After our night chilling back at base, I awoke with a slightly thick head thanks to the previous evening’s alcohol consumption. Rhonda had risen early to take Jayna to Knoxville airport for her flight home early that morning.
@sk43, @sircork, @catherine813 and I took a ride out to have a look at our surroundings. We ended up at a beautiful spot from which we could see Gatlinburg nestled between the surrounding mountains.
The weather closed in and it began to rain, but seeing the clouds rolling over the tops of the distant mountains was very cool.
Naturally, the vista was a great excuse to use panorama mode on my phone, a Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Click for full screen.
Hunger set in so we made our way back into town and met up with Rhonda. Having no idea where we would eat, we rumbled down the main drag until we spotted a Texas Roadhouse. Steak sounded good.
It certainly sounded more appetizing than this joint…
We had a fine lunch, so fine that I ate entirely too much. Unfortunately, because Rhonda had been running around like a mad woman, organizing everything, driving hundreds of miles to wrangle us all into one place, she was feeling the strain of the week’s events, on top of her usual health issues. She ducked out of the rest of the day’s events and returned to the motel for a lie down to recuperate.
Her husband Scott – @sk43 – took charge and became my tour guide. We discussed the many differences and subtleties of American and English ways and culture. Together with Catherine and Sircork, we hit Gatlinburg’s main street and wandered among the other visiting tourists.
Seeing a Harley on display, I did my tourist thing and posed for a photo. The lady behind the counter didn’t seem all too happy. I resisted going into Ben and Jerry’s: we have the brand in the UK but this was the first store I had seen.
We stumbled across some cute side streets housing interesting little shops. This one was called ‘The Village’ and tried to resemble a little English village. I felt at home when I found the telephone box.
We slowly made our way to our ultimate destination, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, crossing the river along the way.
In front of the entrance was a sculpture of a bald eagle, entirely made from scrap metal.
Although the sign proclaimed that it had been constructed from recycled scrap from cars, most recognizable parts were from motorcycles.
Nonetheless, it was very cool, especially up close.
We seemed to have timed our arrival to perfection as another rain shower threatened to soak us. Tickets purchased, we made our way inside the aquarium.