Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Out and About

Today was Dave's pick and he decided he wanted to go to Oconaluftee which is at the OTHER side of the park!

So off we went this morning down the Newfound Gap Road. It was a VERY slow start out of Gatlinburg, the traffic was very backed up, but once we got on our way it went pretty fast, well as fast as you can when the speed limit was only 25 and 35 MPH.

We stopped at a few different road side stops on the way to take some pictures.

We arrived at Oconaluftee and it was gorgeous outside. Warm, sunny, blue skies, it was great! First we hit the gift shop and picked up a book on waterfalls and also our Christmas ornament.

I don't think we ever ended up on the actual trail there because Dave was, of course, drawn to the stream. Which worked out good we got some great pictures and it wasn't very busy.

Before we left we decided to go ahead and eat some lunch. We sat the chairs up behind the car in the parking lot and made out sandwiches and watchedthe people go by. It was a good time!!

Next we headed toward Cherokee to go to Mingo Falls. Can't say much about Mingo Falls because we never made it there!

We ended up going to Harrah's Casino to check it out. Dave hadn't been to a casino in 15-ish years so he wanted to see what it was like.

We ended up not even gambling while there.Yeah I know, weird, but that is us!!

We walked back to our car instead of taking the bus back and it was a nice stroll next to and over a stream.

We needed to make a stop and fill up the tank for a few reasons - we would be in the middle of the part in the evening/after dark, I wasn't really even sure how much gas we had as the gauge had been bouncing around all day. So Dave filled up the car and I went in looking for something to drink. I saw a pop called Cheerwine and mentioned it to Dave, who decided to pick up a
bottle. It was SOOOO good, so now I will be on the lookout for it!!

Next stop was Clingman Dome for sunset, but we got there VERY early! We decided not to go all the way up to the top but stop at the overlook by the parking lot. We set up the tripod and waited, and waited, and waited. We got to talk to some of the other people waiting for the sunset also.

It was beautiful and I am glad we did it, even if we only got a few pictures out of it!

Now the drive back wasn't as nice. We left before most of the people, which meant they all caught up with us on the LONG and DARK drive back. To say the least it was rather stressful and I was glad to be back!

We ended up going to Bubba Gumps for dinner. Dinner was yummy and the service was good. But the waiter for the table behind us drove us crazy! He spent more than half of our meal sitting talking to the table behind us. Story after story going on and on!! Ahhhh well, what can you do!

We walked around a little and came back home for the night around 9:30 and then the FUN began. We have been bear watching/tracking for awhile now. We have now seen 2 bears up close and personal. They are walking around outside out porch area and also in the hall in front of our door! Dave had to wait in the stairs area waiting for one to go the other way when he was coming back to from the parking garage as the bear was between the elevator and our door. I went to check it out when he called and the darn bear was right outside our door! Talk about an exciting end to a fun day!!!

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