2022-02-10 SMA Road Trip Day 4: More Exploring

We were up again with the sun yesterday. There were quite a few Smokey Mountain stops on our list that we either didn’t see signs for or that were on a different road through the park altogether so the goal was just to see more.

Truthfully, we were kind of feeling hiked-out from the previous day’s adventure, so the only hikes that seemed enticing were those smaller loops in the “easy” category.

We settled on the Elkmont trail which turned out really great. It was the perfect length and there were literally no other people besides us on the trail. Score!

The main scenic destination for the day was Cades Cove on the Cades Cove scenic loop. This was a lovely little drive with a number of stops with old barns, churches, and homes. I guess at some point before it was a national park, people actually lived in these parts. There were even several cemeteries.

Much like the drive the day before, it made me extremely sleepy, and after a while, all the twists and turns through the trees start to look the same. I suppose after having been a number of other really cool places, the Smokey Mountains don’t seem that special. 

In all fairness, though, it’s the middle of winter and there are no leaves on the trees and that probably makes everything a little more grey and brown compared to summer. I can imagine in the height of summer or fall, that the scenery would be strikingly different. 

We wanted to get to Clingmans dome but the road was closed for the winter season. This closure wasn’t the only one we encountered. There were many places in the surrounding areas that were void of cars in the lots and “open” signs in the windows were dark. 

One activity we passed several times driving from our Airbnb to and from the park and Pigeon Forge was an alpine coaster. Several actually. So after another sleepy drive through the “mountains” we headed toward the world famous “Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster.”

(I made up that world famous part and the image shown was taken the previous night.)

It was exhilarating and fun (and a bit chilly), but did a great job of waking me up. 

Our other main goal for the day was to not miss another sunset back at our home away from home. As such we opted for take out fajitas from a place in Gatlinburg.

Fun fact… There are no liquor stores in Pigeon Forge. They’ve got a kitschy moonshine store at one of the hundreds of tourist traps but no place to buy tequila. Not even the grocery store. So we had to drive to Gatlinburg for our eats and drinks.

We did make it back for sunset, and it was pretty good. As high up as we are… the surrounding trees are still a smidge taller and therefore I had a hard time getting any shot without the treetops in it. 🤷‍♀️

The rest of our evening went much like the night before—hot tub, stars, fireplace. We did turn the TV on to catch a smidge of the olympics. Men’s free skating was on and ice skating has always fascinated me. I’m actually surprised they are having the Olympics given the fragile state of the world. But I suppose life must go on. I digress. 

That was it. Another successful day in vacation land. Today we are leaving our Airbnb behind and hitting the road.

It was a neat place to stay (And Jim absolutely loved it), but I would not stay here again. Just too many little things that were lacking that added up to a “no” from me. Like a furnace that did not work, missing basic kitchen supplies—toaster, coffee maker, towels, etc. Not to mention the death defying drive and driveway to get to and from “Belltop” on Bear Springs Way. Nothing like having an anxiety attack each time you have to leave or come home. Good gravy!!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not sad about leaving. Looking forward to the road home. 

Next stop… Mammoth Cave!! 🦣 


~Miss SugarCookie

2 responses to “2022-02-10 SMA Road Trip Day 4: More Exploring”

  1. Looks like you had a great time exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s one of the places I would love to visit the most once the pandemic crisis comes to an end. Thanks for sharing and have a good day ☺️ Aiva

    Liked by 2 people

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