Tuesday, April 19, 2011

mountain traffic.

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".

So, we go. And so do Libby, Cindi and Jerry (following us) and three cars behind them! And let me just tell you that I have never seen roads like these! Skinny, SKINNY, one lane roads with a mountain on the left and a steep drop off on the right. The curves were so windy you almost had to come to a complete stop to turn. We saw shacks and houses that you would have thought were on movie sets - they did not seem real! That was true hillbilly living right there. I was TERRIFIED! The roads were so scary and Joe was going way too fast as usual. My body temperature literally rose, my face was red, I was sweating, my heart was about to thump out of my chest. It was terrifying! It was a total Dave and Sue adventure, anyone who knows my parents knows what that means!!

Anyway, finally, finally we got to a more normal road and when we reached a place that had lines on the road I breathed a big sigh of relief. WHEW! We made it. It only took about 30 minutes, too. So, even though it scared the crap outta me it was much better than sitting in that traffic for hours on end with a hungry, screaming baby and grumpy toddler.

Who knew a mountain retreat would have traffic jams that rival major cities!! And who knew, that my husband, who's sense of direction is better than mine (not saying much, haha) would have been able to navigate us through that hillbilly heaven and get us back to our vacation home. I was beaming with wife pride! And, I was very, very thankful! :)

I did not have a picture of the actual traffic jam. But a pic of the road going there and just another pic of the general traffic :)

No comments:

Post a Comment