Saturday, November 19, 2011

Into the Smokey Mountains and Beyond

Day 2
        I awoke from  hibernation to a Tow Truck lights glaring at me from my side view window, I suddenly felt vulnerable, with the possibility of a Morning Tow looming, I sprung into action, moving quickly, I unzipped the luggage on the front seat and rummaged around for clothes, my thoughts muddled with the only clear goal to get the car moving before the Driver came to say what's up. I climbed into the drivers seat and accelerated rapidly out of the lot. Glancing back the Tow truck was still stationary. I found the highway and headed west toward Asheville. I arrived in Asheville, a scenic town surrounded by snowcapped mountains sited in the foothills of the blue mountains and located a 2 story giant Barnes and Nobles, I exited the car, all strung out from the road and walked in, my immediate sense of purpose was not to read, or wi-fi or maps but coffee. I  ordered a rich double shot straight black coffee and slugged it down with satisfaction. I sat down and uploaded my location, 2 ladies walked by and asked if I knew where some store was, I stared back blankly for a sec. and said mam, I very little idea where I even am right now, I awoke to a tow truck in an abandoned parking lot. Apparently they were from Tennessee I said "I believe that's where I'm headin", due to high energy and a southern drawl they were gifted with the ability of rapid incoherrant speach, I gathered that Gatlinburg was a must see and a great tourist town. They thought it was amazing I was trekking through like this and that they wish they would've done this and I inspired them. I was a bit abashed and at the same time glad I saw people to talk to.

            I headed out on highway 441 which was a winding route through the blue mountains, I was exposed to an great amount of breathtaking scenery. I traveled up to a scenic lookout where you could see how the smoky mountains received its name, due to  the smoky haze that shrouded them, the misty smog made the entire range look surreal and picturesque. I gathered in as much of the scenery as I could an headed back out toward Gatlinburg. The buildings in Gatlinburg were constructed with elaborate rock and brick work giving them an appealing antiquated edge. There were town square areas with granite work laid out. Due to the surrounding terrain it felt like you were in Holland or some small European village near the Swiss alps. In  a gift shop I saw a hanging board with the inscriptions "Once again, I'm up a creek without a paddle" etched in, I felt a sense of familiarity and strong desire to buy this, but ended up spending it on a deluxe value meal at a nearby Wendy's. the sky lift above town granted a birds eye view of the scenic village as well as the surrounding Mountain range which made for illustrious scenery, 5 bucks well spent. After a few more hours strolling the town , snapping pics and absorbing the countryside, I was ready to "park it", at this point my feet were causing me considerable pain, (one of the reasons I was out of shape).

        I hit the highway, again heading west, I was not prepared for the bombardment of entertainment exhibits that ensued, It was like 16 county fairs strung together on both sides of the road, with massive colorful lit up billboards advertising anything from carousals to roller coasters to pet farms. As I was driving these attractions kept growing in number and I thought where am I? should I park the car and get out and hit some of these fun rides up, is this a place to waste all the money I have? Unfortunately I spent too much time on the crowded streets of Gatlinburg and the Asheville Barnes and Noble because dusk had already arrived and Nasheville was  still a good 3 hours away so instead of stopping I headed out to a Starbucks and re-routed my location, while at the coffee shop I scanned the room for any attractive girls that could tell me why there was so much entertainment and if this was a city or funland, after a glance around the room, I settled for somebody working at Starbucks instead, and I learned I was in pigeon ford. I got back on the highway and after a good half hour of driving I reached for my camera, seeing the empty battery slot, i was hit with a nauseating recollection, I was fuming, my mood irate, I re-traced my route back and retrieved my camera battery charger from the wall outlet, and headed back out again. By now it was dark.  The next 3 hours were long ad tedious, it seemed to me, night driving always drug on the longest, I think this was due to the fact that you cant see your surroundings to pass the time. Your eyes are glued to the semi lights ahead of you, staring into that translucent red was like a long trance. Finally. I arrived and thought about a motel, but decided against it electing the target parking lot again, something about a target lot, was more comfortable to me than any other, maybe it was the upscale buildings surrounding it that lessened the possibility of me being drug out and violated. I am not entirely sure. but I repeated the procedure of yanking my cargo from the trunk, followed by an extensive amount of effort pushing it all into passenger seat. The day was long and due to being exhausted I seemed to be  impervious to the cold that night. I was dozing in minutes.

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