Category Archives: Holiday Motel

DAY-1 Ski Trip in Maggie Valley…

Alright, we are finally back in the Smokies! We arrived at about 4AM (extremely late arrival is a long story) this morning at A Holiday Motel (www.holidaymotel.net) in Maggie Valley.  We slept for about 6 hours before getting out of the room at around 11AM this morning.  We were skiing at Cataloochee (www.cataloochee.com ) soon thereafter.  There was a snow storm moving into the area.  That’s good news, because that means lots of great powder. The bad news is, it snowed so hard, they had to close the slopes early.  We were planning to ski until they closed at 10PM, but they had to close at 4:30PM due to the extreme snow.  The snow is not a problem at the top of the mountain, but considering you have to drive back down the mountain, the snow-covered roads are the reason they had to close early.  We were just about the last people on the mountain before we left.

Now, keep in mind, on our way UP the mountain, just a few hours earlier, there were bits of snow on the sides of the road, but just a little white here and there.  As you can see by these photos we took on the way down the mountain, the entire area now looks like a winter wonderland.

Here’s a look at some fields on the way down the mountain.

Then, another of the cabins you see along the road down the mountain.

The Cataloochee folks tell us they expect lots of additional snow throughout tonight.  They plan to open at 8:30AM tomorrow, and will stay open until 10PM.  IF that happens, we plan to be there from open to close.  We’ll post more photos from tomorrow once we get back from the slopes.

Also, I wanted to let you know when we will be airing another “LIVE IN THE SMOKIES” episode of the GoSmoky.com Internet Talk Show.  I will be hosting a show on THIS Sunday morning from Maggie Valley.  I plan to have several guests on the show, including a representative from the N.C. Department of Transportation.  He spent several days last week at the site of the rock slide on I-40.  He’ll update us on the project. That “LIVE FROM THE SMOKIES” episode of the GoSmoky.com Internet Talk Show will take place this Sunday morning at 8:30AM.  I will post the show link here on the blog.  You can listen live, or listen to the show podcast later at the link.  Stay tuned!

-Raymond

***This GoSmoky.com trip to the Smokies is brought to you by www.holidaymotel.net and www.cataloochee.com.***

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Quick housekeeping note… goal for 2010, and email updates

This is just a quick housekeeping note. 

I always like to let people know about goals.  That way we all know if we hit them.  I told you about our hitting 25K views on the blog so far since it started (began here on wordpress last Feb.) Anyhow, I want to see us do 150% of that for 2010.  So that makes the new goal 37,500 views by the end of 2010.  See ya on Dec. 31st! If you could let your friends know about the blog, I’d appreciate it. 

One more thing… I just added a feature that will automatically email you all of my latest blog posts.  Just click on the box on the right side of the front page of the blog to add yourself.  I know lots of people use RSS feeds of some sort, but I thought I’d add that just in case you want to stay on top of things without having to just click over here over and over (but feel free to visit as often as you’d like:)

-Raymond

***Just 2 days away, and I’ll be headed back to the Smokies.  This will be the 2nd ski trip up there with my brothers.  I’m hosting another online gosmoky.com internet talk show about the trip soon.  Stay tuned! The trip is brought to you by www.cataloochee.com (where we will ski) and www.holidaymotel.net (where we will stay.) ***

BREAKING: Rock Slide closes portion of Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge spur

BREAKING: Large rock slide has closed the spur road heading to Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge.  Traffic is now being routed to the Pigeon Forge bound lanes.  That road is now divided into a 2 lane road, one lane headed in each direction. 

The good news… this is not June.  I’d imagine it would be best to avoid the spur if you can.  There are back-roads if you know where they are.  If you’re not aware of those, stop by a visitor center and ask for direction.  Quite frankly, they can be very confusing.  I know where several of them are, and I STILL get confused pretty often.  If they were simple to understand, I’d post them here. 

Find out more about the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge rock slide over at the yoursmokies blog… http://yoursmokies.blogspot.com/2010/01/rock-slide-closes-portion-of-foothills.html

-Raymond

***Stand by for many more photos/videos/blog posts/new episode of the GoSmoky.com Internet Talk Show soon.  It’s the 2nd annual GoSmoky.com Ski Trip, this weekend.  We’ll be updating right here on the blog.  Trip brought to you by the Cataloochee Ski Area ( www.cataloochee.com) and A Holiday Motel (www.holidaymotel.net) ***

NEW Rock slide in I-40 just miles away from the massive rock slide already being cleared on I-40

It looks like another, smaller rock slide has taken place just a few miles away from the site of the major rock slide that workers have been trying to clear up for the past several months.  The good news is, officials still estimate they will be able to get the road open again in March. 

While this one is smaller, it was still big enough to have a boulder the size of an SUV.  I’d hate to see that coming down the mountain at me.  This was also along the portion of I-40 that has been closed as they clear the larger rock slide, so it didn’t disturb anyone who may have been driving along I-40. 

Apparently the slide happened sometime late Friday or early Saturday morning.  A crew member discovered the slide Saturday morning.

I’m working on getting someone from the NC DOT to come on the GoSmoky.com Internet Talk Show to discuss the slide, as I’ve had LOTS of traffic on the blog on stories concerning the rock slide. More info at the link below on the most recent slide…

http://www.witn.com/stateregional/headlines/82549422.html

Raymond

***Another reminder, in just 3 days, I’ll be back in the Smokies with my 2nd annual ski trip to the Smokies.  I’ll be blogging and I’ll host a 2010 show on skiing in the Smokies in the coming week.  We’ll also post a number of photos and some videos from the trip.  The trip is being brought to you by www.cataloochee.com and www.holidaymotel.net.  We’ll be skiing Friday and Saturday, and possibly snow tubing Sunday at Cataloochee.  We’ll be staying at A Holiday Motel.  We’re looking forward to it, and I’m sure it will be another fantastic trip to the Smokies.  Check out http://www.holidaymotel.net/skipackages.htm for the $129/person THREE DAY/TWO NIGHT SKIING PACKAGE… Yes, you read correctly… $129!!! Keep in mind, www.holidaymotel.net is listed as the number 1 hotel in Maggie Valley on Trip Advisor Reviews***

New “Adventure Mountain” to debut in 2010 at Dollywood

I found this story at WBIR.com’s website http://www.wbir.com/life/programming/local/liveatfive/story.aspx?storyid=111281&catid=8 .  I know we heard something about this more than a year ago when we did the Dollywood episode of the GoSmoky.com Internet Radio Show… http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gosmoky/2008/10/24/dollywood, but now there is a date set for the opening of the new “adventure.”  The new “Adventure Mountain” debuts at Dollywood on March 26th.

While I haven’t had a chance to see this “ride” personally, it looks similar to the Adventure area at Stone Mountain in Georgia. Imagine being connected to a rope line in case you fall, then making your way around 2 acres of high-in-the-air fun including climbing and walking around things anyone who has even been a kid in a treehouse could only dream of.  It looks like lots of fun.  I only hope the lines aren’t as bad as the lines at the “Adventure” area at Stone Mountain.  Let me know what you think if you get a chance to try the new “Adventure Mountain.”

Raymond

***We’ll be headed back to the Smokies for another GoSmoky trip to the Smokies next week.  The 2nd annual “Ski Trip” is brought to you by www.cataloochee.com and www.holidaymotel.net.  Check out their sites for REALLY INEXPENSIVE ski/motel deals right now!***

Research projects currently under permit in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I was browsing through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s website, and I found a page that lists all the current research projects permitting in the Smokies.  It’s categorized by area of research.  If you have a minute, take a look at some of the projects, from the climbing behavior of salamanders, to research into whether or not short-leaf pine trees in the area might help determine global climate issues.  While you don’t get to see the research, it is quite interesting to browse through and see what kind of research is taking place in the Smokies.  Take a look!

http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/dispatches-permits.htm

***Next Thursday night, I’ll be headed to Maggie Valley for our 2nd annual GoSmoky.com Ski Trip.  I’m planning another episode of the GoSmoky.com Internet Radio Show on the trip.  I’ll also be adding lots of photos and even some videos when I get back.  The trip is being made possible by Cataloochee Ski Area (www.cataloochee.com) and A Holiday Motel (www.holidaymotel.net.)   Stop by www.cataloochee.com to see a live webcam of the ski resort.  If you’re interested in a ski trip, A Holiday Motel and Cataloochee have a steal of a deal.  Lift tickets, rentals, lessons, a $15 gas card and 2 nights at A Holiday Motel for just $129/person.  Check it out! http://www.holidaymotel.net/skipackages.htm.***

2nd Annual GoSmoky Ski Trip…

If you heard the end of my last episode of the GoSmoky.com Internet Radio Show (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gosmoky/2010/01/12/smoky-mountain-author-j-greg-johnson-joins-us-on-t)  you may have heard me mention that I am planning another trip to the Smokies in a couple of weeks.  Well, I’m working out some details, and I thought I’d share them with you, my readers. 

Last year, we did our first of what I’m planning to make annual ski trips to the Smokies on the GoSmoky.com Internet Talk Show and Blog. 

This year, I plan to take many more photos, as well as some videos to post on our youtube page. (www.youtube.com/gosmoky) Right now, the only thing on the page is a short video from Laurel Falls (great way to take a 30 second “vacation:)

Due to the I-40 Rock Slide, and possible winter weather, this year we will not be able to ski in Gatlinburg and Maggie Valley.  We’ve decided to ski for 2 days at the Cataloochee Ski Area (www.cataloochee.com.)

We will also be staying in Maggie Valley at the Holiday Motel (www.holidaymotel.net.) I’m excited about our stay there.  We chose their motel because they are ranked number 1 in TripAdvisor.com’s Maggie Valley section (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g49313-Maggie_Valley_North_Carolina-Hotels.html.) 

We’ll be in the area from Jan. 28-31st.  I’ll get lots of photos and at least a couple of additional videos posted to the site when we get back. 

I’m also planning another episode of the GoSmoky.com Internet Talk Show on the area.  I’ll post details on that once I have the show planned.

Raymond

***This year’s trip is brought to you by Cataloochee Ski Area (www.cataloochee.com) and the Holiday Motel (www.holidaymotel.net.)  Check out their sites to see why this is going to be a fantastic trip!***