Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Smokey Mountains

We are into our third week at Look Rock Campground on the Foothills Parkway in the GSMNP (Smokies), so thought I’d post an update with several of many photos we have taken over the last couple of weeks. The weather is great now, but we were told it was very hot all summer before our arrival. After almost a week of clouds and rain, it was good to glimpse the sun for a few hours this morning. The folks around here so need the moisture, we can’t really complain too loudly about the weather.
We are still waiting for the fall colors to peak, which should be in two to three more weeks depending on the elevation. A few of the trees in this campground have started to turn red and gold, and it is only around 2400 ft.
We like this location as it isn’t as busy as the other areas in the park. We are on the west side farther away from the action in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, but less than 20 miles from Maryville, TN. As with all the campgrounds, there’s no water or electricity at the sites. We are lucky to be near the main water supply, and I’m lucky Donnie doesn’t seem to mind carrying in fresh water and taking away the not so fresh stuff! With the use of the generator a few hours in the morning and evening, we have all the comforts of home!
Okay enough writing, on to the photos...

You can’t have pics of the Smokies without bears! Rylee and Parker, these photos are for y'all (P.S. Grandma and PaPa sure miss you two and your Dad and Mom). The top photo was taken one day while driving Cades Cove Loop. This bear climbed up a tree right over our Tracker. The second photo was taken a few mornings ago on Clingmans Dome Road. This little mama bear and two of her three cubs were digging up the grass on the roadside. We assume they were finding grubs and other insects.

Last week we were out exploring a gravel road that we thought would end up on Cades Cove Loop. Turns out we were on the wrong road, which was just as well when we learned the road we were looking for is one way leaving the loop. We did run into a friendly local couple out hiking with their dog, who told us about this old early 1800s farm place just up the road. It was such an appealing spot surrounded by big chestnut trees that were beginning to turn yellow. Sometimes there are advantages to “getting lost”!

Views from the Foothills Parkway less than a mile from our campground.

Just a few of the trees and shrubs on Clingmans Dome Road in the park.

One Friday we drove from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge. We started getting concerned when we saw all the chairs lined up along the main drag. Folks getting ready to watch a parade? Nope, just several thousand classic car owners set up in front of their cars, most of which were for sale. We both felt like kids in a candy store. These photos don’t really represent the scope of the number of cars, some parked in rows two and three deep for over 20 blocks. We were told that at night the cars cruise up and down the street for several miles.

More Pigeon Forge sights...the Titanic Museum and the Wonderworks building where you can take in magic shows.

We toured the GSMNP Oconaluftee Mountain Farm Museum which was pretty neat.
All of the early 1900 buildings (except this barn), were moved from their original locations throughout the Smokies to the current site to create an open-air museum.
The buildings on the museum grounds included a log cabin, barn, corn crib, cane mill, blacksmith shop, spring house and hog pen (complete with hogs).

The Davis house from the Indian Creek area in North Carolina. This house built from 1899 to 1901, was constructed of chestnut logs and chinked with hand-split boards instead of clay.

I’m ending this blog with a photo of another old museum relic. Oops, wrong photo...sorry Honey! Don’t you wonder why Donnie puts up with me?!

Bye for now!!

No comments: