We recently drove down to the Gatlinburg area in Tennessee for a long weekend getaway with our travel buddies from Houston, Bob and Amy. Bob had found a great deal on a cabin at Elk Springs Resort. I have road tripped to Memphis and Nashville before, but had never been as far east as the Smoky Mountains until this trip. Our original plans included white water rafting and lots of hiking, but the weather decided not to cooperate. Despite the rain and fog, we still had a great time exploring the area.
Kurt and I arrived Friday afternoon and had a late lunch at Smoky Mountain Brewery before heading back to the cabin to enjoy its amenities, which included a hot tub on the porch, theater room, and sauna. Bob and Amy arrived later that evening and we had some drinks and caught up for awhile. On Saturday, we woke up to cloudy skies with drizzling rain. We headed into downtown Gatlinburg for Bloody Marys, shopping, whiskey samples, and moonshine tasting.
On Sunday, the weather was worse, with heavier rain and fog. We scratched our plans to go hiking and instead took a scenic drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Back at the cabin, the guys made an excellent dinner of shrimp tacos, followed by homemade ice cream for dessert. We also took advantage of our theater room and watched Zero Dark Thirty.
Monday was our last full day, and our plans to go white water rafting were officially cancelled–although the rain had stopped and the sun was shining, the water levels were too high for any commercial activity on the Upper or Lower Pigeon River. When life gives you lemons, go to Dollywood.
Our day at the amusement park was perfect–sunny skies and no wait for any ride. After we got our fill of roller coasters, corn dogs, and the amazing photo above, we went back to the cabin to cook one last dinner together and pack our bags.
It was an excellent trip. Even though the weather forced us to scramble up new plans, we had a lot of fun and got in some great relaxing.