I saw racoons and fireflies and bears, oh my!

Hi! We’re back from Tennessee, specifically Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, with a sidetrip to Cherokee, NC. We had a wonderful time. They weren’t kidding when they said to lock your trash up! We did, of course, but other cabins didn’t, and we saw some black bears rummaging through the trash! We got pictures! (No, I don’t know how to post them. Maybe I can drag Ivylad away from his League of Five Rings cards to figure it out.)

The fireflies were very cool to watch, and a racoon climbed up the steps and sat on his hind legs right outside the front door, like he was asking to come in.

So, what did I miss around here?

If you have a digital camera and can upload them to your computer, just get a (free) photobucket account. Or go to Wal Mart, have them put them on disc, and then do the same thing.

Hope you had fun. I’m from fifty miles south of Gatlinburgh and miss it a little bit and look forward to seeing home again in a couple weeks. For all its faults, Eastern Tennessee is beautiful.

Do they not have lightning bugs that far south?

I’ve never seen fireflies in Florida, although the lady who cuts my hair said they used to catch them in jars (I’ve heard of that) and squish the bugs against their face to get the glow in the dark juices on their cheeks. (I hadn’t heard of that! :eek: )

The drive up is gorgeous, if a bit nerve-wracking. I thank TPTB for supplying pull-off sites so drivers can stop and enjoy the view, instead of whipping by, one eye on the mountains, one eye on the twisty turny road. How often to cars slide off the roads up there? There were not a lot of guard rails, especially up to our cabin.

I’ll tell Ivylad about photobucket.

What route did you take? Monteagle and that area is pretty dangerous and terrifies even the most expert trucker but that’s a bit west of Chattanooga so I doubt you went that way considering you were coming from Florida.

When I was a kid, I used to collect lightning bugs (only yankees and foreign types call them fireflies) in jars and, as kids are wont to do, tortured them in various methods but I’ve never heard of anyone grinding them into their face to get the luciferase. Weird.

I was briefly in that region years ago, and it is beautiful. The way you describe it reminds me of Missoula and the Rocky Mountains in general, down to the bears pigging out on trash. I suppose mountainous regions have a lot of similarities, even if they’re two seperate ranges most of a continent away.

And I remember lightning bugs from when I lived in Missouri. Seeing them light up the night is one of my most pleasant memories of the summers I spent there.

We used to catch so many lightin bugs that a fruit jar full would light our path in the woods as we walked…

They don’t seem to be as thick as they used to be…

Read someplace that pollution has really cut their numbers…

Fireflies, racoons and bears? Bah, I saw a whole field full of those Friday night on the Upper West Side. Minus the bears.

We hopped on I-75 most of the way, whipping around Atlanta, then got on US-23 which turned into US 441. There’s a US 441 in Florida, so I imagine we could have taken it the whole way if we wanted to be on the road longer. Was that the Appalachian Parkway?

Gatlinburg isn’t very big, is it? It’s like the town was built to attract the tourists to the view. We also heard there are more weddings in Gatlinburg than in Las Vegas! We did see some wedding chapels scattered about too, as well as vacation rentals.

My BIL got married in one of those chapels. We thought about it, but decided to stay closer to home.

That’s a real purty part of the country. Over near Asheville, N.C., it’s even purtier. And I could wax rhapsodic for hours about the Blue Ridge Parkway. Ahh, the Parkway…

I can certainly agree about the view. Born and raised in Florida, those mountains sure are impressive.

I saw some postcards with pictures of the mountains taken in the autumn, when the trees are all gold and red. It must be a magnificent sight. I wouldn’t mind going up there again in the fall, if I didn’t have to deal with all the tourists. :wink:

Ivylass, if you can find a time during the week (NOT on weekends) to get up to the mountains in the fall, you’ll have a decent chance of missing the Really Bad Traffic. But you should stay away from centers like Gatlinburg. Go a little farther towards Asheville.

Cloudland Canyon way up in the very NW corner of GA is a pretty neat place in the fall too.