Trip Start Oct 03, 2013
16Trip End Oct 17, 2013
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Anyway we made our way to the gas station after the Roaring Forks trail (that whole thing took 2 hours between waiting for the ranger to open the gate and the drive itself. We stopped a few times to take pics. It was truly probably the highlight of my trip as far as things I saw. It is truly a beautiful trail and there was hardly anyone driving it so at most points it was just Jym and I on the road and it was peaceful and stunningly beautiful. I was glad I got to do it and that it wasn't full of people. The drive is actually IN The park but not off the main road. You go up the road at light #8 in Gatlinburg and it leads to the trail so its very secluded and not part of the main drag in the park. I think that is why we were so lucky that it was so empty. I get to the gas station at the Food City. We have been using that one since its cheap and it was right down the road from the exit to the trail so it worked out. So I put in $15.00 and it shuts off. Now I had a but more than a half tank so I didn’t really think that sounded wrong but I had issues a few days previous where again I couldn’t get the gas to pump into the tank right. I think there is an issue with my gas tank or at least the float
So we get to the visitor center for the Cades Cove drive and I opt to just do the drive and not stop for information. I had planned this whole thing in an extraordinarily un-me way. I did little research on it all so I figured we would just do the drive. From what I had read it was a loop and there might be elk and there were supposedly some nice stops. Well what I did not plan for is that now it was 10:15 and apparently everyone who has been kept out of Cades Cove for 2 weeks has shown up. The drive said it was 24 miles TO the cove. So that plus the return of 24 miles…48 miles and the speed limit is like 25 at places so do the math. So then we get to the Cove and says the one way loop drive begins and is 11 miles. OK so now the traffic is gridlock and not moving at all. Maybe there’s a bear or an elk?? Less than 2 miles and a half hour later we see what the hold up has been…wait for it…HORSES. REALLY? Not horses in the road mind you…horses in a field
We finally got back onto the main road (Newfound Gap Road) which we have done like 5 times this week so I just drove that without stopping all the way through. It was well after 2:30 when we popped out at the south end of the park. I almost went up Clingman’s dome road but it was 7 miles up and 7 back for just the drive and it was raining and very cloudy so I was pretty sure there weren’t any good views from up there on this day. We got onto the Blue Ridge for a short time and then entered the cross streets of the hotel in Savannah since we can’t park at the hotel and it says our arrival is 9:30
Oh one funny thing that did happen today. Jym and I were sitting in the traffic on the 11 mile cades cove loop and had my ipod on and it was playing Independence Day… and Jym says “None of these things are true. They have nothing to do with Independence Day. This song makes no sense”. I looked at him and explained that the song was indeed about a woman who is abused and finally has enough and kills the dad and burns the house to the ground. It’s HER Independence day…and the independence day of the child telling the story…Not THE independence day. Jym says “Oh. I just don’t listen. I just start talking and things go wrong between point A and D.”
We arrived at the Marshall house a bit after 9. My only stop in SC (which is the 5th state in the Poor Tour) was for gas. I had hoped to get some of that cheap SC gas everyone talks about but instead got boned with a pay at the pump deal for an extra charge! I ended up paying $3.17 instead of the quoted $3.11. I hate EXXON. Not going to any of those again.
So we pull up at the supposed temporary valet location (they said we can’t pull up front due to the movie filming) but there was no sign and no valet so we continued on to Broughton Street where the hotel is and sure enough there was the valet in front of the hotel
We checked in and the front desk and they were so kind. Bridget actually called Alligator Soul for us (we had eaten there on a past trip here and it was the most amazing restaurant experience of my life) but she said she explained our situation and hoped that they could get us in but they were just way too booked up and couldn’t do it. So Charles suggested we try Churchill’s Pub which was a nice pleasant walk down to Bay Street and over a few blocks. We ate on the rooftop terrace and the food was amazing!!! OMG. Jym had a pork shank that looked unreal and at first when I saw it I thought I should have gotten that but then when I tasted my fish it was also fabulous. It was a lovely setting on the roof too and a pleasant night temperature wise. I think at some point I actually became so overwhelmed with exhaustion I was actually dizzy and just wanted to get back and go to bed. We got back and Bridget had called and said she set us up a reservation for Alligator Soul for tomorrow night at 7:30. We don’t have a hotel yet but I figured we could find something.