Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Great Smoky Mountains

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs right to the base of the Smoky Mountain National Park so of course I had to visit another National Park!

The drive was beautiful, but I have to say that crowds on a two lane highway don't mix well with relaxation. There are a few turn outs to explore and look at the streams...if you can find a parking spot.

I read that they have numerous bears living in the park so I was anxious (yet again) to spot one. Towards the end of the ride through the park the main road was backed up for miles. I wasn't sure if it was because of all of the people leaving or something in the road. I was hoping it could be a bear in the road.

After sitting in the same spot for 30 minutes I started to become restless. Then a few kids shouted out "BEAR" as they passed me on the other side of the road. I started to get excited. I grabbed my little camera, waiting in anticipation as we inched forward.

After 90 minutes, the traffic let up and low and bear.

Nothing to see but trees. Not that I don't love looking at trees because I do, but a bear would have been nice. Especially one on just sitting on the rock in the sunlight, close to the road...waving to me. Not too much to ask.

The Smoky mountains dumps you out to what seemed to be the "country" version of Las Vegas. A ton of people walking around, traffic and numerous chain stores and shops for miles. If you had a choice to visit the Smoky Mountains or Shenandoah National Park, I would recommend Shenandoah.

After driving for hours and hours on most days...I started playing with my camera to give you a glimpse of what my typical day looks like. Here it is...exciting stuff.

We are off to the South to catch some of their "Southern Charm."


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