Monday dawned bright and beautiful. We had a free day, so let’s go exploring. Going south on 321 our odometer turned to 120,000 miles. We had to take a milestone photo and you get to see it. They tell us that Jeeps only get started at 100,000 and often go to 250,000. We can only hope.
We wandered into Townsend, eventually turned around and stopped at the Visitor Center. We picked up a map of the Smokies and chose to take a short route back home through the north edge of the rim. I could have taken a thousand pictures at each pull off, but fortunately, Gary didn’t stop at every one. Here are a couple: There was a meeting between butterflies and they must have been deep in conversation, as they paid no attention to us.
I was taking pictures down the embankment from these little pretties along the river and was just setting my exposure when a kayaker comes speeding along. I wanted to get a shot of him, but had the wrong exposure (thus the brightness). He was moving so fast (and I am not that fast of a photographer) that they are overexposed. I hope he stayed upright on his trip, because that water was COLD!
The scenery was more and more beautiful around every turn. Here I am near a serious waterfall. Kayakers have been lost here and there are warnings everywhere. It was beautiful, and I find the rushing water mesmerizing.
After a quick lunch at home, we drove across the Parkway to the Tanger Outlet and even though there was a shuttle from one end to the other, we walked all the way around. Whew, what a workout. I was looking for a Totes store to pickup a waterproof raincoat. And I found one for a good price. I also needed black shoes for work, and I found out the Dollywood employees (or hosts, as they’re called in the park) get a 15% discount. Yay, we save a little more money. Dollywood has so many perks, that they’ve made a brochure with the list of all the attractions, restaurants, and theaters that employees can enjoy. We finished our trek with a coffee from Starbucks, sat on the bench for a minute and people watched. It was a thoroughly nice day. A quick dinner and then outside at twilight to start a fire. It only took a minute and we had a nice little fire.
We hung out enjoying the no wind evening and waving hi to other campers for about an hour. Then we went back inside and got ready for our orientation to Dollywood.
This morning we were up with the dreaded alarm clock to make our 8:15 appointment with wardrobe for our costumes. I LOVE them! Navy khakis, plaid short sleeve shirts, a jeans jacket, yellow raincoat (in case) and a tote bag for our stuff. The only thing I didn't have was a black belt. (I see a Walmart trip in the future) Orientation started at 9:30 at Dollywood University right up the street. We met several other seasonal RVers, took a tour of the park, enjoyed pizza for lunch, a few videos, had our photos taken for our ID and got our name tags. We are really looking forward to working at Dollywood. It seems like a special place. And we begin our adventure on Thursday.
Meanwhile, we are looking forward to enjoying the area, especially the beauty of the mountains, and getting to know the people of the Smoky Mountain area.