The views were simply spectacular, and the ride, though a little scary for the acrophobic (including Greg and I), was a lot of fun.
We went on this trip right before I started teaching a big geology unit with my students, so I'd been doing research, and I was able to connect a lot of it with what I saw. Yup. I am a nerd. At one point Greg was comparing the Smokies with the Rockies, which I've never visited. I was able to put my teacher hat on and explain why the Rockies are taller.
When we go to Gatlinburg again (we're planning a trip for this summer, with the kids) we want to make sure to ride up this mountain again.
Once we got up there, we had many choices of things to do. There was tubing and skating, though we weren't in the mood for such athletic endeavors after our horseback riding. Our smiles belie the pain our rear ends were in the entire time.
There was a nature center with animals native to the Smokies. They were mostly rescue animals, which I liked, and they seemed well taken care of and amused as well as amusing. We especially enjoyed watching the bears.
I wanted to pick up a souvenir for the boys that they would really enjoy. For the boys, I found these cool Audubon Society stuffed animals. Nick got a red-tailed hawk, and Henry an owl. Both birds, when hugged, make their actual sounds, which made them very popular with the boys.
When you are a parent, you can never really stop thinking about your kids for long. The entire time we were at Ober Gatlinburg, I kept looking around and noticing things the boys would enjoy. At some point during this trip, we decided for sure to visit again really soon--this time with our children.