Windy City, Smoky Mountains ~ Day 13 - Forbidden Caverns, Davey Crockett Golf

Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by wickesy, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. wickesy

    wickesy <font color=royalblue>Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love y

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    We were up at 8:00 this morning and out by around 9:00. First stop was one of the craft shops that Dad wanted to go back to but they weren’t open so we drove round to the Davey Crockett mini-golf but that wasn’t open either so we reverted to Plan C, which was the Forbidden Caverns about an hour’s drive away.

    The Forbidden Caverns are a set of caves underneath the Smokies and have been a tourist attraction since they opened to the public in 1967. Before that they were home to Indians and were also the site of a moonshine operation due to their hidden location and the underground river that flows through them.

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    These stalagtites and stalagmites grow at a rate of 1 inch every 100 years.

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    These two are an inch away from touching and forming a column.

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    These are the remains of a genuine moonshine still that was down in the caverns.

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    This is a recreation of a moonshine still.

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  3. wickesy

    wickesy <font color=royalblue>Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love y

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    The guided tour of the caverns took about an hour and at the end we went into the gift shop and bought a couple of wood art pieces to go with the ones we already have.

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    We then drove back to Gatlinburg and into the Davey Crockett mini-golf where we decided to do both courses. I got round the first course in an even par 45 with Dad taking 54 but he beat me on the second par 42 course by 51 to my 55.

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  4. wickesy

    wickesy <font color=royalblue>Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love y

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    This was my favourite hole on all of the courses we played. The ball goes through the hole.
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    And is carried down the water troughs, through the tunnel where Dad is standing
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    And comes out here
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  5. wickesy

    wickesy <font color=royalblue>Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love y

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    After the mini-golf we went back around a few of the craft shops and Dad bought himself a belt in the last one and we then went back to the Smokey Mountains visitors center where I bought a few bits. We then got back to the cabin around 4:00 for a break and to start our packing before going out for something to eat.

    We went back out at 5:15 and drove up to the Smoky Mountains Brewery in Gatlinburg for our last night of the holiday where we both had the Brew-b-que Chicken (Chicken breast marinated in BBQ sauce with the house ale and topped with mushrooms, onions and cheese) and broccoli covered in melted beer cheese and a coke each. Total was $39.06 and as the service hadn’t been that great we left a $4 tip.

    Next we drove round the Roaring Forks Nature Trail again, this time stopping off to get some photos along the way.

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  6. wickesy

    wickesy <font color=royalblue>Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love y

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    As we got towards the end of the trail we saw a car stopped in front of us and it's occupants were looking into the trees and pointing. We got out and it turned out there was a mother bear with two little cubs there but they were gone before we could get a photo.

    By this time it was about 7:30 and as I needed to get internet access to check in online for the flight tomorrow we parked up and spent some time wandering up and down the main street for one last time and sat listening to some live bluegrass music for a while. We had been told that McDonalds had wi-fi access so at 8:45 we went in there, armed with my netbook, and ordered a coke each. I paid for a 2 hour block of internet use ($2.95) and logged on to the BA website and waited for check-in to open at 9:10.

    Once check-in opened I tried to check-in only to be met by a message telling me that I couldn’t do online check-in because further ticket information was required and I would either have to call for more information or check in at the airport. Now the problem was that we didn’t have a mobile phone with us, we hadn’t seen any pay-phones anywhere and I didn’t want to get stuck in a row of four in the middle of the plane. There was only one thing we could do - we drove back to the cabin. This was where we hit our next snag - by now it was pitch black and there are no street lights outside the cabin so I couldn’t see to enter the code for the door lock. The solution was simple enough - move the car so that the headlights shone on the door. Once inside I telephoned BA and was told that when they cancelled the original flight we were booked on they hadn’t “fully ticketed” us on the replacement flight. The lady I spoke to pushed a few buttons and said that if I logged out and logged back on I should be able to check in without any problems. I explained that I no longer had internet access where I was and asked if she was able to allocate our seats for us but she told me that she didn’t have access to the seating plan and there was nothing we could do.

    Trusting that the problem had indeed been solved we drove back to Gatlinburg - this time having left the porch light on and Dad armed with his mobile phone - paid another $10 for parking and took a pew outside McDonalds to make further use of the 2 hour block I had paid for earlier. I logged on to the website again and this time I was able to check in with no problems, moving us from our allocated seats to the seats at the back of World Traveller Plus as well – phew!.

    Happy that we were now checked in with the seats we had wanted we drove back to the cabin getting a further surprise on the way - as we were driving up one of the unlit roads towards the cabin I spotted something in the road in front of us caught in the car’s headlights. It took us a while to work out what it was but we then realised it was a small bear. It zig-zagged across the road in front of us a couple of times, unsure what to do and looking just a little scared, before shuffling off into the trees and out of sight.

    Excitement over for the night I typed up the rest of today’s trip report and was in bed by 11:00 ready for another long drive tomorrow before catching the flight home.
     
  7. Snowy-girls

    Snowy-girls Did you speak to a 'human being'

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    WOW,i can't believe how lucky you have been seeing quite a few bears,i bet there are some folk who go there and don't see any.
    I was going to ask you about the Forbidden Caves on Day 11 i think it was,and i forgot.I did'nt realise they were still being opened to the public-i loved looking at them pics :worship:,thank you.
    I also love the bear+racoon carvings.So much mucking around with checking in,but at least you got the seats you wanted.I can't believe it is soon coming to an end :sad2:.x.
     
  8. irongirlof12

    irongirlof12 <font color=blue><marquee>Am I the only one who lo

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    lovely day. quite surprised by the number of mini-golf about the place.
     
  9. wickesy

    wickesy <font color=royalblue>Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love y

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    We were those people whenever we went to Canada - never got a sniff of a bear so it was great to have so many sightings on this trip.

    I'd never heard of the Forbidden Caverns before we picked up a leaflet for it back on Day 5 but I'm glad we made the trip out there.

    There were loads of them - the Old McDonald's Farm one had 3 different courses alone! There were a few others that I wanted to try as well that we never got round to.
     
  10. SusanEllen

    SusanEllen DIS Veteran

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    Looks like you've fallen under the spell of the bears. Smart boy, resisting the temptation to approach them.

    Your Disney tie-in today--Davy Crockett.
     
  11. wickesy

    wickesy <font color=royalblue>Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love y

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    Oooh, good one! :worship:
     
  12. suzycute

    suzycute DIS Veteran

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    What a performance you had trying to check in !

    We had a similar problem to you when checking in for our BA flight from Vancouver recently. We tried to check in on line (at great expense from our cruise ship) only to have the same message as you. We then tried to phone BA (from our mobile at even greater expense from cruise ship!!) before being put on hold whilst people tried to work out what the problem was. Eventually it was sorted but my mobile bill was huge!! :scared1:
     
  13. Pegasus928

    Pegasus928 DIS Veteran

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    That was a trip report and a half.
    Pleased you got everything sorted with your flight, and you had a good day all round by the looks of things.
     
  14. Lizzybear

    Lizzybear <font color=purple>You fool! You gave cheese to a

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    Shame this is your last full day but sounds like it was a good 'un! The things we do to check-in online eh, I would have been exactly the same ;)
     
  15. wickesy

    wickesy <font color=royalblue>Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love y

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    I know, we had gone to all the trouble of going to the tourist information office to see where we coul get wi-fi, made a special trip to McDonalds and then get a stupid message saying we weren't allowed to check-in. :sad2: Well done to BA for getting it sorted so quickly and easily for me though. :thumbsup2
     
  16. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    I can't believe how many mini golf courses there are either.

    Lucky you seeing bears.
     
  17. arieljasmine

    arieljasmine <font color=magenta>Who says these things pass you

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    What a farce with your online check in, glad you got it sorted out in the end. Another fascinating day with a lot of ground covered.

    It must have been amazing seeing the mummy and baby bears :goodvibes

    Laur's xx
     

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