Wednesday, September 23, 2009
We said goodbye to the Gambones around 9:20 and started on our long day of scenic driving. Our drive from Hendersonville to Gatlinburg took about 8 hours because we stopped at many overlooks for pictures. The Blue Ridge Parkway is spectacular. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is only about 30 miles from north to south. The Tennessee/North Carolina border runs along the ridge of the mountains. We drove to the Clingmans Dome area and walked a steep 1/2 mile walk to an observation tower with 360 degree views. The views were “smoky,” and we were walking in the clouds. We heard a couple funny comments on our walk. On the way up, a man said to us as we were resting on a bench “It’s so quiet up here--all you can hear is people panting.” On the way down, a lady going up asked us if there was a Dairy Queen at the top.
We arrived in Gatlinburg a little after 5:00 and checked into the Edgewater Hotel. Gatlingburg is a tourist town--it’s like a combination of Branson and the Wisconsin Dells. We had dinner at Friday’s and on the way back to the hotel we bought some fudge for dessert. We drove 177 miles today and walked a little over 4 miles.
Blue Ridge Parkway - Cowee Mountains Overlook
We had another beautiful day today for our sightseeing. The temperature was in the 60s in the high elevations and reached the low 80s in the afternoon at the lower elevations. We traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Near Hendersonville - Looking Glass Waterfall
Blue Ridge Parkway - The Cradle of Forestry Overlook
Blue Ridge Parkway - Funnel Top
Blue Ridge Parkway - East Fork Overlook
Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway - Yellow Face
Blue Ridge Parkway - Waterrock Knob
Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Clingmans Dome
Great Smoky Mountains National Park - From Clingmans Dome
Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Clingmans Dome Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Newfound Gap
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