Pigeon Forge, TN Day 5

August 7, 2023 The weather forecast this morning called for strong storms rolling in later this afternoon with gusty winds and thunderstorms. With that forecast, we decided to go into Gatlinburg to look around this morning and return by early afternoon to hunker down for the storms. We left around 10:30 to drive into town.

The sidewalks were a little less crowded with people, but the streets were still busy with traffic.

We took a slow drive down the main thoroughfare which is Highway 441/321. As expected, there were a lot of souvenir shops, all kinds of eateries, and amusements of all kinds. This Hillbilly Golf was very popular.

There was a lot to look at and some very interesting businesses to see.

Fortunately, there are quite a few large public parking areas for everyone’s convenience and for $20 a day you have a place to park near the main street.

We did not want to spend a lot of time walking around, so we decided not to pay to park. It’s fun to look at, but it’s not for us. This is the Anakeesta which is a mountaintop park that offers ziplining, gondola rides, a treetop skywalk, and other fun things to do at the top. My sister and her family had visited here in June and spent time at the Anakeesta, so I had to find out where it was.

The Speedwerkz Exotic Car Experience and Hollywood Stars Cars Museum looked pretty interesting.

The Ober Aerial Tramway and the Gatlinburg Skylift were two operations that could take you up to the top of the mountain with more activities to keep you busy at the top.

The Gatlinburg Space Needle can be seen from quite a distance and from the top the views must be amazing!

Two of the shops that caught our eye were the Tennessee Hemp Care Shop and the Smoky Grass Station. We could see the hemp growing in the window. We had to do a little research and found out that Tennessee has legalized the cultivation of hemp, but medical and recreational marijuana use are illegal here.

Gatlinburg is a great place to take kids because there is so much to do, but we prefer the the woods and nature to shopping and amusement rides. We were content just to look at all the stuff that was there for everyone to enjoy. There was a time for that when we were younger, but we prefer the peace and solitude to crowds and traffic now. It was fun to look at from the car and see everyone having a good time! We followed the main drag in town right up to where it ends, which is right at the Smoky Mountains National Park boundary.

We drove into the park a little ways because we had not gone into the park through this entrance before and then we turned around. We drove back the same way through town and saw a few things we missed on the first pass through.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! had a great look on the outside of the building and the American Sideshow Antique Shop looked like it was an original building built with real logs and lots of good things inside.

We came back on the parkway through the long tunnel again and back into Pigeon Forge.

We drove down the main street in Pigeon Forge because Bob wanted to scope out the way we would have to leave tomorrow with the motorhome. We got back to the campground around 12:30. We stopped in at the Office to check out the store inside and take a look at the “lazy river” pool outside.

Bob sat outside with Auggie at the campsite while I got the wash started inside. We had lunch outside and watched the skies darken as the storm approached. The winds picked up and they were predicting wind speeds of up to 80 mph. We put a “ditch bag” together in case we would have to vacate the bus and go to the nearest shelter, which is the bathhouse just around the corner. Around 1:30, the rains and winds came.

There was thunder and rain going sideways. The campground sent out an email saying they had closed down the pool due to lightning nearby and that the bathhouses were available for shelter.

Auggie got very nervous with the winds moving the bus and thunder outside and wanted to sit on Bob’s lap. The leading edge of the storm where the worst weather was, passed quickly. In an hour, the worst had come and gone. It continued to rain lightly, but the winds died off. In the aftermath, we saw that this dead tree had fallen near this travel trailer behind us.

This travel trailer had just arrived before the storm came and then these tree limbs came down near him. Luckily, it didn’t hit the trailer.

Later, the skies cleared and the sun came out. It wasn’t long before the KOA campground staff came around to clean up tree limbs that had come down in the campsites and in the streets. We could hear the roar of chainsaws around the campground as they cut up the larger branches that had come down. Bob and I took a walk around the campground to see what the storm had done. No one seemed to have any damage to their camping units so that was good. Before the storm came, the thermometer was reading 91. After the storm passed, the temperature had dropped to 76. That was a nice change. Auggie got caught up on his missed sleep because of the storm.

We had leftovers for dinner and prepped the bus for our departure tomorrow. We are going to be spending 6 days near Asheville, NC and look forward to seeing our friends and visiting the Biltmore Mansion and other sights in the area.

1 thought on “Pigeon Forge, TN Day 5”

  1. I love Asheville, so very diverse!
    I was in a parking garage one day, parked across the line designatinting the parking space. Didn’t think it would hurt anything, the area on the other side was not a parking space, but had diagonal stripes. Got back to my car to find a parking ticket on my windshield! Had to pay a $10 fine as I left the garage!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *