Time to post my trip report. It is going to be long, so I thought I would split it up a little. This will be the first 2 days. We had a wonderful weekend. The best we have had on any of our anniversary trips. We were in town from Thursday, April 19 through Monday the 23rd. I’d have to say one of my favorite things on the trip was getting the opportunity to meet with some of our local Trip Advisor friends – and some locals with history in the mountains that were eager to share stories.
We stayed in a very nice cabin called Gatlinburg Delight with Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg in the Cottage Gardens area of Chalet Village. It was a little pricey, but since it was our 25th, we wanted it to be just right. This cabin is set in a grouping of about 11 and we have stayed in about 6 of them at different times. The cabins are about 10 years old maybe? It looked like the cabin had been painted recently – not a mark anywhere – and the kitchen cabinets were new and very well stocked. The only negative was some dead ants in the master bath – but hey – they were dead! Otherwise, everything was very clean and the company provided the start up supplies of lots of bath soap, dish soap and dishwasher soap. The view was nice – not a sweeping view of the mountains, but you could see Mt. LeConte through the trees. Very easy access to the cabin off the Gatlinburg Bypass. That is the reason we have stayed in this grouping so many times. My dh doesn’t like the mountain roads. Mt. Rentals does charge several fees, but this was where my dh felt comfortable staying, so we paid them. We did receive a coupon for free horseback riding for each of us that doesn’t expire until November, so we are going to use it in October. I researched it and it’s a $40 value, so that offset some of the fees. Another plus was the wood burning fireplace still open in late April. There was plenty of wood on the front porch. I would definitely stay here again.
When we arrived on Thursday evening, we were greeted with a “Happy Anniversary” balloon bouquet sent to the cabin by Ricky and Betty. It was such a wonderful surprise. I called her and I could feel her excitement that we were in our mutual favorite spot.
On Thursday evening, we went to Ribs Fest in Gatlinburg. This was fun, but we arrived too late as most of the food was gone and the event was over in an hour. We did get in free though – that was a perk – and we did get to sample enough to fill us up. The Marshall Tucker Band was onstage, but didn’t sing anything we recognized. When a request for one of their hits came from the audience, they replied with “You don’t want to hear any of those 3 minute radio songs”. We thought that was a little odd. Walked around and then headed up to the cabin for some hot tub time.
Friday was a very relaxing day. We left the cabin around 11:00 and headed out to the Rod Run Car Show in Pigeon Forge. From the cabin, we took Campbell Lead down the mountain to the back of the aquarium and on the way down guess what we passed? Yes! The back of the”House” we can see from the parkway! Took pictures – I’ll figure out how to post them! We drove the spur to Kings Branch Road and turned in to check out the Sky Harbor area of rentals. Kings Branch Road is really chewed up from all the construction and burying of power lines. Got to the Sky Harbor entrance and there was a sign that said “Winter Daily Road Conditions". The road went pretty steep and curved around the bend out of sight. I know it was far from winter road conditions, but that was enough for my dh! So we turned around and went into PF. Guess we’ll never stay up there! Honestly, I have no idea what the road looks like beyond the bend. Someone else is going to need to check on that for me! Since it was early, the crowd in PF for the Rod Run was not bad and we stopped in to see Barry (get2know.com) at his airbrush store. We had a great visit. Barry is very friendly and took lots of time just to chat with us. Hope he can make the October picnic so we can visit more! After our visit, we drove to the Apple Barn complex and did some wine tasting. Yum. Bought a bottle of peach wine for later ;) went into the store and stocked up on enough apple butter and fritter mix to last me until July and we were off on our way to explore. We spent the afternoon riding around the back-roads of Sevierville, and checked out the Harrisburg Covered Bridge that I read about at discoverthesmokis.com Nice place to visit – I’ll post pics soon. We had our picnic lunch here. Next we drove through the quiet community of Pittman Center. We saw the school and City Hall that looks like it is in a historic building and right across the street from a babbling brook. They have a pretty little picnic area next to City Hall. Next on to the Greenbrier section of the park - but we never made it there though! Like it is with so many things in the mtns, we got distracted. Instead, we stopped at the Husky Cemetery on 321 close to Cosby. There was a sign by the entrance that said you could be buried there for $300. We spent lots of time here reading all the headstones. I had purchased a book on "Historic Hikes" and some of the names of the people were in the book. That made it very interesting.
Now for our second local meeting! We met up with gatlinburglover and her dh at 5:00. This was so much fun and lasted for 6 hours! We had a wonderful visit and dinner. Their place in the holler is unbelievable. Just gorgeous! Dh has such a talent with woodworking and gatlinburglover has it decorated so warmly. Went into Cosby for dinner and had a great long meal We had to say goodbye around 11:00 – we closed the place down! I know that if it hadn’t been that it was our “special” trip, we would have spent more time with them. Thank you gatlinburglover and dh!
I’ll write more in the next few days – sorry it’s so long, but once I get going…..