Category Archives: Winter

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***

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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!***

Work continues as more than 500 bolts are being inserted into mountainside at I-40 rock slide location

It looks like things are still on track to get I-40 back open by March.  The rock slide mountain that closed the interstate near the NC/TN border back in October is being drilled with bolts to keep the mountain in place as much as possible.  Eventually, more than 500 bolts will be in place.

You can find regular updates on progress on the mountain at http://www.ncdot.org/travel/i40_rockslide/.

I’m planning on being in the area in a couple of weeks.  I’ll post more about that trip soon. I’ll also keep you updated on what I find with regard to how the slide is impacting area businesses.

Raymond

***This post brought to you by www.smokymountaintower.com.  Take a look at our favorite place to stay in the Smokies.  It has some of the best views anywhere. Check it out!***

“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!***

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!***