Friday, May 25, 2012

Mark and Tracey part 2, The Smokies, Elk, Bears

    Thursday  a day of rest. Mark and Tracey went for a cycle ride in Smoky Mountain National park today.  They also hiked a trail to a pretty waterfall. So Linda and I stayed back at the RV to rest up from the passed days of playing tour guides. After their ride, they called us and we met at the just opened Joe's Crabshack for dinner.
    But first I have to back up a day. Mark and Tracey got Linda a day at a spa for Mothers Day. So Linda and Tracey went to the spa which was less then a half mile from our RV Park. Tracey booked it on line before they got here. Little did she know how close it was to us. Sometimes things just work out great. Mark and I suggested they walk, but that didn't happen. While they were at the spa Mark and I went to an indoor gun range for some target practice. It's hard to admit your kids can do something better then you. And you like to think "that's how I taught them". but in this case Mark was the teacher. A couple hours later we all met back at the RV and what else, but went out to dinner.
      On Friday we went to the huge flea market in Sevierville. Then we did a little shopping in the area and went to dinner at the Apple Barn. See After dinner we went to the Grand Majestic for the American Hit Parade show. The show was as good as when we saw it a couple weeks prior but they were having lighting and sound problems. See our blog of 5/1/12 for our review and pictures.
     On Saturday we had to go to work at 10. We had asked for off when the kids were going to be here, which was Sunday to Friday. But since it was Mothers day on Sunday they decided to stay a couple extra days. But there was a 100% chance of rain on Sunday and 80% chance of rain on Monday, the kids made a wise decision to leave on Saturday. It was good they did as we did get at least 24 hours of heavy rain, then 12 hour of steady rain. They beat the rain home safe and sound.
     On Sunday we just rested and hung out at the RV park. On Monday I went back to the indoor gun range to practice all Mark taught me.  Tuesday we decided to go to Cherokee NC to the Indian Museum. See The shortest route was through Smoky National Park. The museum is just outside the east entrance of the park. we spent a couple of hours there and rode around Cherokee to check out the town. Very touristy. We did go to the Harrah's casino to try our luck. After a couple of hours we decide to find a local restaurant in town. The casino is RV Friendly, as there were 5 RVs in the far lot with their slides out . First check with security.  We stopped at Grandma's, because there was a full parking lot. We found that the locals know were to eat.  We hoped they were locals as most of the licence plates we saw were from NC. We did see a few cars with duct tape on them, which is known as chrome in these parts. Just couldn't resist the comment, heard it at the Comedy Barn. Little did we know it was a buffet only restaurant. But the food was good. After dinner we had a hour drive back to our RV. It was after 7 and we hoped we could see some wildlife in the National Park. We got lucky, just as we entered the park by the visitors center we saw a small herd of elk. We pulled off the road for a few photo's and just to watch these great animals for a while. They soon all layed down in the deep grass so the only thing visible was their heads. We started out again and saw a few turkeys along the road. About 15 miles later we can upon a deer in the middle of the road.  He watched us, and we watched him till a car came in the opposite direction and scared him away. We arrived back at the RV just before total darkness. A good day with about an 80 miles round trip. Note you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Elk in Smoky National Park

 Cades Cove and the Smokies

 More of the Smokies and Cades Cove

    On Wednesday we went to the Lumberjack dinner show. See The show was fun with a good meal. The meal was chicken, ribs, beans, mac and cheese and desert, with unlimited ice tea. We really enjoyed the 3 Labrador retrieves in the show. They were rescues and trained for the show and performance was super.

      Thursday we took a ride to Cades cove in the National Park. Its is a beautiful ride in the Smokies. We toured this area back in 20-----. The ride has some spectacular views of the mountains. The only wildlife we saw was a few turkeys. But we knew  the middle of the day is not the best time to see any wildlife. We got up and at the  last minute we decided to take a ride. It was a nice ride with stops in Townsands and Wear Valley, doing the touristy thing. A total of about 60 miles. We are sure glad we have the HHR and its great gas mileage.
     Friday we went to Gatlinburg to Ober Gatlinburg. See  The tram ride up to the top is 2.1 miles long with great views of the town and the mountains. The tram cars are suppose to hold 120 passengers. No way . We had maybe 50 people and it was full. Maybe 120 "Twiggy's",but not 120 good old boys. At the top there is an amusement area, and indoor ice skating rink, shops and restaurant's. Plus there is a wildlife encounter area. This was SUPER.     There were 2 baby black bears that were born in Jan. and weighed 2 1/2 lbs that we enjoyed watching for about an hour. They were with their mother. It was special watching them. There were other animals there, but the baby bears stoled the show. Next we took the scenic chairlift up even higher in the mountains. The first time we got off about half way up to ride the Alpine Slide down. This is like a sled on wheels. It was fun. Then we got back on the chairlift and went all the way to the top. Here you have to get off. We spent some time just admiring the mountains. Then we got back on the chair lift for the ride down. It looks a lot steeper going down. When we got to the base we then got back on the tram for the trip back to our starting point in downtown Gatlinburg. Check out their web site for more information.  

The Bears stoled the show

The Tram car, the center 2 pictures are the Alpine Slide, the chair lift, us at the top

    WOW playing tourist is tiring. Glad we have to go to work tomorrow. It will be less tiring. Never thought in our previous life work could be a respit. But we are making the most of our time here in the smokies.
    Starting 2012 our blog had 8500 hits. We are now over 16000 as of 5/23/12.


  1. NIce photos. Really love the old buildings, and the bear cubs.