After having a rather filling breakfast Veronica and I went to The Island so we could buy a day/night ticket to ride on The Wheel...a fairly new ferris wheel in this new entertainment complex.
After going on this ferris wheel and taking numerous photos, we went to one of our favorite pottery businesses in Gatlinburg. Each year that we come to this area, we stop by Alewine Pottery on the Arts and Crafters Loop in Gatlinburg, so that we can add to our collection of handmade coffee mugs. After making our choice for this years pick of a coffee mug we decided to head out for a scenic drive to a place called Cades Cove, which is approximately 25 miles outside of Gatlinburg. The drive to Cades Cove is really nice. The road runs adjacent to the Little River, which runs through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Since it had rained the day before, the river was high and running pretty fast. With all of the boulders and various other obstacles in the river, there was quite a bit of white water rapids in the river.
We stopped here and there along the route so that I could take some photos of the fast moving river. One of those stops was at a location known as the Sinks, which is about 10 miles West of Gatlinburg. The Sinks is a notoriously treacherous stretch of whitewater where several people have died. At the Sinks the water is really rough and has many huge boulders creating big drop offs and a lot of white water....extremely strong and violent current. At the Sinks we came upon a couple of kayakers. One of these kayakers, acting as a safety person, was stationed below this huge raging white water drop off while the kayaker prepared himself to make the journey through one of the very tricky and violent watery chutes. I was lucky enough to get both photos and videos of these kayakers. After watching the kayaker make it through the chute safely, we headed up the road to Cades Cove.
Cades Cove is a scenic 12 mile loop that you drive at very slow speeds. A "cove" is a valley or flat land that sits between two mountains.
Cades Cove was a sprawled out settlement or community back in the 1800s. On the scenic route you can stop and see various old cabins, churches, horse stalls, school, mill, various other buildings and wild animals.
After completing our scenic ride and numerous stops on Cades Cove we returned to the Gatlinburg area and had dinner at another one of our favorite restaurants, The Park Grill.
After dinner we headed back to Pigeon Forge and The Island,where we were going to take our night time portion of the ferris wheel ride on The Wheel. It took us a while to be able to get on The Wheel because of the long lines.
After our ride on The Wheel we returned to our cabin to complete our rather long but fun filled day.
The Apple Barn General Store
Views from The Wheel at The Island
Photos taken in Pigeon Forge on our way to the Arts and Crafters Loop in Gatlinburg
Alewine Pottery on the Arts and Crafters Loop in Gatlinburg
Scenes of the Little River on our way from Gatlinburg to Cades Cove
Views from The Island and the ferris wheel...The Wheel
Here we are on The Wheel at night
I thought these architectural shots of The Wheel looked really cool....maybe like parts of the space station in orbit
Saw this old house on the way to our cabin
Below are videos of The Wheel and fountains at the Island
Below are videos of the Little River on our way to Cades Cove
Below are a couple of videos of those kayakers I mentioned when they were in the Sinks
You won't see much in this video. As hard as I looked, I could not locate the frogs that were making all of the noise, even though they were right in front of me. Made the video mainly for the sounds
This is the water wheel portion of the mill at Cades Cove
This is a video of a really nice waterfall that we saw on our way back to Gatlinburg from Cades Cove