On the 4th of July, we slept in a bit, which was much needed since stayed up till nearly 2am the night before. We enjoyed waffles for breakfast, while discussing the plans for the day. We loaded up the car and went to Laurel Falls for a little hike.
Before heading out on the trail, we noticed a sign that said “No Pets Allowed.” This was not a good start, since we had brought Daisy along for the adventure. Grandpa said he’d sit back with her, since his knee was bothering him anyway. Unfortunately, I think half of Gatlinburg thought Laurel Falls was a great place to start their 4th of July as well.
The trail was super crowded with lots of people with strollers and lots of people who didn’t understand this sign:
They refused to walk in a single file line while crossing paths. It made for a frustrating 1.3 mile trek to see the falls.
There were so many people when we got to the falls. People were just hanging out there and weren’t concerned that others were trying to enjoy the falls and take pictures. I didn’t even attempt to get pics of us there. I snapped a few shots and we headed back.
After finishing up with our hike, we hopped in the car and drove over to the Sugarlands Visitor Center so we could use the restroom and find out if Daisy could come with us to the picnic area. We found out that we could bring her to the picnic area, just not on any National Hiking Trails.
With grumbling tummies, we made our way over to Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. You won’t see any pics of this area, because as I was just about to finish up my sandwich it started to pore down rain. We managed to get everything thrown back in the car and not get drenched.
A few of us were interested in checking out the possibility of riding horses. Rob and I had seen a spot the day before that looked promising. Next To Heaven was the place. They checked it out and decided to give it a try.
Drew, Grandma, and Rachel went for the adventure. It was $30/person for 1 hour (ended up only being about 30 minutes) on an unguided tour. They went real high and got some beautiful views. No pictures were taken while they were riding as they were holding on tight since it was super steep.
Since the rest of us had some time to kill we drove over to the The Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum. We didn’t go inside. We just took pictures and looked at the equipment on display outside.
From there we went to this amazing wood shop called Captain Dave’s Little River Artistry. We walked through the first building mesmerized at the amazing artwork from wood. Just when we were going into the next building, we got a call that they were done riding horses, so we left to go pick them up.
After picking up the other half of our crew, we decided to make our way back to the chalet. We made a quick stop to see the Little Greenbriar Schoolhouse.
After dinner, we hung out at the chalet. Rob made the jambalaya quiche for us to enjoy the rest of the weekend and Nick made Paula Deen’s peach cobbler (pictured below). Yummy! We were able to watch the fireworks just barely peak there way over the mountain.
See all the pics from Day 2 here.