We had breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then drove through Gatlinburg. The places I fell in love with as a child no longer exists here. For those of you that remember, they were small towns with parks like Goldrush Junction and Gold City. They are commercialized every little space now. They took a 2 lane road and turned it into 4 narrow lanes. I just wanted to get out of the congestion. What use to be quaint mountain towns are now busy cities stuffed into a few blocks:(
We drove on into the Smoky Mountains. I thank God for the people and presidents that sat land aside to be protected from commercialism. The Smokies are as beautiful as always! The leaves look like Fall. We first went to Cades Cove. The OLD houses and churches help you to imagine life in the 1800's. Small homes took care of large families. They attended church except during the Civil War because they all could not agree what side to choose. We stopped at the mill and the guy stuck his head out the window and said I like your dog, bring her in, so we did. Aunt Becky's house was interesting. She never married but was a big part of the community.
We then drove to the ridge part of the Smokies to Clingman's Dome. We walked UP but it was too cloudy to see anything but coniferous trees and clouds. All four directions had signs pointing out towns in the distance. They all look the same, trees with white behind them.