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Vacation - Gatlinburg Pt 1

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It’s been quite some time since I’ve blogged; for one reason or another. But, I wanted to share about my trip to Gatlinburg, TN.

Day 1 - Thursday
This was a trip for just DD and I to spend quality time together. We arrived in the Pigeon Forge slightly after lunchtime. We head to The Old Mill for some lunch and mull over our options for the day. A quick check of the time shows that we could purchase tickets for the Comedy Barn show, head to check-in at the hotel, freshen up and still make the 5:00 show. So, that’s just what we did. We chose the Comedy Barn show for a couple reasons; 1. NOT a dinner theater (DD is too picky), 2. Family friendly entertainment (there was no innuendos or jokes for the “older” crowd). We had a great time and laughed a lot; definitely worth seeing. Afterwards we grabbed a pizza (we didn’t like, but others might) and went back to our room. Big things in store for Friday.

Day 2 – Friday
We wake up (DD is awoken by me AFTER my run AND breakfast), she has breakfast and we load up the CamelBak with things for a day of hiking and driving the Cades Cove motor loop. We make our way out to Cades Cove and plan to hike the Abram’s Falls trail to see the falls. It’s a 5-mile hike that’s rated “moderate” which sounds doable. DD isn’t quite as fit as I am and suffers from asthma, but I liked her “never say die” attitude. We set out, this trail is very rocky, strewn with tree roots, and slick with water; not what we were expecting, but we were in it for the long haul. We thought that the hike down to the falls felt like forever, but it was nothing to the return trip. As the day heated up, and the terrain seemed more up-hill than we remember being down-hill on the out trip, our 3 LITER CamelBak was dry. DD took a couple puffs from her inhaler and we trudged on resting, as she needed. Down at the falls we each had a light snack which was not nearly enough for the calories we were expending. Once back at the car we devoured a ¼ bag (large) of pretzels, but still had no water. It must me mentioned that Cades Cove is THE place to see black bears in the area; DD was praying the whole hike we wouldn’t see any. Total time for the hike ended up being almost 4.5 hours! Upon finishing the motor loop we see a couple cars stopped on the road (a no-no) and glance over to see a baby black bear. I was so excited that most of my pictures are very blurry, but it was a great experience. I was so proud of how DD handled the challenges of the day with nary a complaint. After all of our adventures we decided to pass on seeing anything else and forgo getting showers, we were soaked with sweat from the day, and go straight to dinner. We went to Bennett’s BBQ (a great place) and were seated right away. I apologize right off for our ungainly look, but I’m guessing they’ve witnessed worse. We both ate as if it were our last meal and headed for the hotel to rinse off and jump into the pool to cool down. The pool was small and overcrowded with kids coming down the slide and others cannonballing from the edge. We stayed in the cool water for about 30 minutes and then retired to our room for showers and sleep.

Ya'll come back tomorrow for the remainder of the trip and more pictures.
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