Our first walk in the woods

Trip Start Aug 05, 2009
Trip End Aug 17, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Sunday, August 9, 2009

We arrived in Gatlinburg last night after fighting an immense, intense amount of traffic through Sevierville and Pigeon Forge.  Let it be known: I do not find these two towns to be enjoyable destinations.  They are a strange fusion of stripmall alley in Crystal Lake combined with Wisconsin Dells combined with Universal Studios.  Everything in these towns is on the same road, so the traffic is out of control--as too is the case in Gatlinburg, but at least Gatlinburg is cute and doesn't have any stripmalls.  The Red Roof Inn we are staying at is just fine.  It's off the main strip (a good thing) but walking distance to anywhere you need to go.  We also have a little balcony overlooking the creek behind the hotel.

This morning we visited the Flapjacks Pancake Cabin.  Gatlinburg has an intense number of pancake houses, cabins and pantries.  I didn't want to eat pancakes in a pantry, and since we are staying in the mountains, we figured the cabin was the way to go.  Very scientific process.  They were good, very good, and gave us both a sugar rush followed by a food coma to remember. 

After a post-pancake recovery nap we met Megan from A Walk in the Woods-a tour guide service that provides all sorts of walks and hikes throughout the Smokies.  We went through the Greenbriar section of the park and saw some of the original settlements in this area of the mountains.  Megan is studying to be an herbalist and gave us a lot of great information on the native plant species in the area.  She also has a small start up tea company: www.taprootteas.com.

Tonight we are going to go out in style to the Smokey Mountain Brewery!  Can't wait for the sampler :)

It is with great excitement that we begin our backpacking expedition!  More upon our return from the backcountry!
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