Here are some Nashville and Smokies updates. When the photos are ready, I’ll write more.
13 hours car-ride to Nashville, Tenessee.
14 hours at the LP Fields stadium for The Call Nashville 07.07.07. Towards the end of the “gathering”, 300 men came out with shofars, that sight and sound was amazing. Needless to say with that many hours in an open stadium I’m much browner now. Unfortunately I’m not all brown, but brown and white like Lehigh’s colors. Need to go out and even out the colors.
After checking out of Motel 8, went to get some food and ice from a Walmart Supercenter, then drove 4 hours to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Stopped on the way at a Cracker Barrel restaurant for lunch. Arrived at the Elkmont campsite at around 7.30pm, set up the tent then went on a short hike at the Elkmont nature trail and after that went to the amphitheater for a native american story session.
Trying to get used to sleeping in a tent on a rather hard surface. The yoga mat, sleeping bag and fleece blanket only softened the surface a little. Fortunately, the tent was bug-proof. I could hear numerous bugs surrounding the tent.
Hiked to the Laurel Falls, drove to the Cherokee Indian Reservations, bought a tiny tomahawk keychain, then hiked up to Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in Tennessee. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy so couldn’t see very far.
It rained through the night. An interesting experience hearing the rain falling on the tent, fortunately the tent was waterproof.
Went out of the national park to take a shower. No shower for the past 2 days…hahaha. Then visited the Little Greenbrier School, a 125-year-old one room schoolhouse building. Drove up to the Newfound Gap and went for a 2 hour plus hike along the Appalachian trail. Again got caught in the rain on the way back. Had an early dinner at Huck Finn’s Catfish restaurant. Walked around the ultra-commercialized Pigeon Forge, a city just outside the Smokies. They even have a Chinese Circus there, that’s how touristy they were. Just before dark, hung out in and at the little river beside the campsite.
Heavy downpour! The waterproof tent leaked a little…hehehe…but the rain dropped on Becky, and I comfortably slept through the night.
10 hour car-ride back to Bethlehem. It is so hot and humid back in Bethlehem. The past few days and nights in the Smokies were nice and cool, around 14-22C.
I added 4 more states to my visited-state list: West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina.