Travel

The Smoky Mountain Adventure

Last weekend was the tail end of my spring break and J and I took a trip to the Smoky Mountain National park with our friends JE and Er.  The weather was supposed to be rainy with a chance of flurries, but we decided to risk it anyway. We were going to leave early friday morning and get to the park by the afternoon but anyone who knows me and J knows that we are incapable of waking up before noon. But we did manage to get up by 10, pack up the car , drop off  the laylster at the kennel and hit the road by 1. We took a leisurly drive and then as we got close to the the NC side of the park, we made an error. I did not realize that our campsite – Cosby was in the Tennessee section of the park and was only accessible through only one park entrance. So J and I ended up driving through the highest points of the park, in the dark, while it snowed and with a thick fog ( they don’t call it smoky for nothing). We then had to drive through Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas and finally we made it into Cosby campground by 8.

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Friday night, after its been set up

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By now it was pitch dark and JE and ER had already set up their camp and ER was trying to put up a shelter with some tarps and ropes so that we could make a campfire. We were also the only ones in a campsite that had about 40 sites. It really felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. The boys got busy and finished the shelter and then finally made a fire. We ate bratwursts and baked beans straight out of the can for dinner and I swear, it was the best meal ever. The heavy rainfall continued, while we decided to call it a night. It was a good thing we had extra sleeping bags and blankets because we had another surprise in store.

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Our tents

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The campgrounds

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We look squatters or refugees

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The next morning, when I opened my eyes, I noticed white chunks on our tent and when I looked out, I saw snow everywhere. The boys once again were heroes and set to drying up the firewood and starting another fire and we had breakfast. The temperature had dropped severely and we decided to pack up and head out of the campground. We had a lunch at a cute little apple orchard, that had a store and a diner and ER and JE decided to head home. After much J and I decided to stay for the whole weekend. We spent the afternoon exploring some of the park and went on a hike to Laurel falls. For the night, we bargained ourselves a $40 motel room, that had not been updated since the 70s, it had green shag carpet, and wood panelling, very retro chic!

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Cemetery close to the campground, lots worn out gravestones

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Laurel Falls

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A view of the park from a ridge

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That night we hit the town and all we found were tourist traps like Ripley’s believe it or not and stores that sold medieval knives and other weapons, crazy airgun shops ( i actually thought that some were real) and super christian tee shirts. There were no bars in the town, but tons of violent imagery and weapons. Go figure. We were forced to have an early night.

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Cades Cove

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A primitive Baptist church

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Cemetery with some civil war gravestones

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The next morning, J and I explored Cade’s Cove, a wide valley which used to have a community of farmers. The valley was beautiful, dotted with meadows and old historic buildings and tons of deer. We checked out a few cemeteries with some civil war gravestones and then headed home after our grand adventure.

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