The Smokies Day One was quite eventful. It actually started the day before when Hurricane Matthew hit us. My original plan was to leave at 4am on Sunday but a category one hurricane can change plans in a hurry. Due to road closures because of flooding and debris, I was not able to leave until 11am. I was making great time until right before I arrived at the Marion County line where traffic came to a stand still. Marion county was hit hard by the storm and though there was not much flooding on Highway 501, there was a lot of debris. Many trees were knocked down. I was stuck in heavy traffic for over an hour. As you can see in the photo on the right, there is a tree blocking the westbound lane so traffic was diverted to the eastbound lane.
Once I got west of Interstate 95 it was smooth sailing until I exited off Interstate 40. My Tomtom probably needs a software update, it took me on a very narrow backroads when it should have taken me by way of the Foothills Parkway. They are not kidding when they say October is a busy month in Gatlinburg, it reminded me of the 4th of July weekend at home. Where Great Smoky Mountain National Park is always busy in October, this year was busier than usual because some of the people who had planned to vacation on the coast, had to change their plans due to Hurricane Matthew and they went to the park.
I had booked a site at the Cades Cove Campground site C08 for two nights because that was all they had available. The sun had set by the time I made it to my campsite. It was quite an adventure trying to set up in tent by flashlight and car headlights. Luckily a nice gentlemen from the next site over took pity on me and helped me put up my tent or I probably would still be trying. I sit here writing this blog post with a pen and legal pad by flashlight sitting in my tent. I brought my iPad and iPhone but have no way to charge them so I have them both plus my Apple Watch on airplane mode to conserve battery power. It will be very nice to get away from electronics for the next few days. I have not gone unplugged in a very long time. It is much chillier than home, you have to love fall in the mountains. I plan to sleep in tee shirt, sweats, and a fleece pull over.
Coming Soon…The Smokies Day Two