Monday, May 2, 2016

On the way to Gatlinburg

The road to Gatlinburg runs through Sevierville, then Pigeon Forge (remember Dollywood?), with virtually no way to escape the traffic headed for all the fun and games associated.  It took nearly as long to traverse those two little towns as it did to get there from Kentucky.  Finally got to Gatlinburg, which is literally trapped between the river and the mountains, with primarily one very long, very heavily traveled main street.  The street is lined with fast food, a million "entertainment" venues, and a ton of tourists.  Fortunately, my motel was a block off the main drag, and was actually very quiet.  I could walk to just about any of the fast food places in minutes.  The good news is, that they also had a couple of restaurants which served something else, including local brew. I checked in to the Econolodge, jumped back in the car and headed to the park.  I wanted to see my first waterfall, which was about 5 miles up the road, then 1.5 miles along a paved hiking trail.  That was my first clue to the crowds I would see over the next several days.  The hike was uphill most of the way, but most people were coming down (getting on to dinner time), which made it a bit nicer when I got there.  Only a few people there, so I could set up my tripod to take some pics of the falls.  I finished that, and was going to move to another location, when I slipped on the slick rocks and fell, banged my camera, but did no serious damage.  Lucky.  A somewhat younger man offered to help me, but I didn't need it.  I got another couple of shots, then headed back down. 
On my way back to the park entrance, I saw several turkeys (fowl) and one young black bear along the roadside.  A good start to the trip.

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