The alarm went off at 7am this morning and our day began. Eat breakfast and then we are on the road. The park entrance is only a few minutes from our hotel. We will visit The Great Smoky Mountain National Park today.
We get our first view of the Smoky Mountains and true to their name, they are smoky.
We stopped in at the Sugarlands Visitor Center to get our passport book stamped and to pick up some pamphlets relevant to our visit.
We drove along the Little River Road.
The Little River runs along beside the Little River Road.. (obviously)
A waterfall was cascading down the rock face beside the road.
Even the river is smoky.
Then as we were driving along the Laurel Creek Road, Karen yelled to stop the car… She had spotted a black bear in the forest. Fortunately there was a wide enough shoulder along the road that I could pull off safely.
On the Cades Cove Scenic Loop Road we saw these horses.
More Smoke on the Mountains.
Spotted a White Tailed Deer in the forest.
We stopped at the Cades Cove Visitor Center to get our passport book stamped and to wander around through the old mountain homestead property.
I like old functioning water wheels, so I took a couple of short videos.
Another scenic road we drove on today was the Rich Mountain Road, a 12 mile gravel road… It was scenic but we did not encounter any wildlife.
At the other end of the Rich Mountain Road is the town of Townsend, where we stopped for a break and a bite to eat. Parked next to us was the local police cruiser, I liked their logo.
After leaving Townsend we drove on to the town of Gatlinburg. Now this town, I would compare it to be a cross between the Clifton Hill area in Niagara Falls Ontario and the Wasaga Beach arcade area, except there is no water fall or beachfront nearby.
We rode the elevator to the top of the Space Needle for a 360 degree view of the area.
Look what we found…
After leaving Gatlinburg we headed back to Pigeon Forge and our hotel. We went to the local Food City and bought some groceries and some frozen dinners for tonights meal.
We will return to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park again tomorrow and see a different section of the park.
To see all of our photos from today, you can click on the link to our FLICKR site.
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