Sunday, November 13, 2016

Our Stay at the Bear Skin Lodge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Bear skin lodge in Gatlinburg Tennessee
Bear Skin Lodge
It was hard to get my daughter to agree to leave Rock City Gardens, Georgia, but we had to get to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to visit the Great Smoky Mountains.  

Gatlinburg was about 2 hours away from Rock City.  As soon as we got into the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area, we hit some serious traffic.  To my dismay, Gatlinburg was a very congested area.   It was very overwhelming to me at first; I am more of a country girl even though I live in the City.  I like fewer crowds.  

Any who, we were able to easily find our hotel, thanks to my handy dandy GARMIN, boy did that come in handy.   Our hotel was the Bear Skin Lodge.  I picked it, because it had a Lazy River Pool and we were able to get a room with a balcony overlooking the River.   We were booked for three nights.  So happy to get the car unloaded and not have to load it back up for a while.

Well, when we went to check in, our room was not ready yet.  It was 4:00 p.m.  I was not going to get upset.  We are right down the street from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains.  I said, “lets go an explore people”.  So we headed to the Sugarlands Visitor Center.  It was very nice.  They had a showcase of animals (not alive) that are found in the park.  Pretty Amazing. 

Sugarland Visitor Center in the Smoky Mountains
Sugarland Visitor Center
I then decided, since we were right near the Sugarland Riding Stable, let’s go horseback riding now.  We grabbed our jeans out of our suitcases and changed at the Visitor Center.  When we got to the stable, I feared we were too late, but they said that they would take my daughter and I out.  It was the most beautiful ride.  It was just our guide and us.  We went up into the mountains and passed a small stream.  I was constantly thanking our maker in my head for creating such beauty.  Unfortunately my horse, which was a very good horse, was tired and lagging behind, making it hard to hear what the guide was saying.  My daughter and the guide got to see a black bear!  When I got there it was gone.  The ride was about an hour long.  They took pictures of both of us before and after.   The pictures are for sale after.  I believe it was $20 and they were downloaded to a disk.  I bought it so I could have pictures of both of us on the horses. 

Horseback Riding at the Sugarland Riding Stables in Gatlinburg Tennessee
Horseback Riding at Sugarland
Next we headed back to the Hotel.  We had to wait in line, but our room was finally ready.  We unloaded the car.  I had read some reviews that the elevator was really slow, but we did not think it was that bad.  It took us about 3 – 4 trips, to get the car unloaded.  Our room was really nice and quite roomy.  Unfortunately, there was no microwave in the room.  The balcony was nice and the river was flowing very strong.  I loved sitting there listening to it, but wished the Condo across the river was not so close. 

Fireplace in our room at the Bear Skin Lodge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Our Room
After we were situated, we decided to get dinner at the KFC across the way.  I had not eaten at KFC in a while and not sure what to order, well, since I did not know right away, I made the cashier mad and she decided to ignore us.  I then decided I did not need to spend my hard earned money here on bad customer service and left.  I was upset – What happened to the “Southern Hospitality” and did I mention it was HOT!  Well thankfully I had brought food with us.  I made my daughter a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I had ramen noodle soup, with the hot water from the coffee maker.  

Fire Pit Near the Lazy River Tennessee
Fire pit near the pool
We then went down to the pool. They had two pools: a lazy river type pool that was just a small pool with concrete in the middle that had water jets pushing the water around to ride tubes on and a regular pool.  I did not go swimming, but my daughter had a blast in the lazy river pool I met some nice people that were staying at the hotel and chatted.  It was very nice and still light out at 9:00 p.m.!!! 

lazy river at the pool at the Bear Skin Lodge Gatlinburg Tennessee
Lazy River Pool at the Bear Skin Lodge
Also, the tubes were provided by the Lodge for free.