The Great Road Trip to Nashville- Day 5 The Great Smokey Mountains

Day 0 | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8

We learned a lot about traveling with the RV on the way to Nashville. We were determined to learn from our mistakes.

First- We would not travel more than 4 hours in a day 
Second- We would stop for meals after 2 hours of driving
Third- We let technology win. It had to win

On the way to Nashville we planned to follow the RoadTrippers route, but ultimately followed Waze to make the best time possible. It was not the best plan as RoadTrippers planned out a longer RV friendly route and Waze did not. On the way back we used RoadTrippers and it made a huge difference. My wife figured out how far we would drive and where we would sleep. She booked the KOA places well in advance instead of the day of and she also planned fun experiences along the way. The first experience was the Great Smokey Mountains.

Majestic, beautiful, natures beauty at its finest and we barely survived the drive. I’m exaggerating, but not by much. As we approached the Great Smokey Mountain National Park there was a ton of traffic. So what did I do, I Wazed it because we were oh so very close. Huge mistake. As we drove through the backroads through the mountains, the roads began to get significantly more narrow. In a regular car it would be tight, but doable. In an RV. Not very fun. As the roads ascended up the mountain with a meager guard rail protecting you from a perilous drop, things got intense in the front seat. Miles of navigating these narrow roads felt like hours. I drove at single digit miles per hour. I’m sure my Apple Watch registered multiple heart attacks. When we were through the first set of mountains and headed to the second set of mountain roads, there was a sign. It said “DO NOT FOLLOW GPS. NO RV’S, BUSES, OR TRAILERS”. 

The decision was made for us so we were going to have to appreciate the Great Smokey Mountains from afar. Had I not followed Waze and stuck with the traffic I’m sure we could’ve made to the State Park just fine. 

Navigating from there, we drove through this vacation /tourist oasis of Pigeon Forge Tennessee. The kids were glued to the windows seeing the hustle and bustle of this place on Black Friday. It was crazy! My wife and I decided that we needed to come back to the Great Smokey Mountains for our nature fix and hit up Pigeon Forge for our entertainment fix. 

We ended the night at the Gatlinburg KOA RV Park with our sites on Northern Virginia in the morning. 

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