We had a great adventurous weekend!
Nick, the boys and I had a weekend with our new friends Shawn and Kimbra. Shawn being a long lost relative of the great outdoors, he offered to merge some outdoor time into our weekend. Nick booked hotel rooms for us at Harrah’s Cherokee and we were off!
We packed Friday night and encouraged the kids to go to bed early. We got up early and were still late leaving out to meet up with our Road trip tour guides Shawn & Kimbra. 😦 Oops!
So…it started! We started off on Interstate 40 going East and our first pull off was in Hartford Tennessee. He said, “Follow me.” Hartford had a post office, an outdoor adventure place, and a stream for white water rafting. That’s pretty much it 🙂 We checked out the tiny little place and then we were back on the interstate again. He said, “Follow me.”
Another pull off adventure popped up, so off we went on a back road towards the beautiful country side.
We saw a cool let-in place where Shawn said he lets in his rafts, boats, canoes, or other floating types devices for white water rafting.
(I would love to do that sometime!) Shawn mentions a park up ahead and says, “Follow me.”
We saw beautiful mountain streams, creeks, and found some cool rocks. At one point, we found ourselves at a tiny little zoo type establishment along side the road.
There were llamas, a donkey, and I think I saw a pig – but I’m not sure really 🙂 There was also a cute little out building shack that posed an awesome photo opp.
We took in a bit of local history (read signs) and hoped back in the vehicles and were on to the next sight.
As we were leaving Shawn says, “Follow me.”
I think at some point we were given the option of getting back on the interstate or going the back roads. We chose back roads, and let me tell ya, they didn’t get much more “back roads” than this! 🙂
Cosby highway went from normal state highway size (2 car- painted lines) with guard rails and edges of shoulders, all the way down to almost less than 1 car with no painted lines without guard rails mid-mountain height, to gravel with giant pot holes and drop-offs, to plain ole dirt roads hugging the edge of the mountain as it curled all the way to the top.
Signs posted “No Passing”, “One lane road”, “Beware of Drop offs” (2400ft elevation). We drove about 10 miles on the top of the mountain through twists and turns where the tree roots were the only traction under our tires and if a bird landed on our car, we’d have just tilted and plunged down the mountain.
After about 15 miles, we were all feeling a bit sickly in our stomachs. We did however, pick up an inside joke that the kids will probably discuss the rest of their lives. On our way to the top of the mountain, we encountered a cyclist trying to make it up the 2350 ft elevation of the mountain. He peddled his little heart out and could not grasp the concept that our big truck needed around him and he peddled at a 10th of a mile an hour with a banana sticking out of the back of his pants. We couldn’t pass him and he wasn’t letting us around him. We eventually had to ask the cyclist with the banana to stop and move over so we could pass. If we hadn’t…we would still be on that mountain right now! It wasn’t the biggest mountain we’ve ever driven, but it definitely was extremely fun!
Once we reached a decently elevation, we got back on the Interstate and made our way into Maggie Valley, North Carolina. We’d been here before, but we stopped a few times so our friends could snap some pictures and then we were off to Cherokee as they said, “Follow me!”
We grabbed a bite to eat, checked into our rooms at Harrah’s, then left again to go out toward the Smokey Mountains National Park.
After a bit of exploring, we had dinner and went back to the hotel. We finished the night in the casino .
The boys explored the large hotel, pool, exercise rooms, arcade, etc while we played. Kimbra had a brilliant spa idea, but when we checked with them, they were booked solid 😦
We did much more than this on the trip and had many great memorable moments 🙂
I think Shawn and Kimbra were fun to follow. As Shawn said most of the trip: “Follow me.”