More of the Smokies

Trip Start May 03, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005

FR - Drove to Forbidden Caverns in Seivierville for a 1 hr tour seeing stalactites, stalagmites, grottos and even an underground stream. We learned that these caves were named by the Indians and that during the 20's it was used to make moonshine. After that we went to an "As Seen on TV" store which was a severe disappointment having none of the good things I'd seen advertised only some old stuff like Clappers and Igea products - stuff than nobody wanted the first time. I looked for a Flowbe but didn't find one :-)
SAT - We went horseback riding at Davie Crokett stables. We had wanted the Smokey Mt Stables because they go inside the Nat'l Forest but we went the wrong way on Rt 321 and by the time we realized our mistake, it was too late to turn back so we stopped in a gas station for directions and found one close to where we were. I had a horse named Pat and John rode on Samson. It was a nice ride through forest and field. In our party was a woman who was getting married that afternoon - in about 4 hours! Most of her family was there so I guess they would understand if the wedding had to be delayed. Two little girls kept letting their horses eat. I think they (the horses) know when an inexperienced person is at the reins.
John likes more citified things so after riding we went to town and saw a car show. Lots to drool over there. He bought a new straw hat too - mighty dashing. Dinner was at the Alabama restaurant which is located right next to Louise Mandrells Theater. They had a much smaller menu and no Alabama Moonshine like the last one, but it was a nice dinner. The waitress even gave us a 10% discount on an expired coupon. The highlight of the day was Louise's concert. Two hours of nonstop entertainment with lots of costume changes. It was a variety style with a large band and singers and dancers. We got our picture taken with her and bought a DVD of the nights performance which I plan to share. Digital is wonderful. They had the DVD's 15 minutes after the end of the show. I was surprised by her frequent references to God and praising Him - singing some hymns. She thanked all the vets in the audience and talked about being a greeter at the morning worship service that she opens her theater up to every Sunday.
SUN - Sunday started with Mass at Holy Cross. It was the 1st time I had seen Mass delayed while 2 bus loads of physically and mentally challenged people from St Louis found seats. At the end of Mass the priest asked all visitors to stand and gave them a special travelers blessing. So nice. After that we sent to a small Mom and Pop restaurant. The service as the worst ever! The waitress didn't show up and we waited about an hour for our food. That started John off wrong but we went on to a hike up to Laurel Falls. It was nice but too crowded for our preferences. We tried to go to Clingmans Dome again but got rained out again and ended up in Gatlinburg taking the tram up the mountain and then the ski lift all the way to the top of the mountain. There was a singing trio playing at the top with two guitars and a banjo. They were pretty good so we decided to stay a while and listen. John decided it was time to leave and so we headed back down the mountain in just the knick of time because it started to drizzle. The Amish folks up there did not have such good timing and by the time they came back down the mountain it was in a full downpour. We had a good view of their predicament because we went to the ski lodge to have a snack and could watch as each of them came down the hill. We had our picture taken at the top of the lift and bought it. It's a nice shot - from a vantage point that I would not have been able to get. Once again, I just wish the weather would have co-operated a bit more to show more of the mountain scenery behind us but I guess that's what you get when you're so high up in the clouds.
John and I have been amazed by the cheap motel prices we see advertised in this town and on the way home I actually saw a motel with rooms for $15.50/night. I just had to take a picture of the sign to remind myself how good the Tides was to us. And, a couple yards down the road there was a different motel and for just .45 more you could have breakfast!
MON - This was a special day because we were able to spend the whole day at Cades Cove. This time going to every building on the tour. We took lots of pictures! John said he'd been to more churches in one day than in his whole lifetime :-). I walked his legs off. Cable Mill was my favorite one. It is still working using nothing but water power and has real wooden gears running the thing. They are greased with cow fat!
TU - We drove 2 1/2 hours back to Monterey to close the deal on the 5 acres. They sure do things differently up here. It was a simple transaction done through a window in a lawyers office. No one ever asked John for identification. The owner took a check and then we went over to the Registers Office and changed the deed. After that John and I walked the perimeter of the property to find the survey markers. We satisfied ourselves that they're all there and were pleased that we didn't get any ticks this time. Of course that could be because we used deet this time. See, I really am trainable. We will have to go back in the fall when all the leaves clear out to get a better lay of the land but we have a pretty good idea of where the driveway should go.
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