So we hit the road from Nashville early this morning and headed off to the Great Smoky Mountains. The scenery changed almost as soon as we had left behind the Spaghetti Junction that is Nashville and it started to become more wild, picturesque and mountainous. It seemed to take forever to get to our destination, probably because we were really impatient to arrive!
First of all, though, we stopped off at Walmart to load up on supplies for the weekend. We could find everything except wine. What sort of Walmart doesn’t sell wine, I ask you? One in the Bible Belt apparently. Even though they sell beer. Is that a more divine sort of alcohol? Well it’s our wedding anniversary this weekend so we were determined to find a bit of celebratory fizz. We got pointed in the direction of a little package store which sold all sorts of wines and spirits, all at much more inflated prices than Walmart usually charges. Of course. Having found the place, it seemed rude not to buy some honey whisky as well as a little anniversary vino.
We then took a trip into the Great Smoky Mountains themselves. The weather forecast looks a little changeable (between rain and snow) for the weekend so we thought we should fit in a bit of the scenery now in case we don’t get another chance. Several of the higher points within the Park are still closed due to ice and snow, and we saw a fair amount of the white stuff in the areas that we reached. It was incredible how cold it suddenly went (a change of about fifteen degrees Fahrenheit from the entrance of the park up to 5,000 feet) and there were some impressive icicles along the route. There is also a landslide which has taken out a large chunk of the road, meaning that you can only drive about 22 miles in from the Tennessee side rather than all the way across to North Carolina (although we did just reach the state line). It’s a good reminder of how we’re at the mercy of nature and we’re only in the Park as much as nature wants us to be.
We checked into our cabin around 4pm after a hair-raising trip up some very vertical slopes. Going back down is likely to be even more interesting. We got straight into the outdoor hot tub which is on a balcony with some spectacular views of the mountains. It was a little surreal when it started snowing on us. However we also have an indoor Jacuzzi if it gets really cold outside! The cabin is lovely, really cosy, with everything you could need and more (including an electric can opener – sadly I wish we’d brought some tinned food just so I could have a go). We even have a pool table (score is 2-1 to the husband currently). We would be quite happy to just stay in here for the next few days until it’s time to go home, although we’re likely to venture out a few times I’m sure. There’s a lovely little book in the cabin that lots of previous visitors have written in and it seems to be a popular anniversary destination so I think we’ve picked well.
The husband keeps staring out of the windows; I thought he was thinking deep thoughts. Apparently he’s keeping an eye out for bears. I’m not sure what he’s going to do if he actually sees one.