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Vacation October 23, 2020 (Friday)

We got up early and headed to New Found Gap and Clingmans Dome. We stopped at the Gatlinburg visitors center, but it wasn't open yet (about 8:30) so we motored on to the park and New Found Gap.

The view from New Found Gap.
At New Found Gap, we walked up the Appalachian Trail. We only went about 200 yards. It was slight up hill and Connie wanted to save her energy for more significant hiking to come. New Found Gap is on the Tennessee, North Carolina state line. So we joked that we hiked the Appalachian Trail from Tennessee to North Carolina and back.
The next stop was Clingmans Dome. That was about a 7 mile drive that took 30 minutes, mostly uphill and certainly winding. You can see from the photo above, that it was a bit "smoky." Really foggy, but this is what gives the mountains the Great Smoky name. The visibility at Clingmans, which was maybe 1000 feet higher than New Found Gap.
Cherokee, drive on Blueridge Parkway. Drive back to hotel. Try to go to Paula Deane restaurant. Settle on Bullfish Grill. Go to Comedy Barn.
Driving back from Cherokee through the park on Route 441, we stopped at Kephart Prong Trail. It starts with a bridge across the Oconaluftee river, and follows an old road to the site of a former CCC camp. The rocks in the river caught my attention and made for some nice pics.

When we came across the site of the old CCC camp, we noticed what was obviously an old sign frame laid up out of rocks. It was nice workmanship. Upon looking around, I notice several foundations, and a well head. I was betting it was a former CCC camp. Once back at the hotel room I did some research and confirmed my suspicions.
We got back to the hotel about 2PM. I had a nice nap. At dinner time we decided to try Paula Deanes. We drive over and find that you have to park in the Dollywood parking and walk in. When arrive at Paula's we learn there is a 90 minute wait. Sorry Paula, your food can't be that good.

So we walked back to the car, drove to the Bullfish Grill which is right across the street from our hotel and had a nice meal there. No waiting!

We had tickets for the Comedy Barn for 8PM. So we went back to the hotel until 7:20 and then drove to the Comedy Barn, which is just down the street. They were social distancing, requiring masks (except when you sat in your seats) and took everyone's temperature. Although the guy did it so fast, I don't see how it could have been accurate.

Everyone got their photo taken in the lobby (take your masks off!). We weren't seated more than 10 minutes and they came around hawking the photo. My selfie was free and it's as good if not better than theirs.
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