Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Smoky Mountains Vacation
All these years, we have taken the kids to Disney World on vacation. Mostly because I have family and friends in the Orlando area that I like to see now and then. Plus, we are all Disney-a-holics and enjoy our time there. But this year, I wanted something different.

I needed the mountains. So, I talked the hubby into a Smoky Mountain vacation.

For those in the southern states and beyond, the Smokies are a popular vacation and honeymoon destination. I visited there when I was younger and fell in love with the area.

So, since hubby doesn't like primitive camping, we ended up renting an RV at Smoky Bear Campground for a week. He had his air conditioning and I had my fire pit and forests. You can see details of the RV park at an earlier post.

Our first expedition was to Clingman's Dome in the middle of the national park. From the parking lot, a paved trail leads up the peak to an observation deck which gives the visitor a 360 degree view off the mountain.

For me, it was a long, hard, walk uphill. I am out of shape and have asthma, but I made it and it was totally worth the exhaustion. The view is gorgeous and even though it was hazy, we could still see for miles in every direction. If you want more info about Clingman's Dome, you should check out this is very informative. It gives you basic info on the mountain peak, such as...

1. Clingman's Dome is the highest point in Tennessee at 6,643 feet above sea level.

2. Half of the summit is on Tennessee and the other half is on North Carolina

3. The Appalachian Trail crosses Clingmans Dome, marking the highest point along its journey from Georgia to Maine

Some of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains National Park, besides hiking, is to go driving along the many scenic roads in the park. One that we found not too far from our campground is Greenbrier Road which follows the Little Pigeon River up into the mountains. There are many places to stop along the river and get out to take pictures, swim, or just relax. The entire trip takes place in the forests. It's like being in a dark, green tunnel.

At one end of the road you can find the trailhead to Ramsay Cascades. It is 8-hours roundtrip, so we passed that up as I wasn't able to make it all of the way. However, just driving along the road and seeing the rapids and small pools was enough for us. I got some awesome photographs of the area and we met some nice people on their way up to see the waterfall.

Seeing as I am having problems adding more pictures, I will stop here and resume tomorrow. Maybe by then, the problem will have been resolved.
Copyright Dana 2005
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Name: Dana
Location: Chicago, and if y'all call me a Yankee, I'll have to cyber-smack ya'!

I'm just a mom of two, a crafter of jewelry, and to keep my sanity among the Yankees (kidding)I write southern-themed poetry, short stories and memoirs. I have been published on the web on sites such as USA Deep South, Southern Humorists, Muscadine Lines - A Southern Journal, Mosaic Minds and Long Story Short. I am also a contributor in Dew on the Kudzu and Weight-Loss where I write dieting humor.

And this is my blog... Kudzu, funny family stories, poems, family ghosts, snakes, sun-kissed southern memories all inside! Plus some travel reviews, recipes and more! I also make handcrafted jewelry! Check out my jewelry blog - Colors of the Woods

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Copyright  2005 Dana Sieben - All Rights Reserved

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"I believe that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you can not baptize cats." - Larry the Cable Guy

A Tennessee man and an Alabama man were both fighting in a war and were captured by the enemy.
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"Yes," said the Alabaman. "Could you play 'Yeah, Alabama' before you shoot me?"
"Sure," said the enemy. "How about you, Tennessean?"
"Could you shoot me before you play 'Yeah, Alabama?'"

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