|The troop poses for our annual photo op in front of the Ober Gatlinburg sign.
As we have in the past, the trip began with a Friday evening departure from Auburn and a stop at the Cartersville, Georgia Wendy's for dinner. The drive stretched into early Saturday morning as we arrived in Gatlinburg around 1:00 AM. Over the past few years, we have availed ourselves of the hospitality of the Days Inn. This year we decided to seek lodging in a more high-end establishment, so we upgraded to the Econo Lodge. This turned out to be a good decision overall. The hotel had everything ready for us and we quickly had the scouts headed to their rooms for a good rest.
|Nicky makes his final shot while
the gallery looks less than impressed.
|Hunter's Pac Man gobbles away as Boone and Beck observe.
|Zach and Everett move off the course at the conclusion of a successful run.
|Service with a smile
at Johnny Rockets.
|Beck does his level best in ski school.
|Liam, Everett, and Michael enjoy the wildlife exhibit during a break from skiing.
|Josh, Hunter, and Davis ready to ski beneath the stars.
The next morning we made our annual pilgrimage to the Flapjack Pancake Cabin for a hearty breakfast. After filling up on pancakes we made our way out of town and began the long trip home. Plans were made to stop at a trampoline park in Chattanooga but when we arrived, the combination of a crowded facility and a rather strict waiver policy kept us from fulfilling a desire to bounce up and down. Even finding a place to eat lunch proved to be challenging and we had to trek into Georgia in order to find sustenance at a CiCi's Pizza. After braving the traffic around Atlanta, everyone was back in Auburn before 5:00 PM.
Although fire damage was evident in the hills around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, the town and it's residents were just as inviting as always. We are glad that the community and the ski resort have survived intact. We mourn the lives that were lost in this rather senseless tragedy and our prayers are with the families and friends that remain. However, we know that a new day has dawned and that all are on the way to recovery. We look forward to visiting this wonderful place for many years to come.
More photos are found in the online photo gallery.