Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We spent a few weeks around the Smoky mountains, but since it rained for a lot of the time we were on the Tennessee side we did not see much of the park from there.  By the time we moved to the NC side, we were able to do more exploring of the park.

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On a Sunday morning while we were in Cherokee, NC my parents drove out to spend the day with us.  I did not tell the boys that they were coming, so it was a great surprise when they showed up and knocked on the door.  We spent most of the day at the national park.

The first place we visited was the Mountain Farm Museum.

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Then we went up to Clingman’s Dome.  This was a strenuous uphill hike that I’m afraid had my parents wondering why they had decided to join us for this.  But this was the highest point in the park with beautiful views.  It was quite chilly up there too!

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I can see why they call these mountains the Smokies.

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After a quick lunch break we went on another hike up to Mingo Falls which was beautiful.

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Later that week we had a day off work for Veteran’s Day so we went back to do some more exploring of the park.  We hiked a small portion of the famous Appalachian Trail.  No, we didn’t make it the whole 1,972 miles to Maine.

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Then we visited Mingus Mill.  It was closed for the season but it was still pretty to see from the outside.

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We went back to see more of the Mountain Farm Museum so the kids could earn their Junior Ranger badges.  We also saw lots of elk there.

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The boys even got to learn about an outhouse!

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New Junior Ranger badges!

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After that we visited the Cherokee Indian Reservation.  It was really cool to talk to these guys and learn some of their history.

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Lastly we drove a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Unfortunately we missed the prettiest time of the year to see the fall colors.  By this time most of the leaves had already fallen off the trees.  But we drove through some cool tunnels.  I was glad we were not towing our house behind us at this point.

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We almost adopted a new cat while we were staying in Cherokee.  This little stray cat came to visit us at our campfire each night.  It might have had something to do with the fact that Chris kept feeding it, I don’t know!   🙂    Anyway this cat loved sitting by the fire because the nights were so cold!  Fat Cat and this cat did not get along very well though so we still only have one cat.  For that I am thankful, one is enough!

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We really enjoyed visiting the Smoky Mountains.  It is such a huge national park that we were not able to see all of it, so we’ll just have to go back some day and see some more.  Thanks for reading!

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