Thursday, October 13, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
We tried to pick the perfect time to drive the Blue Ridge PKW NC when the foliage is at full and before the color fade off or the leaves start to fall of the trees, well it looks that we did a good job except on Mt.Mitchel (the highest peak on the PKW)that was covered with clouds.
The drive started at Ashville and ended at Linville Falls and covered 110M which took us a a full day including the hikes to the falls, many stops, picnic and the drive back to our C.G in Lake Powhatan near Ashville NC.
I do not have the talent, words or vocabulary to describe what we saw, experience or felt so I will let the slide show “Talk for itself”.
6 Oct-12 Oct
October is considered a high season in the area due to the foliage colors on the trees, we felt it first hand when we were turned down trying to reserve 2 sites on line in Lake Powhatan C.G –“No reserve sites are available” was the response on the website “Only first come first served”…. So we took off at 9AM from Pigeon Forge taking the scenic route north of the smoke's and arrived at 11:30 Am to the C.G.
After checking the bookings we finally got 2 spots with electrical hook-ups but in different loops, we thanked the ladies and after an hour got settled in this beautiful C.G recommended by “wheeling it”-Thanks Nina.
The rest of the day we spent in beautiful Ashville downtown, the town is full with bars, restaurants, nice shops and many young people- the city is ALIVE and exciting.
As the sun was getting low we took advantage of a great place to sit and have a huge pie (like a pizza) with a pint of beer and salad, it was the right thing in the right time…What a day…
On 7 Oct we took off to the beautiful Chimney Rock N.P and town.
I do not want to go into the physical fitness of the people climbing all those hundred of stairs (the elevator was out of order) but the view from the top is OUTSTANDING…and very rewarding.
Collage of the Chimney Rock
By the time we got off the Rock we were ready for our picnic that was waiting for us in the cool box in the truck, finding a nice place for picnic was the easiest task of the day and we sat by the creek and enjoyed it while looking up to the Rock with satisfaction.
A great ice cream parlour in the beautiful small town of Chimney Rock supplied us exactly what we needed to top our picnic meal.
The “Lady “ on my GPS took us back “home” using back scenic roads full of fields, hills and changing color leaves…..I put a Luis Armstrong song ”What a wonderful world” and felt exactly as he when singing these words.
8 Oct-We headed to Old Fort and Marion NC,Old Fort has a long history where a battle took place against the British and the Cherokee people, a nice museum and a small Fort that is renovated these days tell the story of the place.
In Marion there was a fest going on with vendors, food and music all this in a beautiful village and great weather.
In the evening we built a fire enjoyed each other’s company till the wood ran out…
9 Oct-We shopped in the huge Farmer’s Market, visited the beautiful colourful Baltimore old village and went to a Bonsai show where everyone treated the plant like it is their only child..-they were impressive and beautiful plants.
Black Mountains area NC
How much can one push his luck???? The weather changed and it poured all night and the next day as well, but is this small detail going to close us in the trailer? No way, we took off to Hot Springs NC and enjoyed one hour soaking in a hot tub in front of a river in the small well located community of Hot Springs.
A waitress with a heavy Southern accent in the local dinner served us with the local juicy burger and some cold tea, it took us a while to understand her but it was kind of charming.
There was no trace of the moister on the next day, the sky was blue cloudless and the beautiful communities of Black Mountain and Montreat were perfect for a short day visit.
Black Mountain NC has one main street packed with small stores, coffee shops and a nostalgic atmosphere surrounded with mountains all around what makes it even more attractive.
Montreat is just few minutes away from Black Mountain also nestled between the mountain range is a attracting people to retreat in its outstanding Inn next to a lake and the foliage at this time only adds to its beauty.
This ends our week stay in Ashville area which continually supplied us with great vistas, drives; hikes, falls and great nature-it sure is located in one of the most beautiful places in the area, so we are saying Sayonara….and not GOOD BYE..
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Pigeon Forge TN
26 Sep-5 Oct
We drove with our two 5W from Whittier NC –South entrance Smoky Mountain N.P to Pigeon Forge TN at the North entrance of Smoky Mountains N.P using Hwy 441through the beautiful park, we even managed to park at the State cross line outlook point and take all the beautiful nature in for half an hour before continuing to the information center and the C.G.
The C.G is a small nice place with full hook ups, WiFi and cable TV close to the main drag in Pigeon Forge (20 $ for P.A members).
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are nice small towns with many restaurants, rides and hotels, but the main thing is being close the North entrance to Smoky Mountain N.P.
Our Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) this year is on 28 Sep, so we headed downtown to get some groceries for the evening traditional dinner, while the girls were preparing it we the boys did all king of work on the toys just not to get in their way.
The next day we drove to Little River Road in the park and hiked 2.5 miles to Laurel falls, it was a nice popular easy hike, it was unusual for us to see as many people on this trek-there is still hope…
After we had our picnic we spent 3 hours wondering through the nice, colourful and interesting Gatlinburg town, it can easy be called a “tourist trap” –but it is a nice one.
You can spend endless time in the Smokie’s and not see it all, so we chose the highlights:
*Hiked 2.5 Miles round trip to Laurel Falls- recommended.
*Scenic drives in Cades Cove and hiked 5 Miles round trip to Abrams Falls, on the way back we saw a bear crossing the road and one on a tree having his dinner- Recommended.
*Saw 2 Musical shows, not the best….
*Took a day off for laundry, getting supplies, washing the toys and reading a book (an important day..)
*Hiked 5 miles round-trip to Grotto Falls, very beautiful, can walk behind the falls-recommended, after the hike we drove to Clingmans Dome the highest point in the park and it was snowing and very cold for the first time this season, the view was fantastic, white top trees could be seen together with green and red colors and the whole atmosphere felt like Xmas, we also saw a mama bear with 2 calves on trees feeding from the berries and getting ready for the winter, as we descended back to Pigeon Forge the temperatures bounced back to normal and all the “magic” disappeared.
*Hiked 8 Miles round trip to Ramsey Cascades-excellent trek all the way next to a river crossing it 3 times on bridges– very recommended.
*Dollywood-we never thought to go to Dollywood but-next to me was a 5W that had a slide problem, his kitchen slide did not go all the way inn, I pulled his kitchen draws out and guess what I found-I big torchlight that was laying between the slide and the wall that prevented the slide to go all the way, it seems that it was left there since the 5W left the factory-any how the 5W owner and his wife were working in Dollywood and gave us a free pass worth 120$ …..It is always good to GIVE it always pays ….
I cannot even start to describe the beauty of each hike and site, so take a look at the slideshow.