Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's on our list

We had a wonderful time in the Great Smoky Mountains. Cate nailed the accommodation and it was terrific – with great views.

It was a bit of a struggle getting there and back with about a seven hour drive each way – but it was worth it – although we would not go that far again for just three nights in a cabin.

We found our cabin by heading towards Pigeon Forge – past the Dolly pancake shop and the Dolly motel and the Dolly locksmiths – and turning right into Dollywood lane.

We did not get to see Dollywood – or even Dollywood’s Splash Country – but they are on our bucket list for our next visit.

We did see Gatlinburg – which is quite extraordinary. It is hard to describe but is worth driving through if you have an hour to kill - as the traffic inches along at about 1 mph.

It will take some time for the memory of Gatlinburg to fade from our memories but just in case - we have pinned a note on our dashboard ‘do not go to Gatlinburg again’.

We got to see Clingman’s Dome – which you reach by trudging almost vertically for two miles. This is the highest point in the mountains but we could not see anything because of the clouds and mist. But it was good exercise.

There are some parts which are apparently heaving with bears – but we did not get to them. In any event most of America was in the vicinity and I imagine that seeing a bear would be a bit like trying to get close enough to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.

We had our Nespresso machine and gallons of wine – and I made a batch of Chili to take with us so we did not have to go out for dinner.  

In the evenings we sat on our porch in rocking chairs, drank wine and read. 



  1. Wine! My cousin in SD got me started on wine and I am having a baLL trying different types. One of my grape vines is starting to have some sweetness in its grapes, so I am getting eXcited. I haven't had chili in a long while.

  2. you weren't too far from my alma mater (Sewanne) - turns out you can learn a lot in 'dem hills - but definitely to add for your next visit ;)

  3. esb: If you have enough grapes you can start making wine.

    TNDW: I will keep that in mind for our next trip.

    1. I plan to eXperiment but the batch size wiLL be considerably smaLL this year. But you know, us chemists love to eXperiment. I am currently saving aLL my wine bottles to recycle.

  4. You CAN get to Gatlinburg to browse without driving, just go to what we call Park and Ride, across from the Food City, where the City Hall and Police station are, park your car, and catch a trolly for 50 cents. Then you can go to all the arts and crafts stores on Glades Road and to downtown to walk the strip. And again, there is hardly any traffic up into the Mountains if you get an early start, before 9am, AND try to get here on a Sunday and leave on Friday rather than on a weekend. Study a community calendar before making reservations, to make sure there is no EVENT, like a car show, while you are here because it becomes INSANE. Do drive the Cades Cove Loop Road next time, it is on the west side of the park with a beautiful drive on Little River Road to get there. I have many more suggestions. And, going to Clingman's Dome, it is only a half mile up and a half mile back, even though it seems like more. Just saying. If you go to Dollywood, find out where Patriot Park is, leave your car there in the parking lot, and take the trolly to Dollywood for 50 cents. You avoid paying for parking, AND, you get dropped off right at the gate, so to speak. The Christmas lights are amazing. The shows are ok too. I have never paid to get in, some folks get free passes and give them away. I am lucky that way.

  5. Mary Anne Rudolph: I do tend to exaggerate a little when I am blogging. Yes we saw the trolleys - and will do that next time. We certainly do want to do the Cades Cove loop road - and will start early - I promise. And thanks for the advice about Dollywood. You sure do live in a beautiful part of the world. Are you sure its only half a mile?