Our lunch stop at Boonesboro State park. After lunch, a walk on the banks of the Kentucky River.
Morning devotional, praise and singing with our new friends the Hughes Family before the journey home.
Our traditional after breakfast pic-Log Cabin Pancake House.
24 September 2016
Our last stop. A seemingly private pull-off with creek access. The girls had a blast navigating various creek crossings on Little River. We had rock skipping lessons, cold dips due to lost footings, and great scenery. Perfect weather to end the day. Then, back to the cabin(PJ's Delight) in Pigeon Forge to settle into a grill-out and the hot-tub for the kiddos.
After lunch at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area, off of Little River Rd., we made a brief stop at The Sinks. Another popular tourist area for swimming and hiking. Not an ideal place for children. Steep rocks and boulders leading down to deep, fast-moving water. It has a very interesting railroad history as well as a history of tragedy.
Last day here, we ventured into the creeks. This is a favorite pastime of the girls. Building rock towers, catching snakes and crawdads, skipping rocks, wading into the cool mountain streams. These were taken at a popular spot off of Little River rd. Where it junctions with hwy 73.
23 September 2016
Our family dinner night out. Family style eating at its finest. Mama's Farmhouse. Yum! No one left hungry.
Gatlinburg and mountain vista. Gatlinburg is to the left, mountains offer more. We stopped to help Layla with something is her eye. Lori washed it out, I snapped a pic of what we saw out there.
Cataract Falls. Low rainfall made for an unimpressive falls, yet easy hike and scenic creek/forest. We met the Hughs Family(John and Rachael-5 boys, 1 girl and one on the way) from Birmingham, AL. Great Christian family. Lots of conversation, traded info for future contact and they invited us for Sunday praise and worship. Sunday will be a tight traveling schedule. We would enjoy getting together, though....yet to be determined.
Grotto Falls trail. 1.4 miles up hill. Beautiful scene, but crowded. The easier trails are very popular. Worth the trip, all enjoyed it. Came across someone's rock art, which gave the site a bit of curious interest. Salamanders, rock climbing and creek rock foraging. Great memories!
22 September 2016
Clingman's Dome. The highest point in the Park. When we left Oconaluftee, it was 80 degrees. When we got to the parking lot at Clingman's, it was 58 degrees with a chilly wind. Lori and Julia decided to stay behind in the Suburban, the rest of us made the trek to the the top. Only a 1/2 mile and paved, but a fairly steep grade made it moderately challenging. We also paused to take a snapshot of where the Appalachian Trail intersects with the dome trail.
Oconaluftee River trail. An easy trail following the the Oconaluftee River, leading from the welcome center. Layla spotted the 1st elk, we caught another grazing near the parking lot, and Layla catches a salamander. Also, more creek shenanigans, of course!
Late lunch and playing in the creek at Deep Creek Picnic/campgrounds. The girls could do this for hours!
Indian Creek Falls. Beautiful scene! Last falls on this adventure. Back to the Suburban to find a picnic table for a late lunch.
Tom Branch Falls feeding into Deep Creek. This was a good stopping point to rest, snack and play in the creek. Watched some local fly fisherman unsuccessfully fish for trout. Talked to some friendly locals. On to Indian Falls!
Juney Whank Falls. 1st on the list, moderate climb up and back down to a maintenance road to intersect with Deep Creek Trail. This trail to the falls was the hardest part of the 3, since the rest is relatively flat, following along Deep Creek. Next stop, Tom Branch Falls. Julia approves of her executive travel arrangements.
The waterfall brigade, well fed and ready to take on 3 waterfalls in the Southern Smoky's. Juney Whank, Tom Branch and Indian Creek Falls all near Cherokee, NC.
21 September 2016
Settling in at PJ's Cabin in Pigeon Forge. Grilling out, peanut shells on the floor, girlies looking forward to the hot tub.
6 hour drive began at 10ish am. Our 1/2 way stopping point for lunch, Boonesboro State Park. Historical Civil War site right on the Kentucky River. We love stopping here! Modern facilities , park for the kids and well maintained.