Thursday, August 23, 2012

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Aug 8-12, 2012
(I wanted to do just one post for our stay here but the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail was so nice that it deserves it’s own post.)

Sevierville, TN
River Plantation RV Park site 165

We thumbed through the cg brochure that was given to us at check-in and decided to take this nice ride in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg.  It was wonderful!  It’s a five mile long narrow winding road with mountain streams, cascades, moss covered boulders, and green forests by the roadside.  It’s like taking a hike without any of the effort!
Roaring Fork 

We lowered the windows on Suki and opened the sunroof to let our ears and noses enjoy the ride too.
Sunroof View-Roaring Fork
Roaring Fork Motor Tour  Roaring Fork Motor Tour

There were several places to park and take real hikes but we enjoyed the few stops at the overlooks.
Roaoring Fork Auto Tour
Roaring Fork Overlook  Roaring Fork Overlook

I have always loved the lush green foliage that is found in the Great Smokies.  There was green everywhere!
Forest engulfs you  Moss everywhere

There was moss growing on everything that didn’t move.  Tree trunks were covered even before they fell to the ground and the boulders were green with moss!
Mossy Rocks-Roaring Forks
Mossy Trunk-Roaring Fork  Mossy Log-Roaring Fork

We could see and hear the mountain stream that flowed along beside the road much of the time.  So refreshing and cooler in the higher altitude.  I just had to sit on a rock and enjoy it for a while.
Mountain Stream  Mountain Stream
Enjoying Nature  Roaring Fork

The tour took us by a few buildings that were left by the families that lived here before the National Park was created.  We were just more engrossed with nature.
Road over the Stream  Road over the Stream

I have always enjoyed rock outcroppings too.  There were several boulders along the roadside with trees and bushes growing right out of them.
Roadside Boulders  Roadside Boulders
Mossy Boulders  Roadside Boulders

But the most exciting thing that happened to us to make this day so very special was our own personal bear sighting.  I drove very slowly on this auto tour and any time a car rolled up behind us, I would pull over and let them go by.  There was no one else around when this juvenile black bear sauntered across the road only 20 feet in front of us.  The pics are a little fuzzy because Gin was so excited she couldn’t hold the camera steady.
Roaring Fork Bear  Bear in the Woods
Fuzzy Bear  Bear Butt

The bear took it’s time wandering across the road a couple of times while foraging for food.  She never paid any attention to us in the car.  It was very magical for us.  Gin took a brief video of the bear as it left the road to return to the woods one last time.  This is dedicated to Tricia who would have thoroughly enjoyed this too.

This Bear’s for you Tricia

Thanks for dropping by and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.


Sherry said...

Not sure what I'm doing wrong but the video wouldn't work for me. The pictures look gorgeous though. Love that GSMNP!!!

Al and Karen said...

That is so cool! We had done that drive while at the RV Dreams Rally, mainly because the dogs were not allowed to go on the trails with us. The drive is definitely worth doing, even without a bear :-).

Laurie and George said...

The video & pictures of the bear are so cool!

Judy and Emma said...

That bear is a whole lot skinnier than the bears here at Alligator River NWR. It is always special when you have such an encounter. :)

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

Breathtaking beauty and no breath shortness from hiking to see it, my kind of "hike"!

I not sure if that really was a bear, are you sure it wasn't Bigfoot? ;c)

Nancy and Bill said...

What a wonderful post!! I could hear the water and feel the coolness:o)) Loved the video, but suprised the bear was so thin. Easy to understand why GSMNP is the most visited National Park!!

Cruzin2some said...

Love all the pics. Bear! oh my! I would have been too excited to think about using my camera!!!!

Gail Houle said...

How cool is that??? A beautiful drive and a bear on top of that. Wonderful!

Catherine, Jo Beth and Grace said...

Great video. The mountains look beautiful.

Dan and Tricia said...

I've had a beer dedicated to me but never a bear! :-) Big smile here. I am going to have to watch that video and see the pics over and over! Thanks so much!! Love love love that area of the country! Need to go back some day!

Travelwithwhippets said...

We love that drive. We did it a few years ago before we started RVing. My dad loved the Gatlinburg area, especially the rocky streams. He was with us for that one last visit. Good times

Anonymous said...

Great post! Wished we would have done this when we were there for the rally. How cool to see a bear!

Bruce and Laura