#56 Great Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

October 24, 2006

105 miles

At 6:30 am when I peeked outside, there was Frost on the Fleeter and 32 degrees outside.
I think this would mean we might have a cold day ahead so I went back to bed. Maybe it will be warmer next time I wake up.

The sun came out and it turned into a great day to be astride! The fingers still get a bit cold...even with liners and winter gloves, but it was a world of difference from yesterday. The temperature warmed up from 39 degrees while a I was packing, to 42 degrees by the time I made it 50 miles down the road. I saw the sign ... Great Smoky Mountains ... that way. So that way is where I went. The sun felt so good, I decided to take a detour and extend my day on two wheels

By mid-day, I was in Pigeon Forge heading to Gatlinburg. First, I stopped by the new visitor center in Sevierville to get a park map and a stamp.
This is a special place I found last year when I was looking for an out of the way place for Fritz to piddle.
I was compelled to go visit it again...it's still a special place.
While I was there, these local women came up to check the view. So it seems that the locals know about it too. (They are from Kodak, TN.) I thought I was going to be chased away since it wasn't public property, but they were just there like me...to enjoy the view.
That's where we were...up on that hill.
Alabama keeps showing up...here is their tour bus in Pigeon Forge.
(They also showed in Fleeter Log #40)
Wonderworks is a theater turned upside down in Pigeon Forge.

Upside down buildings to camels...you could see anything in Pigeon Forge!
There's plenty of entertainment in Pigeon Forge, but it's a little too commercial for me. I want to get on to the park.
Made it to the Smokies!
The visitor center at Gatlinburg. Got another stamp here...

Looking down on Gatlinburg, TN.
Notice the Space Needle? It's 342 feet high, but it looks kinda short down there...

Sugarlands Visitor Center...another stamp.
I think I saw all these...all over the place!
That there is snow on the mountain! Ain't life great!
As long as it stays up there and not on the roads where I'm riding.
Someone offered... so I posed.
Downtown Gatlinburg, TN.
Remember seeing the space needle somewhere before?
Here we go down a small loop road.

Good thing this is a one way road. That or it is meant for motorcycles...
The sun is out, but the trees are so dense...
It started getting a bit cool again down in the shadows away from the warming rays of the sun.
We had a bit of a traffic jam back a ways when some black bears were spotted. Everyone stopped to watch and take pictures. We had a bear jam for sure! I wasn't in a good place to maneuver the camera...sorry no bear pictures.

But I did better when I saw the wild turkeys.
Hopefully you won't get tired of seeing my pictures of trees and mountains...
I didn't get tired of the roads, views, or photo ops.

Past the scenic overlook and back to our small loop road...
This small road crossed several streams...

..and passed a small water fall.
This angle gives you an idea of the roads I have just been traveling.
This one is a bit wider since it's a two lane road outside the park. Check out that drop off...
I find home for tonight up the road in Newport, TN.
Home is a less expensive when you get away from the busy touristy areas.

Ying today, Yang tomorrow...

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