Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gatlinburg 2011 Trip Report: Mon. Oct. 17

On Monday, Shawn wanted to golf, so I dropped him off at 8:00 at the Gatlinburg Country Club and I kept the car for the day. I planned on shopping all morning, but spent more time just driving around the area and exploring. I found a few back roads to get between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge to avoid the traffic so that was nice to find and to know for future trips there.

I ate breakfast at a Flapjacks in Gatlinburg.  I had french toast, bacon and eggs.  After breakfast, I decided to drive up Ski Mountain Road and go to OberGatlinburg since we weren’t going to ride the tram up there. I had heard that was a very steep road to drive. Steep would be an understatement. That road was ridiculous and at one point, I missed a turn and ended up on a very narrow one lane road. I didn’t think I was every going to find a place to turn around. I made it to the top near Ober only to find a sign that said the rest of the road was closed until Ober opened up at 10:00 that morning. So back down the road I went, and immediately to a gas station. I didn’t want to be stuck out on those roads and run out of gas.

I headed back to Pigeon Forge and went shopping at the Carter’s store and got Gavin some new jammies for Christmas. Then I headed into Seiverville to find this statue of Dolly Parton that sits on the courthouse lawn. I was flipping through the GPS for attractions and saw that there was a covered bridge nearby so I went see that too. I had read about it online earlier, but didn’t pay that much attention to it. Shawn called after this and I went back to pick him up.

We stopped at McDonalds and got some lunch to go and headed into the mountains to go to Clingman’s Dome. The drive up to Clingman’s Dome was beautiful; the weather was beautiful and the scenery was beautiful. We stopped at a few pull-off’s along the way to take pictures. The closer we got to the top, the more excited I got to go up there. The day was sunny and clear and I knew that there would be a great view from the top, unlike the last time we went up there; Shawn didn’t believe me, he figured it would be foggy like before. I also was in layers that day and had my coat, scarf, and gloves in the car. Last time, it was FREEZING so I wanted to be prepared. I didn’t need my coat that day and probably could of shed a layer that I had on. It was WARM walking up that hill! Hee!! From the parking lot, it is a half-mile, steep, uphill walk to the top of Clingman’s Dome, which has an elevation height of 6,643 feet. Once you reach the top, there is a concrete observation tower with 360 degrees panoramic views. On the day we were there, the view was very clear and we could see 20+ miles away. I wanted to stay up there forever, but of course we couldn’t. The walk down was a lot easier than the walk up, however it was hard on my knees and piggies. I was so glad that I was able to make the walk up, granted we had to stop every 20 feet for me to breathe.


After we left Clingman’s Dome, we stopped at the pull-off for the Newfound Gap for a few minutes and then headed into Gatlinburg for the night. I had been wanting to ride the Sky Lift to the top of the mountain, so I did that. Shawn is afraid of riding it, so I had to go by myself. It’s such a relaxing ride up that mountain, and at the top you get your picture taken. Each time I’ve gone up, I’ve bought my picture. There isn’t really anything at the top other than a gift shop and scenery. After I came down, we went and had dinner at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp House. The food was alright, but highly overpriced. I’m sure we paid more for the atmosphere than the food. After dinner, we just strolled around and shopped in some of the little stores along the walk. No sweet treats for us that night!

Every time you turn on a TV to the local channel in Gatlinburg, there is a show about Alewine Pottery.  They've been playing it the last 5 times we've been there.  The morning I was out driving around, I ended up in the Arts & Crafts community and drove by Alewine Pottery.  Naturally I had to pull over and snap a picture. 

The covered bridge I found in Seiverville.  It's called the Harrisburg Covered Bridge.

Statue of Dolly Parton on the Seiverville Court House lawn.

The beginning of the hike up to Clingman's Dome.

Probably our first picture on the hike up.  I still have a smile on my face so it must of been early in the hike.  Hee!

If you can't tell in this picture, the hike is all uphill.  And that's a steep hill!

Ahhh...we are almost to the top.  Seeing this completely put a smile on my face!


Shawnie taking a picture of me taking a picture of him :)

These people were going to hike the Appalachian Trail.  They were starting at the trail head at Clingman's Dome and were going to hike for 3 days and end up at Cades Cove.  More power to them!

I should of at least walked on this trail for a little bit so that I could officially say I walked the Appalachian trail!  The AT runs from Maine all the way down to Georgia, close to 2,000 miles!

Shawnie and I in front of Clingman's Dome.

Shawnie and I at the top of Clingman's Dome

Views from the top of Clingman's Dome

Views from the top of Clingman's Dome
Me taking a picture of Shawnie who was taking a picture of me :)

Shawnie and I at the Newfound Gap pull-off.  It is also the North Carolina/Tennessee state line.

Shawnie at the Clingman's Dome sign

Me at the top of Clingman's Dome!  I'm so glad I made the hike this time!

 
Me at the Clingman's Dome sign

Me at another pull off on our way back into Gatlinburg

Shawnie at another pulloff on our way back into Gatlinburg

A cute little walking bridge at a pull off on our way back into Gatlinburg.


I'm going up the side of the mountain in the chair lift.  I love doing this and wish I could get Shawnie to go up with me sometime.

The view from the top of the mountain after riding the chair lift up.

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