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About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen, the baby of our family.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Last Day in the Smokies

Good morning,

All good things must come to an end.   We have been very fortunate with weather for our visit to The Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee, North Carolina.

The bear above was outside our hotel.  I had looked at it so many times as we came and went from our hotel and finally got a picture just before we headed home.
The weather was overcast and there was a rain drop from time to time.

It was only a few moments after we pulled out of Cherokee, North Carolina, before we stopped along the road to take pictures of this mountain stream.

Here's a short video of the water rushing past us.
Further on the road we stopped again.  This sign explains what happened here in the Smokies in 1910, the year my mother was born. 
The forest was literally stripped of its lumber before the land was bought and protected to become a National Park.  Mother Nature has returned the forest to us.
Looking straight down the mountainside from the road, the colors were still quite brilliant.
More signs and more information.  This one explains how the altitude of the mountains were determined. 
The various mountains were named for the men who did the measuring.
This stop was especially fascinating.
It is cold and windy up here.  I can only imagine how hard life in these mountains must have been.
On down the road the picture post cards just jumped out at us. 
 I took this image to put the trees into size perspective.  My Honey isn't holding that tree up;  he is leaning against it to brace for a good photo.
 We drove a few more miles and the sun finally peeked through the clouds.  When we rounded the corner and saw the above sight we immediately pulled off to take pictures.
 The scene was so pretty it was downright dangerous.  After we had pulled in many more cars came screeching into the parking area to stop and also get pictures.  It was just so gorgeous that it was a MUST stop.
 This is the next stop, overlooking...
 ...Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  The bypass is the way to go unless your destination is downtown Gatlinburg.
 Back on the road, through a tunnel, and soon we found ourselves...
 ...driving through Pigeon Forge. 
 I remember the old days when the road was only two lanes, one each way.  Now it it an eight lane highway so those who want to stop and do tourist things can do so and those who don't, don't have to.  ;)

 We stopped.  First we went to a leather store where we had stopped before.  I am in the market for a new purse.  The store was great, but didn't have a purse I wanted to buy.
Then we stopped for lunch at a pancake restaurant so ordered breakfast.  The picture above and the next one were taken with my Blackberry, obviously while the food was in motion.  :)
 When we ordered ham, eggs, and pancakes, we had no idea how huge the portions would be.  We should have ordered one serving and split it, but we didn't.  Wow. 

After that lunch we managed to stay awake, drive through Kentucky, and home to Cincinnati.
 We had so much fun on this trip, but as always, there is no place like home.

I hope you've enjoyed traveling with us once again.

Very best,



Wanda..... said...

Lovely post, Lois...so reminiscent of my youth...traveling those beautiful mountain roads to visit grandparents and later trips to the South. Always good to see that Cincinnati Skyline though!

Montanagirl said...

Great post, Lois. Beautiful mountains and scenery - and well, that breakfast was a sight to behold!

Jo said...

Oh Lois, It has been many many moons since I traveled the route that you posted about. I so appreciate the photos because they served to remind me of the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. I really do need to make a real effort to get JD on a road trip there. Coming from Louisiana and so much flat land, he calls our rolling hills of Southern Ohio, "Mountains". He really needs to see the real thing.

Anonymous said...

Loved listening to the creek water running! Very relaxing and so pretty! Beautiful views! That breakfast looked fit for a KING! yummo!! Enjoyed your photos! ...debbie

Diana said...

Just beautiful Lois! I would love to take this trip one day! That breakfast alone looked like it was worth the trip!! Love Di ♥

Elaine said...

What a gorgeous drive you had! It looks like you picked the perfect time of year too. The Smokies are definitely on my list of must-see!

Sarah Knight said...

Looks like a fabulous and beautiful trip, particularly the park.
That shark on the building made me giggle :D

Anonymous said...

We have gone through the Smokies, like you did to Cherokee and enjoyed it. In our trips it was just a two lane road. Lots of curves and beautiful scenes.

Also, the huge breakfast there reminds me that it happened to us in 1967 in Montana. Out in the wilderness areas we stayed at a motel that was primitive at best and for breakfast, the next morning we went to an adjacent small town and their one restaurant. I ordered ham and eggs and toast. I don't remember what the kids got or the wife but mine came and it was on what looked like a steak plate. Covered with eggs and a whole ham slice. i was flabbergasted.

Lois Evensen said...

Good morning,

That trip to the Smokies was just wonderful. I am so glad we have all the pictures, too, because it will surely be different the next time we return. I'm glad you've enjoyed our trip with us.

Welcome, Sarah, and thank you to everyone for stopping by.

Very best,

Kate said...

Beautiful photos, and beautiful thoughts about such a wonderful part of our country! (You have a lovely blog!)

Kate said...

You have a lovely blog, Lois -- Your photos of the Smokies are stunning!