Friday, July 19, 2013

A Trip through the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge

Since the summer is almost over, at least in so much as Anna has to go back to work next week, I took this opportunity to go on a drive for a couple of days. So, I set out yesterday morning at 7:00 for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge.

I had a wonderful drive up, even if I did miss my family some of the time. I made it to the Oconaluftee Welcome Center at around 11:00, bought a T-shirt, and drove to Clingman's Dome--which was very, very busy. I made the whole walk to the observation tower (there are some pictures below), which is no mean feat for a guy in my shape. (I need to work on getting in better shape so I can do that walk with my kids someday, hopefully in two or three years.)

After that, I drove north through GSMNP to Gatlinburg, which was insanely busy. I had thought I might stop, but the number of cars and people and shops all crammed into a relatively small space filled me with anxiety, so I kept going towards Pigeon Forge.

Pigeon Forge was also busy, but is more stretched out and has a four-lane road, so it doesn't seem nearly as crowded. Still, I didn't stop anywhere except a place called Book Warehouse.

I did stop at the Books-A-Million in Seveirville, where I bought Robert A. Heinlein's The Star Beast, a novel I read thirty years ago and remember loving. I've been looking for it for a while, actually.

I spent the night at the Quality Inn in Clayton, Georgia, which is where I am right now as I type this. Since I need to check out in 20 minutes, I'll end here, with the addition of 15 pictures I took yesterday:

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