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Erik & Misty's Smoky Mountain Adventures


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Nascar Speedpark is the biggest family fun center and go-cart place in the area. We were going to wait until next spring to do an update on it (since their coaster was down all year), but once our timetable for moving got accelerated, we decided that we at least wanted to go experience the mini golf before we left.

 

Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf

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Smisty says no. It would be interesting to see these courses at full strength and properly cared for. On the other hand, it is the off season, there was no one else there, and they didn’t even charge us to play. So...there you go.

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The final hole on the Viking course is really weird, in that it ends in front of two glass doors. I guess you were supposed to enter the building at that point, which was going to be an arcade...? Seems to be being used for storage, now.

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I did like the different colored “rough” sections on some of the holes. That’s not very common ‘round these here parts.

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I shaved. Sorry.

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The Viking course greens were nicer, but most of the holes were rather straightforward.

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Go, Misty, go!

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On the other hand, the very nice employees at Nascar didn’t actually charge us anything to play the mini golf--probably because of the state of it. So I can’t really complain too much.

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Whereas this one has no green at all, at the moment. Just concrete.

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This hole is probably pretty cool with the water on.

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All of the water features were off, and many of the greens were in bad shape.

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We played both sides. The Viking course was kind of dull (as most ADA courses tend to be), but was in significantly better shape than the Dragon course.

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But we didn’t come here today for that stuff anyway.

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The coaster: “Daytona Draft.” Closed all year due to a (claimed) part issue, so far as I am aware.

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...and even some rides. (But none of that was running the day we went).

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Outside are several go-cart tracks...

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...and slot cars!

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...some racecar motion simulators...

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There’s also an eatery...

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Inside is a giftshop with lots of Nascar merchandise, and an arcade.

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The indoor section of Nascar Speedpark is housed in this giant corrugated metal building.

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Scenic Helicopter Tours is something we'd wanted to do for some time now, but never had because it's (quite frankly) expensive. Perhaps for both these reasons, it seemed like the perfect way to bring our Smoky Mountain Adventures to a close.

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Thank you for flying with Erik & Misty. We had a great time, and we hope you've enjoyed it as well.

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Sevierville's new convention center and the Wilderness Resort.

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Heading back into Sevierville.

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Wears Valley.

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Here is a model I made of the countryside in winter.

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I just like this photo. That's the pilot on the right.

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A few more cabins as we head towards the national park.

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Ober Gatlinburg (top) and some of the surrounding cabins.

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Gatlinburg.

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The spur between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

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Pigeon Forge, from near traffic light #10.

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The Country Fair section of the park. I have to admit, flying over Dollywood was a big part of the reason I wanted to do this.

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Mystery Mine is towards the top left, Tennessee Tornado is top right.

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Main entrance on the left, Thunderhead at the top, rapids in the lower right.

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Dollywood up ahead. Let's go in for a closer look.

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Dollywood's Splash Country (in winter).

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Now entering Pigeon Forge.

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Nascar Speedpark and the Tanger Five Oaks mall.

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Wow. Apparently, there's a quarry in Sevierville. I honestly had no idea.

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Sevierville from the air.

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Gaining altitude.

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I guess the helicopter place needs to be next to ugly things, in case it crashes.

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Off we go. (Hey look, it's our car!)

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This warning is posted inside the helicopter. So if you make it in, then I guess you're set for when you exit.

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Just kidding, Smisty.

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Here's our helicopter.

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Gift shop, "buy your photo," scary heater, and dude about to charge at me.

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The various flights. We chose the yellow one. (Note the helicopter museum in the center of the map. That's now MagiQuest.)

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The inside of the main building.

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The establishment is located on a hill way out in Sevierville.

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That was *really* awesome that you guys got to do that before you leave! Thanks for posting it - it was great to see the ariel views of Dollywood. I've done a helicopter ride before but it was over flat Florida - did the wind whip you around a lot with all the hills and mountains?

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I'm more a lurker here than full time active poster, but this has easily been my favorite thread on TPR. Great job covering all the mountains, attractions, and grits.

 

Wow, your favorite? That's pretty awesome. Thanks!

 

 

I've done a helicopter ride before but it was over flat Florida - did the wind whip you around a lot with all the hills and mountains?

 

No, it was pretty calm. At one point, the pilot asked if he had scared anyone yet. To which we replied, "No. Try to scare us!"

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^ Nope. Just one of the things we never got to. Even living here, we couldn't do it all.

 

The End

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Beautiful Tennessee

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Good ol' Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee

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Rocky Top you'll always be, home sweet home to me

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All I know is it's a pity life, can't be simple again

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I've had years of cramped-up city life, trapped like a duck in a pen

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Good ol' Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee

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Rocky Top you'll always be, home sweet home to me

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That's why all the folks on Rocky Top, get their corn from a jar

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Corn won't grow at all on Rocky Top, dirt's too rocky by far

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Good ol' Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee

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Rocky Top you'll always be, home sweet home to me

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Strangers ain't come down from Rocky Top, reckon they never will

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Once two strangers climbed ol' Rocky Top, lookin' for a moonshine still

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Good ol' Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee

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Rocky Top you'll always be, home sweet home to me

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Wild as a mink but sweet as soda pop, I still dream about that

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Once I had a girl on Rocky Top, half bear other half cat

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Ain't no smoggy smoke on Rocky Top, ain't no telephone bills

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Wish that I was on ol' Rocky Top, down in the Tennessee hills

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Helicopter rides are both terrifying and awesome! You certainly ended the thread on a high note! I've only visited that area once, and I was blown away by how much random stuff there is to do. Thanks to you, we all got to experience all those random attractions!

 

Good luck with the move. Thanks for all the updates!

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This has been my favorite thread over the last year. Although we live nearby and have already experienced much of what the area has to offer, seeing your coverage of it was just as enjoyable as being there, and SO much fun to read.

 

Oddly, the same goes for Orlando. I've been there a million times, and have experienced so much of what it has to offer. However, if you two don't find some way to amuse, inform, and entertain us as you did in this thread, something will be wrong with the universe.

 

Thanks again for the time and effort in here, and good luck with the move!

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Erik & Misty -

 

This has been not only one of the most entertaining threads on TPR, but also one of the most useful. I can't tell you how many people I have directed to this thread when discussing Gatlinburg and the surrounding area. It's a very popular weekend getaway destination around here and there's always someone at work asking around about it. Of course, one the most common questions is "What is there to do there?" I always send them a link to your thread.

 

I have gotten very positive responses from everyone I've sent in your direction. Congrats, the GP loves you too!

 

Can't wait to see your Florida adventures.

 

From The Simpsons:

 

Doctor: What you need is a good, long rest. I suggest Florida.

Homer: Florida? But that's America's wang!

Doctor:They prefer, "The Sunshine State."

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