This post was written about July 4th, 2016. Check out my previous days below.
- Smoky Mountains: Day One
- Smoky Mountains: Day Two
- Smoky Mountains: Day Three
- Smoky Mountains: Day Four
- Smoky Mountains: Day Five
- Smoky Mountains: Day Six
Locations: Bryson City, NC -> Great Smoky Mountains National Park -> Gatlinburg, TN -> Bryson City, NC
It’s Fourth of July and I am currently dressed in red, white, and blue because USA. Breakfast today was Blueberry Ego Frozen Waffles. Being a waffle and pancake snob they weren’t my favorite. But then again, I always make my waffles from scratch.
Traveling to get to where we want to go has been a big part of this trip. That being said, if the mountains weren’t here it would take half the time it does to get to certain places. Today we traveled to Clingmans Dome. Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoke Mountain National Park at 6,643 feet. Usually the Dome offers views up to 100 miles but of course it was super cloudy today. Being so high up we were literally in the clouds. It was still cool though when the sun peeked through and you could catch a glimpse of the mountains through the clouds. At Clingmans Dome it’s about 20 degrees cooler than it would be down below. Today I think the temperature reached around 62 F. It felt like we were in Alaska and not in Tennessee!
Being pretty hungry we made our way to Gatlinburg, TN. We were going to eat at the Wild Plum Cafe but they were closed since it was the 4th. Instead we ate at The Smoky Mountain Brewery. Funny story, I brought along the July/August issue of my Food Network magazine and they did a piece on the top 5 most visited National Parks to celebrate the National Parks system turning 100 in August. The Brewery was recommended so we had to try it out! I got a Chicken Reuben with a side of Broccoli in Beer Cheese. I love the chicken version of the reuben because it was a lot lighter than normal and very tasty! The rest of my family split a pizza that was HUGE! All in all we enjoyed the good food.
Let me inform you on what we did next. We hiked about 2 miles of the Appalachian Trail. For those of you who don’t know what the Appalachian Trail is…it’s a 2,200 mile trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine. We got on the trail at the North Carolina and Tennessee border and saw some pretty views.
Heading back to Bryson City we saw some elk on the side of the road and lots of people stopping to take pictures! We also stopped in Cherokee and got a little sweet treat at Two Crows Ice Cream and Treatery. I got a scoop of Cappuccino Toffee Crunch and it was the perfect about of sweet with a little hint of coffee! My brother got a double scoop of the ‘Superman’, and my parents the Mint Chocolate Chip. I also snapped another picture of a painted bear that was in town because why not?
Before heading in to town to eat and watch the fireworks we came back to the house and rested up. I rolled my dirty clothes and took some Ibuprofen for my terrible headache that I had been battling all day. In other news, Kevin Durant signed with The Golden State Warriors and Kevin and I request that you respect our decision since we’re officially over.
We headed back into town for dinner. Wanting something quick we grabbed a meal from Bojangles. We parked in the grocery store parking lots and laid out blankets on the concrete. I’m sure we looked pretty funny. We played cards until the fireworks started and enjoyed the beautiful sunset as well.
Fireworks started around 9:55 and we stayed for about 20 minutes. We hightailed it out of there and not a complaint from me because I was exhausted! My favorite fireworks were the ones that were golden and looked like they were falling from the sky.