Saturday - We arrive in Pigeon Forge to heavy traffic due to construction. First stop is Walmart to load up on groceries for the week then check in office at Fireside Chalets. Check in was easy and were given a map to cabin, turn here, here and here then go up, up and up. Our cabin "Cloud Nine" was gorgeous. The drive up was very steep at sometimes and when we went to unload luggage and groceries we had to catch them cause everything had shifted toward door. I think one satsuma rolled all the way back to Pigeon Forge. The cabin is huge and laid out very well with covered porches almost all the way around. The view has to be the best anywhere, on clear nights you can see the city lights and on the rainy night we had clouds rolling in below us.
Sunday - This was our relaxing day, cooking jambalaya and chili for the week and unpacking. We noticed something had disturbed our trash can last night. Tonight we saw the racoon peaking in the door from the patio, he would be a regular every night.
Monday - We got up early and headed in the park via the back entrance. Brought coffee and sweet rolls and stopped at Metcalf Bottoms to eat by stream then went to Cades Cove Loop. Timing is everything and by getting an early start we didn't have delays on loop and enjoyed it very much. We took Parsons Branch Road off the loop and were so glad we did. This is a one way "primitive road" there are several places where the water rushes over the road but no problem driving over it. Saw our other visitor tonight, a 200 or so pound bear on our porch. He did the grab and go with our trash bag. Scared the heck out of me when I saw his size.
Tuesday - Up early heading to Biltmore Estate just a 2 hour drive away. We enjoyed it so much, the weather was perfect. Toured the house, did wine tasting and bought some wine. Drove back via the Blue Ridge Parkway, so beautiful, blue sky and the leaves were shades of yellow, gold, red and orage. We stopped in Cherokee for Mom to shop but were a little dissappointed in that. Our the drive into the park everyone was pulled over because elk were out in the field. Tonight first the racoon comes by the try and open the trash then at 8:00 again our bear comes. Can't get a picture of him because the flash of the camera thru the window just bounces back at me, darn.
Wed.- This morning we venture out on a drive to Cosby to eat at Carvers Applehouse and what a treat it was. We all had the special with country ham. The apple cider they brought out was soooo good and I don't usually drink apple juice or cider. As soon as you take a sip it is like you just bit into an apple, I just couldn't get over how good this was. After we ate we went in the shop next door. Everyone was busy buying apples, apple butter, jams and such. You could get fresh fried apple pies (which I wish we would have remembered to get) and then went in the candy shop where I purchased a carmel apple. They really had a beautiful orchard there. We then took the road from Cosby down to Cataloochee valley. This had to be the most beautiful drive of all, sure it is a windy road but in excellent condition. The gravel portion was not rutted or did not have holes. We were glad that not too many people choose to go this way so we could just stop and take pictures. The elk were not out in valley because it was noon when we got there. We drove out the other way and I have to say this road was in worse shape, I guess becasue so many people use it. Tonight we sit by window for bear to come at 8:00 ready to tak pic but he is a now show, that is until around 10:30 when it woke me up from a dead sleep, darn.
Thursday - Little rainy today, we leave the guys at cabin and me and Mom drive to Gatlinburg to ARts and craft loop. We enjoyed the shops and then were hungry for fruit for lunch and boy did we find it, banana splits at a little shop on loop. The drive up the cabin was a little scary since it was raining a little, I didn't think I would make it up the steep part. The guys grilled steaks tonight and we drank our Biltomre wine. Bear was a no show.
Friday - Very rainy day but we head in to eat at the Old Mill Cafe, not the big one but the smaller restaurant. We had the fried green tomato and bacon sandwiches which we all loved. We stopped at the Rustic furniture shops on the way back to cabin. As I was laying across the bed reading around 5:00 that afternnon I hear a loud noise and our bear was out there early today. of course I didn't have my camera ready and Mom ran to back door with her camera to get a shot out of that window and when that bear looked up at her she just froze and forgot to push the button, ha.
Saturday - We get an early start to drive the Roaring Fork Drive, so glad we went early because as we were driving up we started noticing white on the ground, they had a dusting of snow everywhere. The pictures were great with the white on the bright red and yellow leaves. This is a very pretty drive. We did some shopping on the Gatlinburg strip after our drive.
Sunday.- We pack up and head home, it is 28 degrees this morning and a beautiful sky. We hate to leave but we had such a great time. Thirteen hours later we arrive back in Louisiana.
It was a trip me and my husband and my parents will never forget