From August 3rd until August 7th., 6 Bold adventurers tackled the dangerous and beautiful Great Smoky Mountains despite the handicap of being related. Injury, Maiming, and possibly even death were not out of the question, based upon the itenarary developed by the trip leader and trip organizer, Lyle Amacher
Place: Ski Mountain Chalet #48, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Gatlinburg is right next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Onto the Adventures:
Upon everyone's arrival, the movie Deliverance was viewed to get everybody properly prepared for our dangerous river rafting adventure. After that, it was on to the fresh meat for our devouring.
After our delicious meal, poker and beer drinking was the name of the game!!!!!
After a hearty breakfast of eggs, biscuits and gravy, and sausage, we set out into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a day of mountain adventuring. First stop, Cades Cove. Cades Cove, is an area of pastures and fields surrounded by the Smokies. Wild life abounds at Cades Cove. We saw no bears but did see a rather large buck. We also visited an authentic log cabin which makes almost any of today's houses seem cavernous and luxiourious.
Then, Clingman's Dome, the tallest point in the Smokies. To get to Clingman's Dome, you have to drive quite away up the mountain. Maybe, the scariest moment of the whole trip was riding in a car up that mountain. Sorry Dad!!!!! He drove. After all that driving, our work was not done!!!! Although, a paved path was provided, the walk to the top of the Smokies was not a smooth trip. The climb is very steep and i personally was glad to see the top.
And Finally, the Chimney Tops. This turned out to be the most challenging of our hikes. Dan, suggested this hike and much to our chagrin, slightly under-estimated the difficulty and the length of the trail. But to Dan's credit, all the effort was worth the trouble. The trail, at first, seems like a nice little hike throught the trees and river. However, as the incline and mudiness of the trail increased, so did most of our exhaustion. After what seemed like never-ending mud, uphill walking, and struggling, the trail ended and a series of rock walls faced us. Although, no difficult rock climb, for the in-experienced climber, it was quite challenging but definitely a thrill. Well, all the effort was worth it, as the Chimney Tops are nothing short of spectacular.
Day 2 ended with six weary but satisfied travelers.
On Day 3, the group decided to explore the towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Gatlinburg is less commercial that Pigeon Forge. It has a sort of mountain village feel about it. We went to the local winery and i bought my wife, Rachel, some wine and asti spumante. Pigeon Forge is where all the action occurs. Bunging jumping, water parks, helicopter rides, you name it can be found in Pigeon Forge. By the way, don't forget Dollywood. Pigeon Forge is the hometown of Dolly Parton. We decided to go see the Movie Rider. The Movie Rider is an interactive movie experience where you are strapped in a chair which moves, shakes, and inclines based upon a movie played on a large screen in front of you. Very Cool but in my oppinion, I wished it had been longer. We then hit all the tourist trap shops so we could buy stuff for all our wives, friends and selves. The day concluded by throwing ourselves down water slides at Ogle's Waterpark. Needless to say, competition was fierce for the fastest down the slides. After returning, we ate some more meat and sat down to watch the Movie, "The White Mile" where several people on a river raft trip died. We all watched hoping our fates would not be the same!!!!
The Crew Minus our Fearless Leader, Lyle
Our Guide, Jim, of the Nantahala Outdoor Center. NOC was excellent, professional, and I would highly recommend them to any unexperienced river rafters
The rest of the pictures show our