Tag Archives: gosmoky

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail remains closed due to problems with paving contractor

This is one of our favorite roads in the Smokies.  We found it on our honeymoon, when one of the worst rainstorms/floods to hit the are hit the area.  I saw the road on a map, and thought it would be a nice “bypass” around the strip in Gatlinburg back to our condo.  It was raining hard, and lightning every few seconds.  Oh, and it was already dark out.  Needless to say, Roaring Fork is difficult in those conditions.  I forgot to add that the water in the rivers throughout wasextremely high.  It was so high under one bridge that it was splashing up onto the road slightly as the river flowed under the bridge.  Anyhow, after driving about a 3-5 miles per hour for an hour or so, we made it out.  While we were scared of THAT drive, we could see via lightning flashes that this was definately a place we wanted to come back to visit.  It has become one of the “to do” things every trip we take to the Smokies (when the road is open). Normally it is open all spring/summer/fall.  However, it has been closed since early this year, and it looks like it will not be open again anytime soon.  The park is having problems with the Florida-based contractor repaving the road.  I’ll let you know here on the blog when I hear about when it will reopen.  Check out the link below for more…

http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=126344&odyssey=mod_mostread

Raymond

***Post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com THE place to stay when you stay in the Smokies***

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Learn about the volunteers, who make finding/seeing Elk in the Smoky Mountains even more enjoyable

Another great read below, from the folks over at Knoxnews.com.  This time, they talked to volunteers who are there to help you learn more about the beautiful Elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The majority of Elk can be see in the Cataloochee Valley area. That’s where many of the volunteers work, answering questions, giving information and advice on the Elk who are flurishing in the Smokies.  Personally, I’ve never been to Cataloochee (something I’m not proud of :). That is definately high on my to-do list for the Smokies, but as many times as I’ve been to the Smokies, I’ve yet to visit Cataloochee.  It is a more remote area of the park for most visitors.  That’s one reason when the Elk were reintroduced, they were reintroduced to the Cataloochee area.  On a recent trip, back in March, we DID see Elk outside of Cherokee in the park.  They are magnificant.  I highly recommend looking for them when you’re in the area.  Ask where to find them at the visitor centers.  They may be able to point you in the right direction.  Once you get there, one of the many volunteers in the “Bugle Corps” may be able to point out things about the Elk you never would have known.  When I retire, I can see myself moving to the Smokies, and volunteering to do something similar, so I suppose that’s part of why this particular article hit home for me.  Enjoy!

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/jul/17/the-bugles-call/

***Brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com. THE place to stay when you’re staying in the Smokies. I went to Hardees here in Charleston earlier this week, and the smell of coffee and bacon coming from the drive-through window took me back, if only for a moment, to the breakfasts I made early in the morning as  I looked out at the beautiful view of the Smokies at the Smoky Mountain Tower back in March.  You can make those memories too, at www.SmokyMountainTower.com***

Rock Slide on Little River Rd. may be cleared by Sunday evening

This is a hot topic on the blog, so I’ll try to keep updated daily on the latest from the Little River Rd. rockslide.  The road is closed right now, and it looks like crews are hoping to get the road back open by Sunday evening. According to the article below, it was discovered at around 2AM Thursday morning.  Little River Rd. is the road to Cades Cove (or Townsend) from Gatlinburg in the park.  If you are leaving the Sugarlands Visitor Center parking lot, Little River is the road you would turn right to head down.  We drove down that road a couple of weeks ago.  This is also the way to get to Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.  That’s where we were headed. 

Fortunately, Cades Cove is closed while they rebuild the road there, so I would imagine fewer people would need Little River Rd. than usual anyhow.  Hopefully it will be open Sunday evening.

I’ll update this post as I get new info… feel free to subscribe to this blog, so the updates will be sent to your automatically:)

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/mar/19/crew-cleaning-rock-slide-little-river-road-may-reo/

This rock slide is the 7th rock slide in the last 5 months in the Smokies…

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/mar/20/7-occur-in-last-5-months/

Raymond

**This blog post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com.  One of the best views of Mount LeConte and Ober Gatlinburg are seen from the deck of The Smoky Mountain Tower.  You can see photos on the website.  Check it out for your next visit to the Smokies! BTW, the location is PERFECT.  Right between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  You can go to either city, OR the park, without having to drive through the others.***

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.***

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***

25,000 views of the GoSmoky blog… WOW! Thanks!

I just wanted to drop a  quick note.  I was looking at the stats for my blog, and I noticed that I’ve now had more than 25,000 views.  That is amazing.  I started my whole “gosmoky” thing at www.gosmoky.com several years ago mainly as a way to keep information I might want to use in the future at my fingertips online.  Since it was on the web, I started to get emails from people who stopped by and said they enjoyed the photos or links I posted on the site.  That, and a desire to learn more about the Smokies, led me to begin the “GoSmoky.com Internet Talk Show”. While I don’t have the exact numbers, I’m now well over thousands of listeners to that program.  Then, last Feb., I figured with this much interest in the Smokies, I should start an easy-to-update blog.  That’s what you’re reading right now.  Since that time, my site has been looked at 25,000 times.  Just about every day anywhere from 100-180 people stop by to read the posts or view the webcams. 

I’m so glad to be able to have this available.  It keeps me going between trips to the Smokies.  

While this was never started with a view to the future, I plan on setting some goals for the next 12 months shortly.  I want to see how big I can grow this thing.   If there are 25,000 views out there, there must be a huge appetite for more information and interaction about the Smokies online. 

I hope to help make that happen for more people.  Thanks again!  Look for the next 12 months to be better than ever! 

Raymond

***I’d also like to thank Dave and Angie over at www.smokymountaintower.com.  They have helped make this blog and the online talk show possible. They also have the house that my wife would seriously like to purchase for our own if she were not still in school.  Who knows, Dave… maybe one day we’ll buy the house from you:)  In the meantime, you can take a look at it, and stay there the next time you are in the Smokies at www.smokymountaintower.com.  The views (and the location between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge) are prefect!***