Saturday, 3/4 - Woke up and drove from Pigeon Forge to cades cove, drove a loop around the cove, set up camp and then went on a hike to Rocky Top. We started off on the wrong trail and added 3.5 miles to our hike. Ended up being 6.5 hours and between 15-16 mile. The last 1.5 miles up to Rocky Top were steep, and hard after climbing for about 4 hours. Had the top to ourselves for a while and had lunch overlooking the mountains, Fontana Lake and Cades Cove. Beautiful day. Hike down was 2:15 (much faster), but all down hill and my knees were barking by the end.
Sunday, 3/5 - Camped at Cades cove Saturday night and cooked an awesome beef/broccoli/rice dish over the campfire. It got down into the 20's, but we were plenty warm with the fire and in our tent. Sunday we made eggs and grilled flatbread for breakfast, packed up camp and drove to Elkmont in the Smoky's. There was a resort there in the 1920's with vacation homes/cabins. They've fallen into disrepair and the park service is beginning to tear most of them down starting tomorrow, 3/6. So, it was our last chance to ever see them. We took lots of pictures. It was once a place of millionaire's mountain retreat homes. It's neat and must have been a wonderful place many years ago. When the GSMNP was formed, the homeowners were given a lease on the properties until 2001, then had to vacate. Some of the cabins will be restored and kept, most will be bulldozed.
We hiked Jakes Creek trail to Cucumber Gap trail to Little River trial to make a loop of about 7 miles.