The Smoky Mountains

Trip Start Oct 07, 2013
Trip End Oct 20, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Thursday, October 10, 2013

When planning this road trip, I read that the Smoky Mountains have twice the number of visitors at Yosemite and Yellowstone combined. How could we not detour and go only 6 hours in the wrong direction to visit? The Smokies are part of the Appalachian Mountains and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I booked us at the fabulous Lodge at Buckberry Creek. It's so nice when your accommodations are even more fantastic than you expect. A 40 room log cabin environment, our terrace looks over the beautiful Smokies as we sit in our Adirondack chairs enjoying the view.

So what's the problem then?

To start, this 3-state park is a Federal Park (Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia) and is completely shut down due to the government shutdown. So there was no riding or hiking available within the park. Thankfully we had beautiful vistas from our lodge and could view the early morning "smoke" which is actually emissions from the thousands of trees in the park and very high humidity and precipitation.

The worst part though, was that there has been no regulation of businesses and activities within the entire area. Envision Disneyland, Orlando and Disney World and a hundred other amusement parks thrown together (taking out all of the high end Disney rides) throw in every conceivable low end motel/hotel and fast food joint, carnivals for the kiddies every few blocks, Dollyland,and you get the picture. Tacky, crowded and ugly. We got so depressed, we decided to take a gondola ride to the top of the mountain. When we arrived, there was a complete amusement park at the top, with barriers all around so you couldn't even see the trees. Horrible!!!

So we enjoyed our accommodations, but are looking forward to leaving early tomorrow morning For Nashville and hoping the balance of our trip will not be so commercialized!
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Mark on

Not how I pictured the Smoky Mountains. Oy. All we have going on here that's shut down and stupid is the BART strike.

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