Saturday, September 29, 2007

Back from Vacation

We are back from our week long vacation in Tennessee and North Carolina. I hope you all missed me! We drove down in the truck and took the motorcycle on the trailer and had a wonderful time driving the Smoky Mountain roads and visiting a few of the local sights. Our first three nights were spent at a cabin near Townsend, TN. There are literally thousands of cabins available to rent in the areas around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. We rented one through Dogwood Cabins and though it was a little far from much of anything, it was a pretty nice little cabin.
For those of you who've never been to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area, it is become quite a "touristy" sort of area filled with theme parks, gift shops, outlet malls, dinner theaters and lots of traffic. Yes, I did visit the outlet mall, but Dennis bought more than I did! We were invited to join some friends at the Blackbear Jamboree on Saturday evening. We had a great time. Thanks C & G !
I warned everyone that they might make the blog so now I've made good on my promise!
Sunday morning we headed out on the motorcycle to explore the area. We started at Cade's Cove. This is a valley that has been preserved by the National Park Service with its historical cabins, churches and other structures. There is an eleven mile road that stretches through the area. It is heavily traveled by park visitors hoping to see some of the wildlife that inhabit the area. We tried to get an early start with the hope that we would avoid some of the traffic and have a better chance of seeing some wildlife ( I was hoping to see a bear in the wild !) No such luck on either. But it is a beautiful valley. We only saw one deer - we see a lot more just on our evening rides around here! On Monday morning, we headed back to ride the "dragon"! If you've been following my posts for awhile you'll remember that we drove this famous road with it's 318 curves in eleven miles on our trip in July. And since we've become addicted to motorcycling, we find ourselves here again! This time we drove the opposite way and since it was Monday morning, we only saw about a dozen other bikers out. It was hunting season for something though as we saw several dozen hunters with dogs and rifles. Maybe we didn't see any bears because they were all in hiding! We still enjoyed the ride and know we'll be back this way again someday.
We explored more of the Smoky Mountain National Park including parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Clingman's Dome. We actually got off the bike for a hike to the top of Clingman's Dome where we were supposed to see several states from this space alien type lookout tower. But the hazy skies that are typical of the Smokey Mountains obscured the view. The path to the top actually crossed the Applachian Trail so we had to have our picture taken so we could just say we walked on the famous trail.

Here's some of the sights from our week of riding the Blue Ridge Parkway and our visit to Asheville, North Carolina. I know this is getting a little long and I hope I'm not boring you all!
Looking Glass Falls

Little Switzerland, NC and these interesting little shops including this huge used and antique book store.
Dennis on the Blue Ridge Parkway - he did come back for me!
Cold Mountain, the setting for the book and the movie by the same name. But I think the movie was actually filmed overseas somewhere.

At the Fiddlin Pig BlueGrass and Barbeque I was asked to share my square dancing talent along with other customers and the clogging group performing that evening. Little did they know that I have only square danced once or maybe twice since fifth grade in Mrs. Tucker's music class.

This is a view from Chimney Rock State Park near Lake Lure, NC. A view from inside the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I could have spent more time here just looking at all the wonderful handcrafted items. There were quilts, weavings, paintings, glass, pottery and so much more. Everything is made by local artists. Our last day on the Blue Ridge Parkway was clear, cool and beautiful. Some of the haze had moved out and the colors were beginning to show in the trees. I'm sure by next weekend the fall colors will be wonderful. Mt. Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi. Nothing like the elevations out west but the views were stunning none the less.
Sorry this has gotten so long. I have many, many more photos but it is getting late and maybe I can post a few more another time. We saw a lot of beautiful scenery and really enjoyed riding the motorcycle along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It is easy to see why this is the most visited national park. I hope you all have a chance to enjoy it someday too. There's so many wonderful places to visit in this country. Now we'll have to plan our next excursion!

One last thing - Happy Birthday K!

1 comment:

sarah said...

your pictures are always so pretty! glad yall had a nice time.