So, let me start by saying that our trip was really great. We enjoyed it thoroughly - the mountains were magnificent, everything was green and fresh from the spring rain. Little creeks and streams seemed to line all the roads and everywhere you looked there were 360 degree views of the Smoky Mountains.
BUT...we were there for the Spring Grand Rod Run. There was no real order to things - just hundreds of cars parked up and down both sides of the strip. Bumper to bumper traffic stopped us from doing a lot of things, but we did make it to Gatlinburg one day to visit the Aquarium. We had a fantastic time and got back to our cars just as some rain was about to blow in.
We had just left Gatlinburg and were on the way back to the cabin (in Pigeon Forge) about a 30 mile drive from our spot in the mountains, when we came to a complete stop. We sat there, in a traffic jam, for about 45 mins. We were lucky to move a few feet every 10-20 minutes. We could not figure out what was going on. Finally, after moving about a quarter of a mile, we saw some Park Rangers who told us that the back up was caused by the car show, it happens every year, and that it would take 3-4 HOURS to go 1-2 MILES! We had 30 miles to go! Parker was screaming, Kalli was whining, and we absolutely could not sit in that traffic. We looked around. A stream to our left, a mountain to our right and nowhere to go.
So, my trusty husband pulled out his iPhone and looked at the map. Apparently, there was a road coming up that we could take that would wind us up, down and around a mountain to get us back "home".