Monday, January 9, 2017



29 Sep – 3 Oct 
By now you should know that we don't like to make reservations, it's just not our style of travel. We like to be free to stay and enjoy the sights as long as we like that may pass along our path. Most of the time this way of traveling works for us and very little it does not work. This weekend was one of the very little times. We arrived at Great Smoky Mountain NP and all the campgrounds had only Thursday night open and the weekend booked full. As we drove out of the NP to look for a campground we found one at the first place we stopped at Riveredge RV Park. Being only 8 minutes from the NP we stayed. Like most place this close comes with a little higher price to stay. It was around $50 a night, a little over what we usually like to pay. Since we spent the summer in one place and the next three months our campground is free (by Amazon) why not spoil ourselves a little. The camp sites are a little tight, but there is a jacuzzi, two shower houses that are one of the cleanest and biggest I have ever seen that even plays music to relax the mood (elevator Christmas tunes), large washer/dryer room and a large play room on the second floor of one of the bath houses. The town trolley even has a stop inside the park that cost only $.50 per person to use instead of fighting the traffic looking for a parking spot in town.

With Great Smoky Mountain National Park sitting on over half million acres crossing two state lines, where do I start? Even though we spent five days exploring it still was not enough to see and do everything this park has to offer. First stop was Cade Cove loop. There were horses along the fenced road and Hiromi wanted to see them up close.

 Then, onward to Johnson’s Cabin. Living out in the middle of nowhere, but had the best views.

There are several 5 mile hikes, but we hiked only one trail, Abrams Falls. This was the first time we have hiked five miles and took us three hours to complete. Two and half miles in came to an end with the view of Abrams Falls. After seeing this sight of beauty it was well worth the effort to get there. Now we had to hike back to the car, when we arrived the parking lot was almost empty.

The next few days we drove through the park pulling over at the lookouts and Clingmans Dome to once again take in the sights. We then stopped at Newfound Gap lookout that covers two state lines of South Carolina and Tennessee. On our last night we returned to Clingmans Dome to watch the sunset on the end of this adventure. The funny thing was on the way back into town we pulled over to catch the sky turn black at a pullover that was empty and we both agreed that this sight was the best unexpected view we have seen all week (picture does not give the view justice).

When we return to Eastern Tennessee we will definitely have to stop and visit again.

To see the video of our time at Great Smoky Mountain National Park CLICK HERE

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