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Published: July 30th 2019
We drove around historic Elkmont which is where we camped. When the park was established there were already people living there, so the land had to be purchased and the people had to move. The Cherokee Indians were forcibly moved (Trail of Tears). Historic Elkmont was unremarkable.
We got lost on our way to rafting. They told us to use their printed directions, but in our wisdom we decided to use GPS until it differed from the printed directions. GPS told us to turn right on Rt. 32 and the printed directions told us to turn left and I didn't notice the difference, so we turned right. Rt. 32 wove up and down a mountain for miles then turned into gravel. I called the raft company and they said to turn around and I finally figured out my mistake. But as it turns out, where we turned around was very close to where we wanted to go, so we could have just continued. Anyway, it was a nice drive up, down, up and down a mountain and we made it in time for rafting.
We went White Water Rafting
on the Pigeon River. Our guide was Nolan. We rafted class 3 and 4 and this was the kids’ favorite activity of the trip.
Spent about a half an hour dealing with a Verizon phone spam issue. Walked into Gatlinburg for dinner at the Texas Road House. Also walked around to some shops to look for a sweatshirt for Maggie. This is a good time to talk about Gatlinburg. I apologize for anyone who said “you are going to Gatlinburg” and I said “no, we usually don’t do anything but the parks” because there was no way to avoid Gatlinburg if you entered the park where we did. Gatlinburg was not to our liking. I’m sure once upon a time it was
a quaint town outside the park, but now it is a huge tourist trap – shops, Ripley’s, candy stores, restaurants, motels. Heavy traffic and lots of people on the
sidewalk crossing in many places. It added 15 minutes to every drive in or out of the park.
Maggie & Rick beat us at Euchre again.
There was a single guy with his two
dogs (Charlie & Trooper) camping across from us at Elkmont. He was spending a month there after caring for his sick mother for two years. He was a trip!
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