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Alex Moiseyev photo and video

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day six - driving to Great Smoky Mountains

Once I managed to get rid of the backlog I immediately gained it back :( But to put things in order: our objective on Sunday was to get to our first point of long stay: Yogi Bear Jellystone campground in the Great Smoky Mountains. So we kept driving south along I-81, went from Virginia to Tennessee, then turned even more south to I-26 (I have no idea what it does so far north, but that's what signs says), entered North Carolina, turned East along I-40 and then NC-74, and finally arrived at Cherokee, NC.
There was not too much to mention about the road or the driving - one thing I can't leave aside is quality of Tennessee visitor centers - large, very clean, well equipped and staffed, plenty of information and freezing cold inside - remarkable given 95F outdoors. One we stopped for lunch has had outdoor picnic tables that looked like marble ones.
Anyways, 250 +/- miles and 5 hours of driving later we have arrived at another Yogi Bear camp on the south border of Great Smoky Mountains National park. Campground is slightly smaller and more densely occupied than one in Luray - nevertheless, it has pool, laundry and shower, and is located on the river suitable for tubing and fly fishing (trout).
Our spot is less then ideal - it is first one at the entrance, so we are directly facing the entrance road. It looks like campground is separated in two areas - one behind the office is more secluded and used for long-term/seasonal sites, while one between entrance and the office is used for short-term visitors like us.
Office has a small store (once again, much smaller than in Luray)  but with all the necessities  - ice, firewood, some snacks and fishing equipment. Tubes are available for rent for $10/day which sounds rather expensive. Pool is quite basic - depth varies from 4 to 8 ft, but there is no slide or something like that. There is also nice playground and a small basketball court with one ring.

And one more thing: there are no mosquitoes - at least not in observable/noticeable amounts. 

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