In the morning, we left Pigeon Forge and drove 1.5 hours to Cades Cove. There we enjoyed the gorgeous sites of the fields, forests, and mountains.
We decided to take the 5 mile round trip to see Abrams Falls. The trail followed alongside the winding Abrams creek. There were many parts of the trail that led us up the side of a rocky mountain. The closer we got to the falls, the more strenuous the trail became. When we arrived at the falls, we noticed some people climbing up them (see picture below). The current and rapids were very strong in this location and there were many warning signs all around about swimming. One of the signs stated that there had been 4 deaths at the falls. When we heard the people climbing on the falls talking about jumping from the top of the 20 ft falls, we were afraid we might witness the 5th death. It was a long jump to make in order to clear the jagged rocks and logs at the bottom. After much hesitation, one of the climbers made the jump, cleared the obstacles by inches, and landed directly on his back. After that, he sat pretty quietly on the shore for a while. There was a smaller woman contemplating to jump so we decided to head back before having to witness her getting hurt. We doubted her chances of being able to clear the rocks to the water pool.
After Cades Cove we drove to Gatlinburg where we ate at The Park Grill before going to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. There, Myles impressed Lauren with his knowledge of all the different animals which he attributed to watching too much Animal Planet when he was a kid.
That evening, we stayed at The Park Vista by Hilton which was a very cool building from the outside. Lauren quickly discovered that the room we got was not so cool. It was dirty and there was mold in the bathroom. The next morning we both had allergy-like symptoms which we decided probably came from the moldy air conditioner.
End Day 8.