Riley and Davis at Silver Dollar City

Riley and Davis at Silver Dollar City

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Great Smoky Mountains Family Vacation

In July we drove to Pigeon Forge, TN for our first major family vacation. I was honestly really nervous about the long drive. I was worried about not having enough to do, or too much to do.
But it went really well. And as much as I love the Rocky Mountains and I thought I might be dissapointed, the Smoky Mountains are beautiful. Quick rundown of our trip, the day we arrived we did a short auto-loop through one of the closer entraces to the park. The next day we drove around and explored a bit farther even going to our highest point of the trip. The next morning we went to Dollywood for a short time, but it was just okay. We spent that evening doing some exploring in Gatlinburg. The third morning we went to Dollywood Splash Country, which was amazing (and undocumented because I didn't take my camera). Our fourth and final "full day" we drove the Cades Cove wildlife loop. And the fifth day was the long drive home (although we left early enough to have lunch in Mid-Missouri).
Our Cabin home for the week

Cozy and perfect!

Should have taken a picture of the vaulted ceilings

First picture of rushing water (there are 150 more)
Lush, green, wet.  Beautiful.
An early settlers cabin
The Bud Ogle Cabin
Exploring the barn on the homestead
Happy "Campers"
At most of the "Scenic View" stops there were several people
Staircase of tree roots
Lower elevations, these are just called "hilltops" there.
Each of the kids got their own camera for vacation
The fam and rushing water!
Official Entrance
"A Wonder of the World"
No jagged edges here
Wish I could hear the water now
The family truckster
Getting up a bit higher now
Why head to Maine, when Sweat Heifer Creek is just ahead
"Hiking" the Appalachian Trail on a foggy morning
Look we are in two states at once!
On a clear day this western view is 100 miles, today is is 2 feet (that is fog not a fuzzy picture)
At 6642 feet!
This trail took us to the high point, you change 400 feet of elevation in a half mile
Sassy poses in the ferns
A more serious explorer
One of our favorite views
The original crafts remaining from when it was SDC Tenn are all marked
Dollywood wagon shop
Wilderness Church at Dollywood
There are several Bald Eagles in a preservation program at Dollywood
This is Pilgrim, the oldest Eagle
Blazing Fury, or as we called it, Fire in the Hole with no water.
In the "Eagles Nest"
Girls with the Butterfly
Letting Riley take me for a spin
Davis drove Daddy
At the Ireland store in Dollywood
Grist Mill
Think I could do this arrangement on our lamppost?
BIG train.  (But no robbery)
The carousel is beautiful, but the only pic I got was the rooster (Davis rode a deer and Riley a leaping horse)
On the route to Cade Cove
First deer of the morning
First bear of the day
Same bucks
Got all five in the one
Watched this guy bed down, even though he was being pestered
Momma with 2 cubs
Momma digging for grubs
Another bear
Momma and cubs again
Panoramic view

Still pool near the rushing water
Back toward the steeper areas of the park
On a walk near the main entrance
Kings of the "mountain"
Very cold water!
Overlooking part of Gatlinburg

1 comment:

  1. All these pictures look amazing. Can I come next time? Pretty please.