Gateway to the Smokey Mountains
Trip Start Aug 16, 2009
66Trip End Dec 25, 2009
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Gatlinburg is a gateway to Smokey Mountain National Park and on this day was a busy little place.
Not the most memorable Thanksgiving but at least we had turkey and cranberries, well a turkey sandwich with cranberries and no turkey hangover the next day.
At breakfast the room was filled with a jr. high school football team and families in town for a tournament. Once they left peace returned and we made our plan for the next couple of days so that we will be able to see Nancy's cousin, Carol. She and her husband live north of Memphis, which is still 6-8 hours away, and as it happens they are leaving Sunday afternoon to come to Gatlinburg
The first "town" and I use the term loosely is Pigeon Forge. First we wonder how it came to be named Pigeon Forge and next we wonder what exactly it is because it isn’t really a town, at least not in the normal sense. We saw no “town center”, what we did see were mile after mile after mile of amusement park rides, arcades, water parks, restaurants, motels, more arcades, it was like a Las Vegas strip for kids only bigger, it stretches on for about 14 miles or so it seemed. It was fairly busy this day and we couldn’t even imagine being anywhere near the area in summertime, the crowds would be overwhelming.
Finally through Pigeon Forge, which by the way sits on the Pigeon River, we move onto the interstate and enter the beautiful green rolling hills of Tennessee. We leave the highway at Crossville, a small town where we stop to replenish Nancy’s supply of books and for lunch at a small café that served up a delicious meal. We are heading to Fall Creek Falls State Park for the night drawn by the water falls of course. It is a 22,478-acre park with virgin hardwood timber, chasms and the striking fall creek falls plunging 285 feet
We begin to set up camp and as George is refilling the water tank, he knocks on the window for me to come outside. As soon as I open the door I hear the distinctive calls of trumpeter swans and looking up see them flying over the campground in formation, heading toward the warmth of a more southern location. It was quite a sight to see and to hear.