Pictures From October 2018 - It's All About Having Fun!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Friday 4-20 Driving Around Great Smoky Mountains Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Last night it got down to 28 degrees but it was very comfortable sleeping. We didn’t have any power but we had our Wave 3 heater. When we woke up it was a little nippy so we turned on the furnace. 

We headed to Smokemont, another campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is only 10 miles from Cherokee so we took our time. When we got to the park we were going to go on a motorcycle ride. Before leaving Cherokee we stopped at a gas station and filled the motorcycle.

On the way to Smokemont we stopped by the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to pick up information about the park. It was a beautiful new building built with money donated by local organizations. It had a museum that included information about the CCC and how they built the park and it’s buildings. It showed exhibits on the equipment the CCC used and how they lived. It also had exhibits of the people who lived in the Smoky Mountains before it was a park. There is a trail that goes along the creek to an old homestead. As we walked around the homestead there are signs explaining the different buildings and what they were used for. It was a very nice walk and I learned a lot.


Oconaluftee Visitor Center

The homestead that was at the visitor center
Furniture in the homestead

After visiting the visitor center we went to Smokemont Campground. We found a site and paid for a couple of nights. After lunch we went on a 38 mile one way motorcycle ride through the park. Along the way we stopped and looked at the vistas. We stopped at a monument representing when Tennessee and North Carolina joined together and created the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At the monument you can hike part of the Appalachian Trail. We drove all the way to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. 
 


Tennessee and North Carolina State Line Monument


Gatlinburg is a tourist town with lots of shops and places to eat. It reminded me of Pigeon Forge. It had a lot of people walking around shopping and the traffic was bad.

We went to Gatlinburg to drive motor drive. It is a 5.5 mile one way curvy road through the mountain. RV's are not allowed but it is perfect for the motorcycle. Along the drive you can stop and hike. While driving you see gorgeous vistas, beautiful mountain creeks and waterfalls. It was a very pretty drive. Before leaving Gatlinburg we filled the motorcycle up considering it only has a gallon and a half tank. 


A creek along the motor scenic drive
 

On the way back we saw a black bear with her two cubs. We stopped and watched them for a long time until they wandered off. This was very exciting.


Mama black bear

Bear cub


We had a super drive through the park even though it was a bit cold. It was a curvy road that went through a couple of wonderful tunnels. 

When we got back to the Minnie we relaxed and warmed up. Then we walked around the campground for about a half hour. Larry barbecued hamburgers for dinner. After dinner I walked around to get my steps in. We spent the rest of the night relaxing. We had a great day.


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I would love to hear friendly comments on anything at all. Ruth