Friday, February 23, 2018

Annual Trip To Gatlinburg – Part 2

After several dreary days, the sun finally came out on Thursday and we decided to take a drive in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park which surrounds Gatlinburg, TN and you go from mega development into the wilds in just a few feet.  This is the upper end of town using Google Earth to look both ways from the same intersection.

We drove up to Newfound Gap on the TN/NC border at the mountain top with a stop at the Chimneys Parking Lot where the girls took a mile walk and I took a few photos.  You may remember the big G’burg fire of last year which burned lots of acreage and many buildings from which the area is still recovering.  There was lots of new construction and the forest areas are quickly repairing themselves.  Since it was primarily a ground fire burning the downed leaves, most of the trees survived and sustained only blackened bark – we saw thousands of these.

After plenty of rain the Little Pigeon River was running full at this point in the park.

The Rhododendron along the bank are getting ready for their big show in a few months.

Plenty of downed and decaying trees as Mother Nature rejuvenates the soil.

It was still cloudy but we got a couple of nice shots over into NC from Newfound Gap - Cindy looking for birds.

This is the TN side and you can see all of the Spruce trees that have been killed by the pine beetles.

Since it was supposed to rain on Friday, we decided to just go on home on Thursday afternoon, but we opted to give Huck Finn’s Catfish a try for lunch first (4½ stars on Trip Advisor).

Cindy and I ordered the two fillet catfish meal and Bev had the fried chicken breast but all meals begin with a serving of their vittles – slaw, white beans, hush puppies, onion slices and dill pickle spears.  I started eating my meal when I remembered the pic.

I thought the seasoned fries and slaw were very good and everything else was good but not great - the catfish was tasty but the breading was a little tough – but at least the prices were reasonable - $13 for my meal.  I’m not normally such a critic but when I compare this meal to the fried grouper ($15.50) we had at Chet’s in Pensacola for just a little more, they are hardly in the same universe – and it was the preparation and not the type of fish that made the difference.  I would say Huck Finn's serves pretty good food at a fair price and the service was friendly and very good.

There is another catfish place (Paw Paw Catfish Kitchen) up in Wear’s Valley near Pigeon Forge that I would try next time.

In spite of the weather, I think Bev and her five friends (different times throughout the week) had a good time and got to do the shopping they wanted – I guess we should actually name this annual event – "Bev And Friends Shop Sevier County."

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


2/1518 Event Dates


  1. There is some beautiful scenery in that area, we travelled through there in 1996 on a trip to Florida and Myrtle beach in our Class B rv.
    Love catfish when we can get it.

  2. My internet connection is so bad the pictures don't load. But it's fun reading your posts.

  3. Those mossy decaying trees look like the live ones here in Oregon. Bev sure loves to shop... I do too, for kitchen gadgets & food. :)

  4. Larry, Love to see mother nature at work. Nice photos of the forest floor... Whenever I see all of the dead spruce trees, I get a little down. Thanks for the review on Huck Finn's Fish House. Sure comes with plenty of extras. Our favorite around here for now is Z Fish House in Loudon. 2 catfish filets with fries, coleslaw and 2 hush puppies for $13.00. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  5. I love seeing all the photos of the forest. And great shot of the stream. I had no idea there was a beetle problem there. It sure has devastated our forests in Colorado. I wish we had more rhododendron here in Colorado. But I don't think it grows well here. I remember at our last house a neighbor down the street was from back east and planted several in their yard. They were beautiful. I've never been able to get myself to order catfish.

  6. I haven't been to Gatlinburg in years and do recall the commercialism as you drive through to get to the beauty of Mother Nature. Thanks for the catfish restaurant review, there used to be great 'fish camps' nearby that closed, so we really miss fresh fried fish!

  7. Good to see that the area is recovering from the fire.


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