Oct 14, 2013

Tennessee, Tennessee,

there ain't no place I'd rather be...
LotR has been working out pretty well for us! After leaving Berea, we made our way further south toward the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We stopped to check out Cumberland falls again on the way (we first visited the falls on our honeymoon).
 We rented a car to zoom up and down the mountains and out along the Blue Ridge parkway after work everyday. Even though the park is closed, you can still see so much from 441, all of the scenic pull overs are open. Plus all those orange cones and barrels blocking off the main trail-heads didn't stop us (or too many other people, damn the man!).
Also, bears. Lots of angry growling mama bears. We went up one trail, bears. Nope'd outta there to go the other way, more bears. Less than 30 feet away, were 3 baby bears and a mama bear, we were about to run into each other! The cubs are pretty adorable even while you fear for your life.
 We did some hiking on the AT
 Just outside of the park is Gatlinburg. Weird, weird, weird. There is a line where the bright lights and commerce ends and the forest begins. The day after our bear run-ins, we were ready for a break from the wilderness so we took the trolly to Gatlinburg, with no idea what to expect. It was a trip! Definitely worth a night out on the town if you're visiting the park. Free samples of moonshine, wine, whiskey (shoot it and kill it, like Old Yeller). Gatlinburg is like a weird, mountain-country Vegas strip, but most of the companies are locally owned and they all cross promote each other. Our Davy Crockett Tennessee Whisky server said "We all do good when we all do good." Pretty neat.

We've decided that the Smokies are our favorite mountain range. It is a woodland wonderland, basically paradise! The views are absolutely breathtaking, so many waterfalls and streams to discover, moss covered rocks, we saw bears, elk, turkey, coyote (or wolves? Both?). We got to catch the beginnings of the fall colors too. It was hard to leave, and we can't wait to visit again.
Smoky mountain soundtrack: 


  1. Ed found it and added a stone, but he's still not convinced that I didn't make it!

  2. love those mountains too! miss driving through them on the road home.

    last time we were in gatlinburg a bartender we met said we needed to go to crystelle creek. it's a restaurant with live music most days. we tried to go for lunch on our way north, but they weren't open yet. maybe next time!

  3. We drove by that place about everyday! They had pretty lights in the big tree out front. We'll have to check it out next time.