Dismeet in the Smokies 2021! Y'all Come!

Choosing a name for our upcoming trip!

  • Dismeet in the Smokies 2021

    Votes: 7 50.0%
  • Rocky Top Dismeet 2021

    Votes: 3 21.4%
  • Pigeon Forge Dismeet 2021

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • Dosmeet in the Mountains 2021

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Dis Mountain Meet 2021

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Country Bear Vacation Hoedown 2021

    Votes: 3 21.4%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


DIS Veteran
Aug 4, 2003
I knew after Tuesday’s morning struggle to get up and the late party at @Bishoparc there would be no waking up early today. I even slept in till 7:30. Bert got up at 9:30. We then had to replan the day. First thing I did was get a load of laundry done and see how people were doing. Then I wanted to take advantage of no rain and we decided to hike. It is Wednesday and that means Cades Coveis closed for motor traffic. We risked that we could get a parking spot at 1 pm but we got one.

we did not walk the entire loop. We took the cutoff at Hyatt Lane. We still covered 8.15 miles and 600 ft of gain but it only took 2.5 hours, which includes wildlife watching time.

First a few horses. Second sighting was a deer. Here Bert stepped off the road to see better but stepped on a ant hill. He got bit up. Next we saw a snake. It was off the road and just a black snake so no big deal. We had our second deer sighting. Then way off in the distance I saw a black roll moving against the green backdrop. Decided it was a bear but gone well before we could really tell. As we were walking a ranger in a tractor stopped us to tell us it would rain in a few minutes. We were 3.5 miles from the exit. We said yep and that was it nit much we could do, we did get lucky being near a cabin when it was raining hard so had cover. Thankfully it was a shower no lightening. We started off again.

after the rain we saw two more Disney deer as we walked by them fairly close and they did not mind too much. Just past the deer though was the best. Momma bear and her two cubs. We could see them but far enough away it was not a threat. then made it back to the crun and happy to have some water. It was not the original plan for the day but it worked out well.

Horses at the start





Bear the little black spot

Random pics



we stopped at Kroger for dinner. I wanted chicken and corn. chicken selection was slim so ended up with brats and corn. Got Mallory fed, dinner cooked, and eaten before the skies opened up. I was actually trying to get ahead and put stuff inside. We could see it coming. Changed one bandage then took Mallory out for her people. Came back and changed the other bandage, then showers now bed.

keeping plans flexible for tomorrow. Will be back soon to load the photos from the phone. Beat you all to get the photos loaded.
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It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
Sep 23, 2004
Hey tripleb, check your email!

I got one last night from the Great Smoky Mtn Railroad that the steam engine had a mechanical problem yesterday and our ride today would be replaced with a diesel loco.

I can only get a refund up to 48 hrs in advance. Then our tickets are non refundable but can be rescheduled for later this year (not an option for us).

Still heading out this morning but whatever. :confused3

Bama Ed


It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
Sep 23, 2004
I have kinda been down and out this trip. Stuck here in the hospital.

You have us over here in PF willing to help any way we can and you got the docs over there doing the same.

Hang in there. :grouphug:

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DIS Veteran
Apr 20, 2014
Chris, Still have you in my prayers!! Wish I was there to help with Reba & anything else that needs to be done. Thanks to everyone who is keeping us in the loop on the trip & how Chris is doing.
  • Stratman50th

    Loving all things Fort Wilderness!
    Nov 17, 2019
    I feel I need to make a special request of my fellow Disers. Here with us on this trip is long time Diser PaHunter. Chris was actually scheduled as the hosting Diser on this one. Going back a few pages Chis had posted he wasn't feeling well even before heading down to meet us here. As time and the trip has gone on he has become weaker and felt worse. Today he was continued worsening so much so that he requested to go to the hospital. I took him to local hospital where he has been for most of the day. He is admitted with further testing ongoing and while some things are known ( it IS NOT covid) he is still pending further testing and treatment but quite Ill.

    I would request of you all to please remember Chris and his wife Jenn as they navigate this stressful time and seeking of clear answers and treatment. I know they are in our prayers. I greatly appreciate the Disers here, each has contributed today in helping with their site and with Reba, their Grrman Shepherd. Who we have been spoiling all day.
    I saw Chris's post about being in the hospital and had to go back to find this.

    I have kinda been down and out this trip. Stuck here in the hospital.
    You're in our thoughts and prayers Chris. Get well soon brother!


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 23, 2014
    Dollywood Day
    Sorry I didn’t get to write yesterday, the internet and cell coverage has been horrible here.

    @bama_ed covered our Dollywood Day pretty well. I’ll just add that the DW and I had a great time with Ed and his DW. We were so glad we were able to go along with them for their first trip to Dollywood.

    And we must share this picture as Ed perfectly lands on the log flume.

    Yesterday was mostly un-eventful minus our trip with @tigger9962 and @Teamubr. After that we hung out at @teamubr’s site for the evening and turned in around 10:30. Sad that the trip is winding down.
  • garneska

    DIS Veteran
    Aug 4, 2003
    @Bishoparc and @bama_ed that is an awesome picture. Ed looks so proud of his accomplishment.

    today was a weird and long day. I let Bert sleep because I knew the tentative plan was to take Chris’s rig back to PA and return to PF with Jenn’s car. The guys left at 2:30. @tiggerdad kids wanted to do the sky bridge and my FIL said it looked fun and wanted to go, so we went and did the sky bridge. Pictures to come from phone after update.

    the lift was nice and pleasant. The sky bridge that swayed with the glass floor that was a little creepy. My FIL had a good time so that was good. Came back and cleaned a little, dinner was leftovers. I sat and talked with Arc and Josie before dinner. I had no problem feeding Mallory. Then @JETS70 came by to help me get Mallory out. He did great. Mallory did not pee but success on number 2 (she had nit gone was start to worry but the extra chicken water did the trick). Next we went for a walk and hung out. Steve got Mallory back inside and I showered.

    plan is to take the girls and Theresa hiking tomorrow. It is entirely possible the guys will be back by the time we finish.

    randy is doing most of the driving right now. As I type they should be getting to PA in the next hour or so. Then it will be turn around and drive Jenn’s car back.

    pics to follow.

    Going up

    Some from the top



    Going down


    Mallory on her walk. She did have a crowd but they had left for ice cream.

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    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Sep 23, 2004
    Picking up where I left off:

    We did hang briefly at Teamubr's last night for a few minutes - long enough to give Mallory some love again which she seems to be grateful for.

    Again, we/I was disappointed that we were not getting a steam locomotive for today's ride and it was too late to do a cancellation and get a refund. Train operators always include language to allow them to substitute motive power (diesel instead of steam) at their discretion. They were going to refund the difference in ticket prices, however, between the steam and diesel rates.

    We went out at 715am straight through the belly of the beast since it was so early on a Thursday morning and went right through downtown Gatlinburg headed for the top of the mountain at Newfound Gap. Then we wound our way up and it appears they are stripping the old pavement and repaving up near the top (paving equipment in a little side pull off area and one lane of fresh asphalt and one that's been scraped). Down into Cherokee and over to Bryson City to the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad.

    There were a surprising number of people already at the depot waiting to pick up the tickets at 9am (the drive took right at 90 minutes for 53 miles). We got ours and then headed over to the Gift Shop and Model Train Museum (use the door on the far left).

    Look in the back of the second room from the door for the entrance to the Museum which fills the back half of the building.

    There are two large rooms with model train displays (mostly "O" gauge) and cases on the walls of beautiful Lionel locomotives and cars that are part of the museum collection.

    There were some interesting pieces like a 24k gold plated steam loco/tender/caboose:

    And a diesel locomotive that had a clear transparent skin:

    The oldest toy train piece I saw in the museum was this 1909 Pennsy oil tank car:

    Let's briefly visit the diesel ride next.

    Bama Ed


    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Sep 23, 2004
    At 10am we went out to the boarding areas:

    On the far end was a double header (guess that's the way it came in yesterday).

    One pulled off and moved to the other end (the way we headed out) so we had one on both ends (however the one leading the direction of travel was the only one under power at any given time and the other coasted).

    This was our car. It was 11 sets of 2 seats facing 2 seats on each side of the aisle. We sat and talked with a nice retired couple from Florida who had recently moved from New Jersey.

    No pics of the inside nor of the trip. We ran along side Fontana Lake and then up along the Nantahala River Gorge which runs down to Fontana.

    The ride was 22 miles up the gorge, wait for the loco control to move to the other attached loco, then head back to Bryson City on the same track. On the way back we stopped at the Nantahala Operations Center (NOC) which is a training center for white water kayaking:

    And also a take out location for rafting/kayak companies that put in up-river.

    We ate our lunch there and stretched our legs. The train stop was an hour there.

    Back to Bryson City and up over the mountain again. Managed to get a quick dinner at JT Hannah's Kitchen on the Parkway near Pine Mountain Road (where our rv park is) in an hour in/out. It's a burger, sandwich, salad place in a rustic setting. Good enough. No food pix - got a reuben and DW got a southwestern salad. Both were good with good service.

    Came back to pack up because we leave for home tomorrow. Caught up on the news here and told folks about the train ride. Good conversation standing in the street as the sun went down.

    We've had a great time making new friends and meeting old ones again. Thanks to all and have safe travels. :wave2:

    Bama Ed

    PS - and we will continue to keep PaHunter in our prayers.

    PPS - and bring our Three Cabalerros ...

    ... back safely from Pennsylvania tonight.
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    cruising spud

    Oct 12, 2007
    My absolute FAVORITE take-away from the Pigeon Forge trip----Dollywood's locomotive is named Cinderella!!!! And, thank goodness it's not just my husband-we were at Dollywood about five years ago, and the ONE thing that my husband still comments on is the cinnamon bread. Thank you for all of the pictures. Continuing to wait on news about Chris. Jenn, at least if this had to happen on a trip, it was on a trip with all of these great, caring people. My thoughts are with you.


    I don't always get distracted but whe...SQUIRREL!
    Jul 8, 2009
    We have delivered the RV and Reba safely back home to PA and brought Jenns car back for them to use. Just dropped it off at hospital. We drove through the night. 19 hour round trip including fuel stops and bathroom breaks.

    Gotta have a nap, then start packing as our heading out day is tomorrow.


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 4, 2003
    I was helping in my own way here. I took @tiggerdad kids and @JETS70 DW hiking this morning. We left at 6:30. The target was the bluffs at Alum Cave. It was 4.5 miles and 1000 ft of gain. Weather was docked in and raining and lots of rain yesterday so it was wet with some waterfall walk through and some stream crossing. Feet were soaked but everyone was a trooper. No complaining.