By design, we took a minor detour on our way to Charleston, SC. We’ve always enjoyed the Smokies (although it ranks a distant 4th on my list of favorite national parks). But it’s nice in the spring and the crowds aren’t too bad. This time, however, it was a bit of a mistake.
We usually stay in Gatlinburg. Once we stayed in Townsend, where it’s a lot quieter, but there are more restaurants in Gatlinburg. The place is kind of ticky – tacky, but for 2 nights, what the hell. Generally, the easiest way to get to Gatlinburg is through an even tackier place called Pigeon Forge (home of Dollywood). On this particular weekend, however, some kind of major car show gathering was in town. Talk about a gigantic mess. It took us about 5 hours to go the first 340 miles of the trip and about 3 hours to go the last 15 miles (no joke). Not my idea of fun.
Today it rained. Which isn’t a bad thing for photography, but it got a little messy. At least the picture gives you some idea of how the Smokies got their name. This is, by the way, the most visited national park in the system. And it’s definitely showing signs of wear and tear.
Tomorrow it’s on to Charleston. According to the current forecast, we can expect strong to severe storms when we get there. Yippee. But it gets better after that. At least we’re on the road. It beats sitting home vegetating.