October 10th...We left Crossville and the beautiful state park, headed for the Smoky Mountain National Park. We had a beautiful drive and it really didn't take that long to get there. We stopped in Townsend Tn at the little visitor center and had lunch in the camper. After that we drove into the park. We headed for Cades Cove and hoped to get a campground for the night.. We did, but one of the last sites that wasn't reserved. Nice, $20.00 a night no hookups but still very nice.
We decided to take the drive of Cades Cove Loop, an 11 mile drive. I asked at the info booth and he said it would probably take an hour or so, so I said well maybe we'll take it tomorrow, he replied if you do it then it would probably take 3 or 4 hours! Sooo many people, a beautiful drive but when we got to this little grist mill, the traffic stopped!! We were stuck for about an hour, not quite knowing why...well, it was a DEER...how ridiculous...these people stopping a million times for a deer! So when that broke and we got through it was smooth sailing until people saw a BEAR...we waited and finally got through...amazing! So we were probably gone about 2 1/2 hours for 11 miles...never again..
Had a nice night, got up, slowly got ready and then headed out to go over the top into Cherokee, NC...we decided to see about finding a grocery store in Pigeon Forge, TN..wow that was a chore...that little city has sure grown, and of course being the time of year, crowded, crowded, crowded!!! We did find a nice Mexican Restaurant and had some great food!
After lunch we headed over the park and it was incredible!! The colors are gorgeous and it was really cool to see so many people out enjoying the beauty of America!! Love it!
We made it to Cherokee, NC and thought we'd find a campground, but then decided that we'd go back to another campground in the park. We went to the Smokemount Campground, again $20.00 a night and sits very nicely. Not quite as crowded as the Cades Cove so that was great. Cold nights, but beautiful!
Got up the next am and we took a nice little walk around the park and took a few pics.
Headed through Cherokee and over to the Cherohula Skyway..this is a 41 mile parkway, through NC into TN. The Skyway took almost 40 years to build and cost over 100 million dollars, but if you see it it's definitely worth it! Especially the colors in NC!! The trees were every color you could think of including PINK!! AWESOME! AWESOME!
I would gladly go do this drive again, during the same time as it was so beautiful! We had a nice picnic lunch in the camper!
I have to say, only because this skyway isn't as advertised as the Park, there was very few people on the skyway!! And the colors had the Park beat, I have never seen anything as beautiful as this area!!
We made it to Cleveland, TN and the KOA..it was nice to have a real shower and some cable tv..( I know, spoiled I am)...
We left and headed for Cracker Barrel for breakfast...yummyyyy!! Then we took a beautiful drive, TN, 108,111, and another i'll have to look up..two lane and four lane highways..we even saw one highway twice, from different ways as I missed the turn on the map! But beautiful, the highways are so gorgeous...haven't opened a book yet!! I love this neck of the woods!
Got back to Don's house and it felt good to be "home"...sad thing is we are here to get ready to go home..so these few days are precious to us..such a special place..we were so blessed to have the time here...I know when Don and Dana finally get to move here, they won't want to leave..TN is a special place, and if it weren't for the kids and gkids in CA i would move here in a heartbeat!
|Leaving Crossville, TN|
|Crossville, TN |
|Cade's Cove Drive Great Smoky Mountain NP (GSMNP)|
|A church on the Cade's Cove Drive|
|Our camper in GSMNP, Cades Cove|
|A beautiful view in the park!|
|Another view of the colors!|
|THe green canopy in the park|
|Elk at the GSMNP|
|Our campsite at Smokemount GSMNP|
|Headed to the Cherohula Skyway...beautiful|
|More beautiful trees!|
|THese pictures do not do the colors justice! I've never seen anything so incredible!|
|A fog bank that came up quickly! |
|Cade's Cove Cabin!|