We went to Gatlinburg and saw the elephant, as they used to say. I don’t know the history (etymology?) of that expression, but it was much in vogue during America’s western migration. Some pioneers, when asked why they were gambling everything by taking the journey to the distant western lands, replied, “I’m going to see the elephant!” Some pioneers gave up, went home, explaining that they had ‘seen the elephant’ and it wasn’t what they expected at all. See how I ramble? Maybe *now* you see why this is named Ramblejim’s blog!
We drove down to Gatlinburg without incident, took us about 6 hours actual driving time, extra for the usual stops. It did rain on us all the way, but it really didn’t slow us up. Alan and Janice were nice enough to provide the transportation, and it was a good thing – I’m not sure all of us would have been all that comfortable in our little Ford Focus. Plus, we’d have had to leave half of the luggage here! Our cabin turned out to be very nice – the outside was Tennessee Traditional and the inside was Martha Stewart Knotty Pine. Very spacious, very comfortable!
We had not mapped out what we wanted to do on our trip so we just winged it. I was sort of expecting to get to explore the wonders of Dollywood and also the Dixie Stampede, but after we talked it over it was decided that we didn’t really want to spend 50-plus dollars each to attend these tourist traps. So, we concentrated on exploring the area and enjoying the fall foliage. We saw lots of curio/craft stores, and for the most part they were somewhat ‘true’ to the area, not imported Chinese stuff. We drove through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, got a LOT of good photos! We took over 450 photos, and I’m sure Alan and Janice took a goodly number, also.
In summary, the trip was great, we visited right at the PEAK of the fall colors – great autumn getaway! I’ll add a few pictures here at the end so you can see – this is only a sampling, we got some very nice shots! Kate has a great eye for photography, I’ve included several of hers here.