Wednesday, April 16, 2008
We're at Pigeon River Inn, right by a small creek. Outside, I can see the first leaves on willow trees, with apple and cherry trees in full bloom. I think it's spring. We've stopped for 3 days here in Pigeon Cove, just outside the Great Smokey National Park for the weather is just still too cold to camp, dipping down to the 30s every night, with threats of snow. Yesterday we hiked 2.5 miles along Laurel Falls trail to see our first waterfall since Arizona. We then drove through these beautiful foothills to the Appalachians.
The town itself is considered a vacation resort, with 11 million people visiting every year. Dolly Parton's early efforts have brought many businesses here, with musical shows (including Cirque de Chine) for nearly every taste, NASCAR rides, and Dollywood. We've mostly hung out in our lovely hotel, off season rates at $29.95 before tax. But I think we're headed for Philadelphia sooner with stops in Winston-Salem and Roanoke.