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Stories, Travel

Travel: Great Smoky National Park

To celebrate my one year anniversary, my husband & I thought it would be pretty sweet to revisit the place where we took our first real vacation together. Although, we have been together 9 years this month, our wedding anniversary is very special.

Hotel Sierra

Downtown Atlanta glitters at night, rainbow colored buildings, street lights, and plenty of cars. In my mind all I imagine is the car trails that follow each car,  but we press on toward our destination for the night, Alpharetta, Georgia. Hard to believe we had just left the high speed twisty lit up roads that call Atlanta home, driving by Emory brought memories of Chris McCandless, the man behind one of my favorite story- turned-movie, “Into The Wild”, I was stoked. We stayed overnight at the gorgeous Hotel Sierra. We were met with brisk temperatures and blessed with a very breezy night. I was almost in shock, just about 9 hours or so away from home and a stark difference in ambience. I must say that I love the way cold air smells…like burning wood. Perhaps from neighboring fireplaces, either way, it’s beautiful. Listening to the vivid orangey-red, and yellow leaves crackle as they brush across the asphalt is music to my ears. I just breathe it all in.

We arrived to Cherokee, North Carolina in the morning after countless stops along the way for hot salty boiled peanuts that we just can’t get ever seem to get enough of when we are in the real south. It always makes me so sad to come home and not be able to find GOOD boiled peanuts. The best kind are the dirty, almost scary stands on the side of the road populated with large bodied attendants and droves of locals scarfing up bags and bags. We stop for fudge, another south staple from a little shop on the Cherokee strip, red velvet! Melted my heart, and my mouth. After a bit of shopping and people watching we make way to our campsite in the park, Elkmont. This will be our home, under the canopy of gorgeously colored trees for the next 11 days.

Oh, don't mind that big black dot... Edited for your viewing pleasure.

The next few days the weather deteriorated. It was cold, rainy, misty, and we were constantly navigating unpaved mountain roads that we could not see more than 5 feet in front of our hood. We were literally in the clouds! It may for a brilliant serene setting for photography. While traveling the more remote areas of the park we did encounter a few paved roads here and there. The shot below was taking during the day obviously and leaves to the imagination what we were able to see, or rather not, at night.

This was one wild ride.

I won’t bore you with the gushy details of our anniversary, but we spent it in the uber touristy Gatlinburg, a small mountain town that I just fall in love with over and over again. Filled to the brim with cheesy attractions, fudge shoppes, food, souvenir shops, and tourists-a-plenty. We spent most of our time further down the road in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville this trip, when we weren’t in the park or the plethora of podunk mountain towns trying to steal a shower.

We saw lots of wildlife on our trip, a Coyote every night as we made our way back to our campsite. A Black Bear, and cubs twice, Skunks, Elk, tons of Deer, Wild Turkey, and various little rodents that inhabit the area.

Now on to the good stuff. The reason why I travel, and my passion, Photography. A small collection of my favorites that I uploaded for the public to view.

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About PixelGrin

Photography. Punk Rock. Art. Travel.

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Hi Hello I'm Jennifer Jackson. ...and the world is my oyster...

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