RV Life – Our Second Year – Smoky Mountain Fall

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - Our Second Year - Smoky Mountain Fall
October color in the Great Smoky Mountains. A glorious display.

Creation is adorned in splendid colors every Autumn season.

A Smoky Mountain Fall offers one of the best displays in America.

Smoky Mountain Fall

Great Lakes Summer

Mountain wilderness comprises a large portion of Tennessee’s southeastern border with North Carolina. In particular, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park combines with the Cherokee National Forest to span nearly 150 miles. From Chilhowee, TN to Bristol, VA, the beautiful distance is undeniable, and our RV was parked right in the middle of it for a Smoky Mountain Fall.

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On the north side of Douglas Lake is the small town of Dandridge, Tennessee. The Anchor Down RV Resort offers spectacular views of the lake and the Smoky Mountain wilderness. A short 1-hour drive to the south brings you to the northern entry point of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The road south to the park will take you through some great tourist towns. There’s so much to see and do that you might find yourself stretching your vacation days and dollars long before you ever find your way into the Smokies.


This is Dolly Parton’s hometown. She grew up here with 12 siblings and knew at a young age that she wanted to be singer. By age 6, Dolly was singing live at WIVK radio station in Knoxville. Sevierville is rich with historical significance for the Native American Cherokee, Frontier America, and Mountain Music.

Pigeon Forge

With family fun on every corner, Pigeon Forge is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in the Southeast. Home to world famous, Dollywood, there are dozens more entertainment options all over town for the whole family.


The last stop before entering the Smoky Mountain wilderness, Gatlinburg continues the family fun on a smaller scale and slower pace. Try the Skybridge or Ober Tram and enjoy sweeping views of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - Our Second Year - Smoky Mountain Fall

Gatlinburg is more our speed, and we typically go there just about every weekend while we are in the area.

Our favorite restaurant in town is Crockett’s 1875 Breakfast Camp, and we are always stopping by the Old Smokey Distillery to try the latest flavors and stock-up on a few jars.

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If you’ve been following along with us on our RV adventures, then you’ll know that this area of eastern Tennessee is one that we find ourselves returning to time and again. We simply love it, especially in the fall when the leaves put on a spectacle of color.

Besides our usual favorites around the region, like Cherokee, Newfound Gap, and Roaring Forks, we added few new places during this 2018 autumn visit.

Cades Cove

An isolated valley in the Tennessee section of the Great Smoky Mountains, Cades Cove was home to Native Americans and frontier settlers long before the national park came to be. It is the most popular destination in the park, attracting over two million visitors annually. Well-preserved homesteads, scenic mountain views, and abundant wildlife draw spectators in droves.

This is one reason we put-off visiting the place, due to crowds, but we decided to deal with it this time around because we really did want to visit this location. I’m glad we finally did because Cades Cove is truly a beautiful place. It’s easy to understand why so many people want go there.

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - Our Second Year - Smoky Mountain Fall
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Bush’s Beans

I suspect you are no stranger to the Bush’s Beans company, but did you know they are headquartered in the small town of Dandridge? That was news to me, and when I learned that they had a Visitor Center and Restaurant, I was in!

Started in 1908 by A.J. Bush as a small cannery in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the company has grown into a household name and over $400 million in annual sales. I found the Visitor Center displays and museum tour to be quite interesting, and the restaurant offered some tasty home-cooked flavors.

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - Our Second Year - Smoky Mountain Fall

I even tried their one-of-a-kind bean pie.

That’s right, Bean Pie!

It sounds weird and maybe a little gross, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Don’t knock it ‘til ya try it!

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Dixie Stampede

One of Dolly Parton’s signature shows in Pigeon Forge, the Dixie Stampede (now called Dolly Parton’s Stampede), is a dinner show like no other. We were served a delicious, traditional southern meal while watching a beautifully choreographed show depicting the history of the American Frontier.

The horsemanship was fantastic and mesmerizing, as the 35,000-square-foot arena was transformed with lighting and projection technology into the American Great Plains.

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Near the end of October, we packed-up camp and moved the rig 3-hours westward to the Nashville area. We parked at the I-24 Campground for the month of November and did our usual business with the DMV, doctors, UPS store, and the storage unit.

We caught-up with family and friends and enjoyed a country music show while in town, watching Alabama perform on the Grand Ole Opry stage. We shared a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with my dad before it was time to begin our journey south for the winter.

It was none-to-soon that we made our exit, because on the very morning of our departure a winter storm was moving-in to the Nashville area! I was a bit anxious pulling the trailer on icy, slushy roads. It took about an-hour before we got away from it. Just in time!

We were on our way to Florida for the winter, all the way past Miami to be more accurate. We had been targeting the Florida Keys ever since our previous winter in Arizona. We decided on Homestead, right at the southern tip of the Florida mainland.

See our next adventure … RV Life – Our Second Year – Tropical Winter

Psalm 74:17

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Steve Coryell