Not covered with snow on this New Year’s Day, but still quite beautiful. I finally got my chance to retrace US441 through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was winter, and it was a holiday – but traffic was relatively light, and boy was it a great ride.
I started in Cherokee, North Carolina, going backwards from my childhood memories to Gatlinburg before heading on in to my old hometown.
There were turkeys, and clouds, and, of course, a glance down the mountain where the old 441 once plummeted from Newfound Gap into North Carolina. Now it dances along the ridges high above, and the views are spectacular.
After the gap, there was the drive into Tennessee, a much steeper road. I passed the Chimneys, the Loop, and dove into some pretty soupy fog on the way to Gatlinburg. And the funniest thing of all … the old LeConte View hotel, which no long has a view of Mont LeConte because of the Gatlinburg Visitor’s Center.