the clouds. My little K was an aweosme trooper. She actually walked almost half a mile stomping her feet and pumping her arms. Sometimes in her zeal she’d actually stray close to the outer edge and make my already whiny heart go full throttle. The older K’s were as responsible as ever. So up, we go, and up again we go onto a man-made tower, and while we are enjoying the vast expanse of hills, and greenery, plop, plop, and it is pouring rain. All of us huddle under the excuse of a concrete umbrella, and well, when we couldn’t wait anymore, walked down all drenched and shivering. The temps hovered around the 40’s up there.
2nd day was a hike- again labeled “moderate”- about 2.6 miles to a waterfall. That was cute. We could hear it halfway up, and that certainly proved an accelerator in enthusiasm to push forward.
The 2 best parts of the whole trip was
1. We stayed in a house, [it actually had a name – leprechaun island ;-)] as in someone’s house that they’ve rented it out. So it had pots and pans, a refrigerator, and a pool table. The kids had a blast with it. The backyard was awesome! Huge, and green and rustic. You had to climb down a whole storey to reach ground, and cross a bubbly stream, to reach the island in the middle. It had a hammock , and a wooden swing, that was heavenly. There was a moment when I honestly wanted to invest and buy a vacation home such as this, so I could absolutely be lazy and cuddle into one with a book in hand. The trees were so tall, that sun was just filtering through. Plain vacation dream! I know I’d hardly be booking hotels for a while.
2. It was a lovely vacation, something that we hadn’t done in a long while. The kids enjoyed it, and my DH and I never fought!!!! Isn’t that an achievement after so many years…;-)
I wish I had pictures to add, though we have a few, but nothing to show what we saw. Video is another matter. :-)