As many times as I have visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park I have never stayed on the southern side of the park so I decided to stay in Waynesville, NC May 2 – 9. Unfortunately it rained several days so I didn’t do as much touring and hiking as I would have liked to.
One day I went white squirrel hunting (for a picture) in Brevard, NC. This area is known to have a population of white squirrels and I had read that the best place to spot them is on the Brevard College campus. I saw no squirrels while there. It was very windy, so maybe I will try again next time I am in the area. On the drive to Brevard, I drove thru the Pisgah National Forest and stopped at the Looking Glass Falls.
I also stopped at Connestee Falls. This was in interesting falls. Just beyond the overlook was a waterfall that falls toward the center of the picture (left side). Then in the right corner is another water fall that falls also toward the center. Interesting, but impossible to get a good picture.
Another day, I headed to Cataloochee Valley to see the elk. I had read the best time to see them was at dawn and dusk. I was there at 6:30 am and saw 25 or more. I later talked with some folks who got there at 8:30 am and they saw none!
The elk above started walking quickly towards my car. I wasn’t sure what he was planning, but I started up my car hoping the noise would scare him away which it did.
I think the elk are pretty smart. The one below seems to be reading the “horses prohibited” sign.
In addition to elk and great scenery I saw a lot of turkeys.
A couple of days I drove part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once on my way to the National Park and another just as a scenic drive. One day it was very cold and as I got higher in elevation on the parkway and in the national park I ran into snow and sleet (mostly sleet). In the Smokies, the road to Clingman’s Dome was closed due to the roads icing.
Above shows that I was being lazy and comfortable. I drove up to an overlook and just rolled the window down to take some pictures. It was sleeting so much in the few seconds the window was down this sleet came in my car. This is May! It’s not supposed to be this cold. (It was low to mid 30’s in the higher elevations)
I decided to pay for a premium spot at my RV park in Waynesville and got a creek side spot. I had great neighbors (mallards) and a good view.
From Waynesville, I headed back to Townsend but in my RV this time!