Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Recently, my family (mother, brother, his dog and I) spent almost a week in the Great Smoky Mountains- we stayed in a vacation home on a mountaintop between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  We checked out a few tourist sites, visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and hung out at the rather nice vacation home, which sported a home theater in the recreation room- yep, it got used!

I believe I have enough pictures for a few posts, let’s get started!

Part 1: Getting There, and ‘The Cabin’

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 Heading south through Ohio farm country

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 Water towers are always interesting to see…

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Cincinnati Ohio

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Crossing the Ohio River

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 The Cumberland Gap is fun to drive through- this is the ancient trail that Daniel Boone helped blaze for the pioneers to follow through the Appalachian Mountains into the Ohio River Valley

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That’s Kudzu all along the Gap wall- this invasive weed that has struck the south has been heading north for a while

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There are lots of barriers up to catch falling rocks along the Gap

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If you look closely, you can see wire mesh covering the rocks on the top left of the rock face

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A brief but heavy rain squall

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A wild dinosaur, or a roadside attraction…it all happened so fast…hey, just be glad I don’t show all of the fireworks stores along the way!

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In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, vacation traffic was heavy- the Smokies are in the distance

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There’s lots of touristy places in Pigeon Forge, more on that next week

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Driving up a mountain to get to our cabin

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It was a steep drive, with large mirrors in places to see oncoming traffic around rock ledges

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And here we are- our destination, on the mountaintop!  The cabin is hanging off the side of the mountain, actually

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OK, ‘vacation home’ is closer to reality than ‘cabin’

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Pro tip- don’t walk down a narrow steep dark spiral staircase in your socks if you’ve been drinking!

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There were 3 decks on the side of the house, all with spectacular views of the local Smoky Mountains

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The Greater Smokies get as high as 6,643 feet in elevation- to an Ohio boy like myself, these are definitely mountains!

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That’s Pigeon Forge lit up in the distance

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The nightly fireworks show going on at Dollywood

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Yes, I’m tired too!  But fear not, a couple more posts are coming up about this vacation!