Sunday, July 8, 2012

Picnic in the Park-Sort of!

It was a little nuts to try and head into a picnic area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on July 4th, but try we did...We drove and drove along Little River Road on the north side of the park, coming in from the town of Townsend to look for a picnic spot. The park was overloaded everywhere, the Little River was very crowded with tubers, and not much water!  Most of the people tubing were floating in one spot and not moving because of a lack of depth of water. Good way to get a sunburn! We looked and looked everywhere, stopping to see some neat places for future return visits, without the kids, like this one... If you look closely, you can see two girls at the bottom of the little falls.
There were people all over this particular spot. We talked to a couple who had been here years before, but they didn't know the name of this stopping point. It's on a curve with a high bridge, and apparently, it's a popular "diving off the cliffs" spot. The couple said, if you asked a ranger in the park, "Where's that spot where you can you dive off the rocks into a pool below?" They would say, "We don't have anything like that." Yeah, right! This spot had a sign warning of drownings occurring in this place, yet people are still showing up in droves for the chance to dive head first into water that didn't appear to be all that deep! The same couple we talked to said that if you jumped in feet first, your feet touch bottom about the same time your head goes under. About six feet? These people diving head first were nuts!
It was so great to see some little waterfalls again, after being in dry Texas for a month! And to hear the sound of bubbling, rushing brooks and streams....

There were no picnic spots available, so we made our own. We pulled off the side of the road where there was room for the car, and we clambered down the hillside to the Little River banks. Out came the nylon beach mats still holding a little ocean beach sand from our trip to Florida. Perfect for placing on a flat rock for a picnic blanket and the kids were set!
Grandma Sparky decided to get her tootsies wet in the river....bad idea! Slippery rocks, VERY slippery! Back out she came......Back on went her shoes......
It was fun having a picnic in an unplanned spot... Cate, Trevor, Papa and Grandma Jeannie had a wonderful afternoon at the park today...Wish we had more time to explore the national park, but it's been so very hot. We managed to hike a trail, see some fabulous sites, see some wildlife and get to know our way around the park a little better. That's all very good because we definitely are coming back to our country's most visited national park. Twice as many visitors come to the Great Smoky Mountains as the Grand Canyon, which is the second most visited national park. We hope to return this fall for some SERIOUS hiking!  We leave tomorrow heading for Pennsylvania! We're going to take the grandkids to Hershey and Gettysburg before returning them to their parents. Should be quite the trip! We'll see how they do for hours at a time on the road in the motorhome.....Bye for now........

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the beautiful trip to one of my favorite places.........and everyone else's too I know. Sorry you were there on July 4. I know the heat made the numbers even higher. Hope you find it cooler in PA.