Often on these trips we think -wow if we just go a few miles this way or that way we can dip our toes in a different state. As we meandered through Georgia, we made our next stop Expedition Bigfoot! Expedition Bigfoot is a sasquatch museum and an official reporting center for sightings and research. Of course, we loved this stop. We love the sasquatch so much Mr. Trent wrote a song about him. This is a must stop for any sasquatch enthusiasts.
Next portion of our journey would be entering into the great smokey mountains. We took our time stopping to stretch our legs. We made our way into Bryson City, North Carolina. That is where we found the Grumpy Bear Campground. Our site was right on a river which included delightful views and a visit with a Heron as he searched for food. The campground was a wise choice, I would highly recommend spending more than one night there. Sadly, after our breakfast and coffee with our Heron friend we had to depart and continue through the mountains that lived up to their name. The views were delightful with the cloudy capped mountain tops. A view much appreciated from several overlooks on the way including Patton’s Overlook.
We drove through Cherokee, North Carolina on the way to Clingman’s Dome Trailhead. Wow, wow, wow! It was a warm fall afternoon, and the trail is made accessible to everyone-however, the park site warns it is too steep a grade for wheelchairs. We did see some people with wheelchairs that day. You probably want to be in ok health before you start also, and pack water and snacks. Mr. Trent was not so pleased with my choice on the hike up-but boy-oh-boy once we made it to the top and up the spiraling ramp to enjoy a breathtaking view who could question the decision. At 6643 feet, Clingman’s Dome can claim the title of highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was also pretty cool to see access to the Appalachian trail off the path.
Relieved we made it up and down in one piece and without either of us having a massive MI, you know I bought the I survived Clingman’s dome t shirt! We pushed on for a few more hours hoping to spend some time in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The last time we were there was on our honeymoon and it was off season…..not this time. I could see as we approached the lines of traffic. Oh, my goodness, this was something neither of us were up to tackle after our earlier hike. We managed to get out of town, pausing after our exit to find the nearest campground that had any spaces. Greenbrier Campground was the winner! It is located close to Gatlinburg and groceries. I have to say we have had a lot of great luck with campgrounds.
We had reached the date of our 16th wedding anniversary, traveling in wedded bliss even after Clingman’s Dome and Gatlinburg. The day started out pretty good, campground breakfast, and we discovered we would be passing Bush Bean’s Visitor’s Center-heck yeah, we are stopping and having lunch there! On a side note, to those out there celebrating anniversaries as awesome as lunch at the Bush’s Beans café was it does not count as the anniversary dinner.
We are music lovers, a suprising stop was the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia. We easily spent two hours here and could have spent more. This will be a revisit in the future. We thought “oh we will only be here an hour” boy were we wrong. Definitely glad we did not miss this one.
I unfortunately had assumed it would be easy to find somewhere nice to stay with a fantastic dinner early. We quickly discovered there were several big concerts in town. We drove for more than two hours until we finally decided we needed to eat. Tired, hungry and irritated we stopped at Milano’s Italian cuisine in Abingdon, Virginia. At this point hangry was a mild description of myself. We placed our order and Mr. Trent made several phone calls until we finally were able to reserve a room. Despite my grumpy state the meal was quite nice, nothing wrong with a delicious Italian meal for an anniversary dinner. We got to the hotel about 9 PM. Boy oh boy were we beat. This trip was a whirlwind of activities! After showers and figuring out some plans for the next day we both settled into a deep sleep.