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An EPIC Adventure - A Live & Interactive trip report

Discussion in 'Trip Reports, Planning, & Questions' started by UK-Trigg, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Mark: You'll like this story. 100% true. It just happened a few minutes ago. I took a rest in my swing chair under the wild cherry tree after cutting grass (It's like a steam bath out there today). That's where our empty bottles of Jim Beam are hanging, if you recall. A doe comes prancing out of the woods, accompanied by a white & black cat running along side her. They stopped about 10-15 ft. from the JB bottles, and the deer starts grazing, paying me no heed, while the cat stands next to her. After about 5 minutes, the deer bends over to the cat, nudges her nose on the cat's back, and then they run off into the woods together. Never seen anything like that before. Cats & Jim Beam sure go well together.
     
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  2. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    By my reckoning you said the C word 3 times, best get drinking buddy :spit:
     
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  3. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Right now the doe, buck and their two bambies are grazing by the hammock.
     
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  4. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    Day 16 – Getting Wet, Again!

    We all felt much fresher after not drinking so much as the night before which was a good thing as today we were heading an hour up the I40 to Hartford for white water rafting on the Big Pigeon River. We booked ahead of time with Rafting in the Smokies; the price was by far the best. The first company was over $100 per person and as much as I wanted to do it we all thought that was too steep. Rafting in the Smokies however were far cheaper, with a $12 coupon we only paid $34 each, result. They did explain on the phone though that we would only experience class 1 and 2 rapids as there were no plans to open the dam on the controlled river that day.

    Before we left I checked in on EPIC, his nest was empty and he was nowhere to be seen, seems my new friend had gone.

    The drive up was pretty with nice views of the mountains and within the hour we had made our destination, or so we thought. We filled in our waivers and went to check in; they couldn’t find us on the system. Turned out we were at the wrong place, Doh. Luckily the correct place was on a couple of minutes back up the road, we filled in our waivers for a second time and this time we were able to check in.

    Despite our error we had made it in good time so we had a bit of a wait before our 1PM slot. Time went fast though as we admired the views of the awaiting river. The crew got us all geared up and paired up with our guides for the trip Our guide was to be Carver, he was the head of the group and you could tell he loved his job and being on the river.

    We also had the weather gods on our side again, turns out the rains that had kept us in the day before had swelled the river so they would be releasing the dam, this would mean we would experience level 1, 2, 3 and 4 rapids, result.

    Once aboard the bus they went over the safety spiel on the way to our launch site. The whole crew was good fun and whilst the safety stuff was important they did it with a great sense of humor and by the time we got up to our launch side excited to get in the raft and on the river, the others looked slightly less enthused, maybe a touch apprehensive.

    We would be in the last raft on the river as Carver was lead and was keeping an eye on the rafts in front, Carver was a true professional and any apprehension the rest had were soon put at ease as before we entered the river. The ride back to the outpost was 5.5miles and would take around two hours. I loved every minute of it, the rapids were so much fun and the quieter sections of river were relaxing and offered spectacular views. We made stops on the way down to do some surfing; they face you into the flow of the rapids and hold the boat right in it, such fun. A second stop allowed us time to get out of the boat to swim in the river, we also got to jump off the rocks back in.


    I had an absolute blast doing this trip and what really topped it off was seeing Sam grinning from ear to ear all the way down, this isn’t really her kinda thing but she loved it, even getting out to swim in the river and jump off the rocks, well done babes I was proud of you. We all agreed it was something we would like to do again. Back at the outpost and on dry land we got showered up and purchased the photo package, $40 split between us for a thumb drive of 16 photos wasn’t too bad.


    We were all hungry after the trip down the river and we had fixed a picnic before we left the cabin, with picnic benches by the river this seemed the perfect spot to eat. Potato chips, Mac salad and sub rolls filled with and yet more pulled pork. The $15 I paid for the pork is probably the best $15 ill spend all trip, and we still have more left yet.


    The Sat Nav took us back down some back roads to our next destination, an old covered bridge, I wasn’t all that impressed but the girls liked it so that was fine. It was getting on now so we headed back to the cabin via Wal Mart for a few supplies. I was pleased to find EPIC had returned and was back in his spot under the tree.

    Back at the cabin we were on hurricane watch with the weather channel, were right on the cusp of the impact zone but leaving early Friday may have to detour our route down to Florida but we should be fine. We started up a hurricane drinking game. Evacuate, Cone and Catastrophic were our words and every time we heard them on the weather channel we had a shot of moonshine. Evacuate was a bad choice, at one point the reporter said “if you are in the impact zone evacuate, evacuate, evacuate” oh man. We also had a bonus round, Irma = a shot of the 100%+ stuff. Thankfully we never heard Irma, good job as even before she had hit land Florence had done some major damage, 3 jars of moonshine and I don’t recall going to bed.
     
  5. SkiBum

    SkiBum Member

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    If only. The one thing that we have learned is to have our hopes built and dashed. No one except Mike Brown knows why we have stayed the same.

    It's funny, not to derail the thread, but Pittsburgh always reminds me a lot of Cincinnati. Some of the buildings look similar and same with the bridges. Except that Cinci doesn't have the three rivers. Also, I think that PNC Park is set up better as it faces downtown. Still, I think that it is a a nice city.
     
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  6. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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  7. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Lots of similarities between the two cities. They even grew at about the same pace as the original frontier expanded in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I have a really interesting book that documents the progress of Pgh., Cinn., Louisville, Lexington & St L. as the frontier expanded. And their early trading ventures and primitive industries complimented one another, and they were dependent on one another, as the frontier grew....and I love the Cincy Zoo. One of the first to have the animals in real habitats. and ...The bar/restaurant area where the football and baseball stadium are is really impressive :thumbsup:. Even better than our stadium entertainment stretch in Pgh. ...but our Casino is 100 times better than that cheap & cheesy casino building they have in downtown Cincy. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
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  8. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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  9. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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  10. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    Day 17 – Never Again!

    I woke up not knowing how I’d gotten into bed, I felt awful, Moonshine hair of the dog wasn’t going to work today in fact at that point I didn’t care if I never saw a bottle of moonshine again. I took tablets and water and went back to sleep for an hour.

    I got up again and still felt, by this time everyone else was up, well it was nearly 11. Bob was struggling too but the girls were doing OK, they drank the same but they were good to go, I think they were just putting a brave face on it. Neither Bob nor I felt like doing anything so the girls decided to head out and hit some shops; I went back to bed and stayed there until 2PM. I haven’t done that since my teen years.

    I still felt rough, this was the hangover from hell but on the flip side it got me out of going to Hobby Lobby, The Christmas Shop and all the other stores I couldn’t care less for.

    The girls arrived back and Bob and I were feeling better, not great but at least we felt like eating now. Whilst Bob got BBQ fired up for a hunk of flank steak I got some baking potatoes in the oven and made a simple shrimp and asparagus starter. Bob cooked the steak perfectly med/rare and we all enjoyed it with the baked spuds and some beans.

    It was getting on for 8.30PM by the time we had wrapped up lunch but with staying in all day we decided to hit The Island in Pigeon Forge. It’s a Disney Springs/City Walk type deal with a Margaritaville Resort tied into it. The drive from our cabin was short but I enjoyed seeing all the lights from the attractions illuminating the sides of the roads, Dolly’s Dinner show and the Christmas store looked particularly good lit at night.

    The Island was nice, they have dancing fountains that play to music on the hour every hour so we sat and watched this before browsing the shops and attractions. The Christmas store had Minion decorations, I have a Disney decorated Christmas tree every year and had decided to start a Uni one this year, at $10 each I figured they would be far cheaper than in Orlando so I bagged two. We did go in the Ole Smokey Moonshine distillery but I couldn’t even look at the stuff, yep I was still suffering. With going out late some of the stores were closing so we only stayed a couple of hours, this was fine as we were still feeling grotty from the night before, even the girls were flagging this. We headed back and I think we were asleep before our heads hit the pillow and I still didn’t care if I saw another bottle of moonshine again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  11. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Stick with Jim Beam Bourbon. You can't go wrong. :thumbsup::lol:
     
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  12. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    The Island Photos

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  13. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    Oh I think you would with 3 bottles :faint:, actually the concusses is we did 4 but I have no recollection.
     
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  14. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    I guess you'll just have to test that that 'theory' on a future visit :tease::lol:....Cats. :toast:....proof positive it's better to drink toasts to a football team (Hamilton Tiger Cats):) than a hurricane.
     
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  15. JoeCamel

    JoeCamel Premium Member

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  16. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    Day 18 – Parrot Mountain & Dream More

    We woke feeling better than yesterday and after a simple breakfast of blueberry pancakes and hot tea we headed out to Parrot Mountain, so called as it’s at the top of a mountain and had parrots, who’d a thought. It was only a short 20 minute drive and we were soon heading up the steep slope to the summit, not as high as the peak we saw earlier in the week but an impressive part of the range none the less.

    But it wasn’t the mountains or the views we had come to see this time though it was the birds, and wow did they have a lot. The entrance fee was $20 but coupons are readily available for 1 or 2 dollars off, you can also pay an extra $2 to feed nectar to the Lowery's. Now on paper this doesn’t sound the best of trips out but honestly I had a blast here, the assortment of birds on show here is staggering and not just in cages you can interact with a lot of them too.

    I could have spent hours talking too and petting the birds in these lovely surroundings. One cockatoo took a particular shine to me; I fed and petted him whilst he sat on my arm. He stayed with me a good half hour, \every time I tried to put him back on the perch he moved further up my arm, bend his head over and did a little dance for me, I would have took him home if I could. We also interacted with the Lowery's, yep we got suckered into paying the $2 for a pot of nectar, these guys loved that nectar though, just two steps into the enclosure and you were covered in dozens colorful Lowery's

    Some of the birds in the nursery at the end were for sale; the tiny baby parrots were so cute but not $4000 cute. We spent around 3 hours at Parrot Mountain and we all had a good time up there.

    Dolly Patrons Dream More Resort is just at the bottom of the mountain so we stopped off there on the way past. This is a nice, clean modern looking resort with nods to Dolly all over the place. Out front is a water fountain which reminded me of the one outside Hard Rock Hotel at Uni, we only had a brief tour of the resort but from what I saw I would happily stay there if I ever go to Dollywood again.

    Next up was the Old Mill District of Pigeon Forge. The district has lots stores all set around a historic old mill which dates back to 1830. The area is a popular tourist area I can see why because it looks really pretty with the landscaping and flowers, some of the stores had free samples, we tried everything from hot soups to pecan cookies. We stopped off at the ice creamery, whilst the ice cream did look delicious I however settled for an iced vanilla coffee as I was full from all those free samples.

    We only had one place left on out to do list, the apple farm. They have a huge apple orchard and sell everything imaginable containing apples from wine to cheese and bacon to popcorn. The place was nice but I think we were all too tired and shopped out to enjoy it, maybe next time will be better.

    Time was getting on; we were tired and had to pack as we were leaving for port Canaveral tomorrow. After an hour’s down time we got dinner on, pulled pork (yep still going on that) steak, breaded potato cakes and beans. We also had bread, eggs and milk left over so Samantha made up a traditional English bread and butter pudding.

    Dinner eaten it was time to pack, we had one last check on Florence but it looked like we were getting out of town just in time, our only concern was how the roads would be for tomorrows road trip, we planned on setting off by 6am so it was lights out on our last day in the log cabin.
     
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  17. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    Birds, Birds & More Birds


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  18. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Next time in town, you and Sam need to go to The National Aviary. It's located near the two stadiums you filmed....It's the only one accorded 'National' by the US Library of Congress and it's the United States largest aviary with over 600 bird species.
     
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  19. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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  20. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    Old Mill District - Pigeon Forge

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