Category Archives: snow

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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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***

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!***

“Life on LeConte” blog…

I’ve found a new Smoky Mountains website to add to my list of “favorite sites.” It’s at www.lifeonleconte.com

Doug McFall is the winter caretaker of LeConte Lodge.  He runs the blog from the lodge. 

I’ve always said that if I ever get the time/money to be able to spend extended time in the Smokies creating stories for the GoSmoky blog, I’d like to make small documentaries about various aspects of those mountains.  Spending some time up at LeConte Lodge during the snowy off-season would be one of the things I’d love to do a story on. 

Doug’s blog is basically his updates on life on the mountain.  The photos he has there are incredible.  I don’t know how much is due to his photograghic ability, or how much is simply due to the fact that the Smokies are extremely photogenic… especially when dusted with snow.  Just take a look at the photo below… it looks like a piece of artwork. Then again, it is.  God knew what he was doing…

I’d recommend you bookmark his site.  I’ve invited him to be on my online GoSmoky radio show, but right now management of LeConte Lodge doesn’t want him doing interviews.  That’s too bad for us and them.  I’ll bet Doug could tell us some great stories from the mountain, and more people could find out about what the lodge has to offer.

Enjoy his blog!!

Raymond

***When you stay in the Smoky Mountains, stay where we stay, at www.smokymountaintower.com.  They support the gosmoky.com blog. Check out the photos of the view from the tower now!***

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 **