Woke up grumpy again, since the campground was too well lit. We packed it up and headed off to Dollywood, along with most of the other people in Pigeon Forge. We expected it to be more Dolly-centric, but it was mostly just old timey, Southern themed, with lots of buildings made to look like ramshackle cabins. We rode all the coasters, ate some pizza and then stood in line for a ridiculously long time for a sky ride that was basically like giant swings. Not much more to say, after all, it was an amusement park. I will say this though: my brother swears that NH people are some of the ugliest in the world. I would argue that TN beats us by a lot. Not only are they often ugly, they are often fatter than fat and have really horrid teeth. (Just a little defending of the homeland.)
After Dollywood, we headed for the hills, the great big misty ones. (Nobody should enver combine Iron Maiden lyrics with Led Zepplin lyrics, but we just did!) I was getting grouchy from being in the sun and not knowing where we were going to stay. The area was so crowded that I was worried there wouldn’t be any sites available on a Saturday, but when we got to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park welcome center, they assured us we would find one, even though it was already 3:30. (They made us pay for a map, but they did it all friendly-like).
The first thing we did was set up our tent, then took off for a hike. We hiked a nice paved trail up to see Laurel Falls, but the views of the surrounding mountains along route were equally as interesting. Laurel Falls were nice and we took some photos.
On the way back to the campground we stopped along the crick and walked along in the shallow rapids. The water was freezing, but since we’re from northern climes, the air was friggin’ hot to us, so we ended up dunking ourselves in the water. Refreshing and exhilarating. We’re beginning to really adjust to and enjoy life on the road. Anywhere we go is home. We discovered the joy of this after the river when we just hopped in the back and changed out of our wet clothes. No need to drive anywhere, we were home.
Back at the campsite, we had some dinner, discovered we really need to buy some salt, and enjoyed the wine that Sue (our real estate agent) had given us. Unfortunately, after 10 days on the road, including one in the Tennessee sun, the wine had gone a bit off. (That doesn’t stop Keath!) We sat around the fire, which was oddly reluctant to start, and then I wrote these very words. Spooky.