We made a side trip around the west side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and back through the park to Gatlinburg. We Roads Scholared, you might say. It took 7 hours to go 150 miles. Here we're going west on US 321 betwixt Pigeon Forge and Walland.
I'm not exactly sure where this is. We got off US 321 in Walland and went southwest on the Foothills Parkway. This is somewhere in that area.
Looking northwest from the Foothills Parkway. I'm not sure where or what any of these things are. We'd have to be looking right out over Oak Ridge (32 miles), and I'd say the mountains behind that are probably a part of a range that's about 50 miles from here.
This is from about the same spot, but I don't know exactly what angle. I think this is towards Knoxville (23 miles). I suspect Knoxville is the small, white patch just under the horizon, a bit above and to the left of the center of the photo. From Google's satellite photos I'm guessing the long, red patch on the left side of the picture is an area with a muddy pond north of SEC 336 and west of the village of Sixmile, but that's a wild, wild guess.
We bipped on over to US 129, likely one of the most treacherous U.S. routes anywhere. Near the Tennessee/North Carolina line, US 129 runs between the Little Tennessee River and Bunker Hill. (Not Bunker Blast Hill. Just Bunker Hill.) US 129 is very curvy, and numerous cars and motorcycles were drag-racing on it. The Old Guard was mad! We then headed back east on NC 28, which also follows the river for a bit. This is the Little Tennessee River, probably at a wide spot in the river along US 129.
This too is the Little Tennessee, from inside the car. Always bring lots of wa when you go Roads Scholaring. Near the right side of the photo you can see the reflection of the lid of a bottle of wa. Wa is good for you, so drink lots of it.
Further still along the Little Tennessee River. I think the road continues along the bottom of that cliff you see in the background.
A nifty bridge on NC 28 over the Little Tennessee near Fontana Village. Near here, the river is dammed to form Fontana Lake.
Looking northwest on NC 28 in Fontana Village, as we were stopping to get (ppphh!) gas. We continued on this road to US 19 to the town of Cherokee, in Cherokee Indian Reservation. Like Gatlinburg, Cherokee is full of shops for tourists.
The last photo in this batch! This is entering a tunnel on US 441 in the Tennessee part of the mountains on the way back to Gatlinburg.
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