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****NOTICE **** Click on any photo to enlarge it.

We have added a few miles to Old Blue (Dodge Ram Truck) since my last post. After leaving Nashville, TN we ran across Tennessee to the Great Smoky Mountains. What a trip!

Our first stop was lunch (imagine that) at Ruby Tuesdays in Marysville. Then a stop at Krogers to replenish our frig with fresh produce. Then we wound around the back roads through small towns to the entrance to the park. The Sugarland Visitors Center was packed with people and wonderful exhibits we didn’t get to browse through due to our time limit. It was hitting very late afternoon and we had to climb to 5000 feet and 27 miles of twisty road. There were three tunnels we had to go through, one of which took us below the road we would loop back on.

The views we found of the mountains were breath-taking. Trees, trees and more trees surround us.

Our campground, Smokemount was almost to the end of the road that ends in Cherokee, NC. Our space was very private and we could hear the Oconaluftee River that ran through the campground. We were still in the trees though. Total coverage. I am missing the sunshine!

Some of these photos were taken at Mile High Campground where it was still cold and the spring wildflowers were just coming up. Most trees hadn’t leafed out yet.

We did drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. Found this shop on the other side of the mountains.

Beside the Frog Jam advertised on the sign, to the left of the sign are racks and racks of dishes for sale.

We toured a gist mill (Mingus Mill) that was built in 1869.

Mountain Laurel was everywhere!

We went to Deep Creek to hike the trail to some waterfalls. What a great hike and the weather was overcast and not so hot.

We drove over to Bryce City to get to the hike and found us a little Ice Cream Parlor.

We were told not to miss hiking to the Dome. We took the morning and a picnic lunch and off we went to find the Dome. The wind was blowing pretty good when we got there and the sky was overcast. Not a good day to go see a 360 degree view of the mountains.

The hike is only 5 tenths of a mile long. That is probably the only good thing I can say about it. Oh, except for the benches they put in at every tenth of a mile. It was very, very steep – up. When I got to .4 of a mile I had gotten over being winded and finished the hike in pretty good shape. I also stopped to walk some on the Appalachia trail.

  We even ran across this huge Harrah’s Casino in Cherokee and look who was playing there.

We had a wonderful time here. Life is awesome (when not in a tornado warning!) We are seeing places we have only heard about and what a fun adventure this year is turning out to be!

God Bless You All…..

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