A few years ago we have visited Custer State Park in South Dakota to check out one of the largest herds of bison that is publicly-owned – truly majestic creatures. One has to respect their size and prowess, especially when when you come close enough. The park management has done an awesome job preserving the area, so the animals can feel at home and roam around freely. If you close your eyes for just a second you would feel as if transported back in time, where bison ruled the hills and grasslands. Except for one small detail – the roaring noise of bikers passing by (not to mention their polluting motors). I felt that these man-made machines don’t belong there, disturbing the peace and serenity of the preserve. Don’t get me wrong – I LIKE bikers, a lot. I get the sense of union and community, the freedom to experience some of the most beautiful roads and trails across the country on two wheels, the wind in the face. That noise though… it is… dated. Wouldn’t it be nice if one could enjoy all that, but without polluting?
Day 3 – August 1st, 2017
One of the most scenic routes that Smoky Mountains have to offer is the Roaring Fork Motor Natural Trail. The name comes from the stream that flows nearby – the Roaring Fork. It is truly a breathtaking experience to be surrounded by a pristine forest, but also to explore some of the history of the early settlers and loggers in the area.
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail loops around Gatlinburg, TN. Image courtesy of Google.
After settling in Pigeon Forge, we decided to make it our first escapade for the day. The weather was really nice (mid 50s in the morning, low 60s later during the day), a perfect opportunity to roll down the windows and open the sunroof – which we did. Since there’s no noise from the engine (we turned A/C off, too), we could truly immerse ourselves in the sound of the forest: the trees creaking, moved by the wind, the birds up on the branches, the stream trickling nearby… What a joy! That’s how nature should be experienced: quietly, without leaving any trace or polluting. Yet another benefit and advantage of EV!
This wasn’t our first visit to Gatlinburg, but we always find something interesting or new to explore. Since we like quirky stuff, why not The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum?
There’s plenty to do in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. It doesn’t matter if you are into mountain hiking or prefer Disney-like resort-style vacations. Both places have a lot to offer. It is worth mentioning that not too long before our visit Gatlinburg was devastated by a fire that took lives and destroyed forest and property. It is amazing though how quickly the town was being rebuilt. There was construction everywhere – either replacing a destroyed property or building a new one.
If you would like some tips on what to do when in the area, feel free to drop me a comment. For what it’s worth, there are a few places I’d recommend to anyone visiting the area. In no particular order, here are some of our favorites:
- Donut Friar, Gatlinburg
- The Village Cafe & Creamery, Gatlinburg
- The Old Mill Creamery, Pigeon Forge
- Pigeon River Pottery, Pigeon Forge
- The Incredible Christmas Place, Pigeon Forge
Number of miles traveled: 160
Number of other Teslas spotted along the way: 0