Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 23 Summer 2011 Road Trip

Today we packed up our suitcases and loaded them into our car.  We are leaving Nashville after spending a week here and heading East.  We will be visiting The Great Smokey Mountain National Park for the next several days and our base of operation will be Pigeon Forge Tennessee.

I have a new app on my smart phone – Gas Buddy, which determines my current location and shows me the gas stations around me and the prices for regular gas.  There was a gas station about 1 mile away selling fuel for $3.49 per gallon, but the one across the road where I normally would have bought fuel before heading out was charging $3.68 per gallon.  Gee, that’s a no brainer, drive the mile and save 19 cents per gallon.  For my Canadian friends, that $3.49 per gallon works out to .92 cents a liter..  Much cheaper than at home.   I think at home the price is in the $1.28 per liter range.

After filling our tank we headed off along I-40.  Past the J.Percy Priest Dam.

9959 Tennessee I-40 East - J Percy Priest Dam

We also passed this oversized load of wind turbine blades.

9960 Tennessee I-40 East

Our first stop is in Cookeville TN for a roadside attraction.  Can you tell we like elephants… actually it is Karen’s mother who likes and collects everything “elephant” so these recent photos the last 2 days of elephants are more for her benefit.

9965 Tennessee, Cookeville - Pink Elephant with giant sunglasses 9967 Tennessee, Cookeville - Pink Elephant with giant sunglasses 9968 Tennessee, Cookeville - Pink Elephant with giant sunglasses

We encountered a rain shower as we drove into Knoxville.

9970 Tennessee I-40 East - rain storm 9976 Tennessee I-40 East at Knoxville - rain storm

Our plan was to stop and spend a couple of hours at the Sunsphere, the site of the 1982 Worlds Fair.  However it was pouring rain as we were arriving, so we will have to postpone a visit until the next time we are in the area.

9977 Tennessee I-40 East - The Sunsphere 9979 Tennessee - Knoxville - Sunsphere

Another stop at another road side attraction… a Dolly Parton Statue.  Seems fitting to stop here after our week in Nashville.

9982 Tennessee - Sevier County Courthouse, Sevierville - Dolly Parton Statue 9984 Tennessee - Sevier County Courthouse, Sevierville - Dolly Parton Statue 9985 Tennessee - Sevier County Courthouse, Sevierville - Dolly Parton Statue

We drove into Pigeon Forge on the main street.  My first thoughts were that this town remindes me a lot of Branson Missouri.  The traffic, the dinner theaters, the wax museums, the Titanic museum, the crowds.  And then I saw some Christmas stores, so now I have revised my opinion… Pigeon Forge TN is a cross between Branson MO and Frankenmuth MI.

9992 Tennessee - Pigeon Forge 9995 Tennessee - Pigeon Forge 9996 Tennessee - Pigeon Forge

9999db Tennessee - Pigeon Forge 9998 Tennessee - Pigeon Forge 9999ba Tennessee - Pigeon Forge

There are two dozen or more restaurants all within a short walk from our hotel and there is even a Baskin Robbins so we walked to get some ice cream.  They even had Karen’s favourite flavour.. Chocolate Fudge.

9999f Tennessee - Pigeon Forge - Baskin Robbins chocolate fudge ice cream

Tomorrow we will visit a portion of The Great Smokey Mountain National Park.

To see all of our photos from today, please click on this link to our FLICKR site.

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