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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We had a great time visiting the Smokies on our way back from Florida. Weather was perfect!  Enjoyed multiple hikes, visiting many historic sites and learning more about the national park that gets the most visitors annually. A highlight of the trip was Elk watching—what beautiful majestic creatures!  

We stayed in Pigeon Forge. Oh my goodness, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are SOOOO commercialized - what a contrast to the Smokies. 

We had great weather and awesome views! The fall foliage was just starting in early October.

We got to see a working mill for corn and wheat at the Mingus Mill.  We bought some cornmeal there, 
only later to find out that it was ground at a commercial mill. The Mingus Mill can’t sell its products due to today’s 
food safety laws. 

Sunset in the Smokies is gorgeous!

We huffed and puffed up to Clingmans Dome observation tower—it’s a short but steep hike at 6,000+ feet.

It was rutting season for elk. What a treat to see them so close and hear them bugling.
Cataloochee is the best place to see elk and many other wildlife. 

Laurel Falls trail is a fun hike—this was one of the many waterfalls.

We had super weather for walks in the woods!

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