Category Archives: north carolina

Landslide closes Hwy 441 down to 1 lane near NC/TN border

If it’s not a rockslide, it’s a landslide causing havoc for driving in and around the Smokies.  This time, it’s highway 441 in the park.  That’s the OTHER main route.  

This is the drive from Gatlinburg to Cherokee.  A landslide just past the NC/TN border has caused traffic to have to drive on just one lane.  Just to give you an idea of where this is, Newfound Gap is on the NC/TN border, so this is close to Newfound Gap. 

Find more info on this particular landslide at the link below.  

 http://www.reflector.com/state-news/landslide-slows-traffic-through-smoky-mountains-28721

-Raymond

***This post brought to you by www.smokymountaintower.com. If a landslide keeps you from doing what you want in the mountains, just head back to The Smoky Mountain Tower.  There is so much to do there, you will not even be upset about the landslides:) Check it out for your next trip to the Smokies!***

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Ghost Town in the Sky could be foreclosed on in June.

It looks like Ghost Town in the Sky could be up for foreclosure in June. According to the article below, if additional funding is not found before then, foreclosure could take place.  I would imagine this is a bad economy to be looking for funding in. This all boils down to a nearly $10 million dollar loan BB&T has with the park.  They are giving the owners of Ghost Town until June to work something out, or be foreclosed on.

The sad thing is, Ghost Town is one of the bigger tourist draws in Maggie Valley.  About 200 people work at Ghost Town in the Sky, so this will surely be bad news for those folks. 

I hope, for the sake of Maggie Valley, that something can be worked out.  If I get more information on this, I’ll post it.

http://www.smokymountainnews.com/issues/03_10/03_10_10/fr_gt_foreclosure.html

Raymond 

***This post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com. When you’re in the Smokies, you want to stay here.  This is a great place, in a perfect location with only the best views.  Trust me.  Or just click on the site to see for yourself:)***

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.) ***

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***

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!***

Rock slide on I-40 good AND bad for business… and increasing Smoky Mountain traffic

The Smoky Mountains are seeing a major impact ever since the huge rock slide closed portions of I-40 in North Carolina October 25th.  The traffic through the park (from Cherokee to Gatlinburg) as people take that route around the rock slide.  According to this story… http://www.tennessean.com/article/20091228/NEWS01/91228004/2066/NEWS03, officials are seeing about 1,000 cars per day more than what they usually see this time of year.  That’s a significant impact on a winding 2 lane road. 

While I haven’t been up there since the rock slide, my mom and grandmom went to Knoxville a couple of weeks ago, and they said HOURS were added to their detour (around the rock slide via interstate.)  If I were driving up there during the day, I’d take the road through the park.  If I’m going to spend an extra hour or two in the car, I just assume it’s driving through the park.

Business is also seeing a major impact.  I told you back in November…   https://gosmoky.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/rock-slide-work-continues-some-businesses-may-get-federal-assistance/… that some businesses that are seeing less business due to the slide may be getting Federal aid.  Well, it appears that the traffic moving through the park may be helping improve the bottom line for other businesses.  In this article, http://www.tennessean.com/article/20091228/NEWS01/91228005/I-40+shutdown+is+a+blessing++curse+for+businesses one business owner says they have seen a 20-30% increase in business since the rock slide. 

I’m hoping to get back up there myself in a month or so for a long weekend.  I’ll let you know how things go when I take that trip. 

Raymond

***This post brought to you by www.smokymountaintower.com .  Check out Dave’s blog post about their 2010 deals.  You can now stay there (a full house) for less than $100/night when you stay for a week.  There are lots of other specials you can find at his site and blog.  Check them out!***

Snow is in the area, skiing is great on the slopes!

View From Purchase Knob, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
There’s a photo from the webcam at Purchase Knob in the National Park.  I love snow in the mountains.  You can see the live view by clicking on my live webcams link above, or just click here… https://gosmoky.wordpress.com/smokies-webcams/ . 
The snow means skiing is great right now on the slopes at Ober Gatlinburg in Gatlinburg and Cataloochee in Maggie Valley.  Both resorts are reporting close to 30+ incheas of snow.  Above is  a look at the ski mountain at Cataloochee this morning.  Looks like a blast on the slopes… www.cataloochee.com is the direct link to see a live look at this webcam.   Click the following link for a look at live webcams at a number of southeast ski resorts.. http://www.skisoutheast.com/webcams.htm
Then, you can see snow in Gatlinburg at the Gatlinburg live webcam above the Space Needle.   Check it out.. control it yourself:)  http://www.cabinfevervacations.com/gatlinburg-web-cam.html
This is a great time to visit the Smoky Mountains.  Not only is it beautiful, but there are fewer crowds, and places to stay are much cheaper. 
Raymond
**You can also see some great snow photos from the website of our favorite place to stay in the smokies, the Smoky Mountain Tower… they have some great snow photos at the blog, http://smokiesrentdirect.blogspot.com/2009/12/greetings-from-snowy-gatlinburg.html **