Sunday, October 13, 2019

Exploring the Smokey Mountain National Park

If you like the mountains as we do then one of the best places to see some scenic beauty is in the Great Smokey Mountains. Cathey and I usually make at least one trip a year to the Smokies. On this trip, we meet our daughter's family there for a few days of relaxation. One day was spent at Dollywood with the grandchildren in Pigeon Forge. We seldom spend any time in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg because both places have become so commercialized. 

The main attraction for fly fishermen is the spring-fed Little Pigeon River flowing through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. I have to fish it before I retire my fly rod. My son-in-law fished the river some years ago when they were visiting Gatlinburg with his family and landed numerous rainbow. Most all the trout in the river are stocked rainbow and brook trout. Very few wild trout are landed near the towns, all the native trout are found higher in the Mountains. 

B. T. and I wanted Bryson and Cash to see the mountains up close so we spent the better part of another day exploring. Their sister Laelyn went shopping with Mom and Meme.

We were above the clouds atop Clingman Dome the highest point in Tennessee. The ranger told us we were 6,775 ft. up. The hike up the steep trail nearly a mile was a workout. There were benches along the way for breaks. Many individuals made the hike up to the summit to stand on the big concrete circular platform for an awesome view.

A little rock climbing on the way up------how I wish I had this stump in my front yard. 
The spruce trees were still draped with clouds as we made our way under the tree canopy. The ground was a soft sponge of decayed spruce foliage that had built up over time; very comfortable to walk on.  I don't know the name of the mushrooms that dotted the forest floor. I do know they were not Portobello.
A lot of blowdown in places simply because of the thick growth of the spruce trees. Cash soon realized he needed that jacket. Down below the temp was in the '70s atop the dome it was in the '40s. 
The shirt says it all!!
Nothing like spending time with the grandchildren!!!


  1. We were there this April. Awesome place I can't wait to go back. Gatlinburg wasn't for me but I loved the location with the Smokies right down the street.

  2. Bill, looks like great family time. Those hours invested in your grand children will reap great dividends.

  3. Kevin
    Give me the mountains over the bench any day; just wondering if you've carried your children up to Clingman Dome? Thanks for the comment

  4. Alan
    Cathey find ourselves doing more with our grandchildren than we did with Jason and Jenny. We have more time now as opposed to when we were working all the time. Thanks for the comment

  5. We checked out Clingman while we were there. Very cool structure. We did the grotto falls hike to. It was really neat to walk behind the waterfall.

  6. Kevin
    We wanted to do the falls but ran out of time--it is on our list for next time. Thanks for getting back to me

  7. Bill - the national parks are a real treasure! Glad to see you enjoying GSMNP with your grandchildren!

  8. I've been meaning to do a post about it but just haven't had the motivation. We did a pretty cool trip for spring break where we went to Mammoth Cave NP in Kentucky and came back through the Smokies.

  9. Kevin
    How about a post concerning the Smokey Mt. and the Kentucky trip. Kentucky is one state my wife and I would like to visit. I imagine the cave was an awesome experience for the kids--thanks for getting back to me

  10. Mark
    Really a shame fire ravished part of the park a few years ago; it will take some time for destruction to heal. There is a ban on camp fires at this time in the park, because of the drought. Thanks for the comment

  11. Bill, Thanks for sharing your family excursion into the Smokies. Wonderful trip. It brought back lots of memories from my visit to Clingmans Dome with the kids so many years ago.

  12. Walt
    Certainly a beautiful place that reminded me of when my wife and I took our children there when they were the age of my grandchildren now. Thanks for the comment

  13. Just wanted to give you a heads up my next posts will be about the Mammoth Cave and Smokies trip I took this spring.