The second day of the trip and we had two things planned this day: meet with Stephen’s family for lunch and then the other thing besides Clingman’s Dome that I wanted to do, the Skybridge.
Lunch was great! It was nice seeing family that we hadn’t seen in several years. The visit continued on to the Skybridge down the road once we had all gotten our fill of Italian food – there was so much food!
The Skybridge hadn’t been open for long, April I think is when it opened, and we weren’t the only ones there to see it, obviously. Despite the long line to pay and then to ride the chairlift up, everything moved along at a pretty good pace. We could have chopped our wait some had we bought tickets online, but we weren’t exactly sure what we would be doing right after lunch.
I was a little worried about parking, but there was a lot nearby with paid parking that was only a few dollars and it wasn’t much of a walk. Still, on a Sunday early afternoon, there were lots of people all around the town! I think this is a pretty regular thing.
We got to the top, wandered briefly though the gift shop, then out to the bridge. It was pretty neat. Maybe not as big as I thought it would be, but still a bigger than I am used to bridge nonetheless. Did I mention it was a suspension bridge? And, did I mention that the center of it was floored with glass? This was the exciting part. I wasn’t nervous at all until that first step on to the glass. Then, it was really cool. Even though there were lots of people around, the bridge was not that crowded and everyone was nice enough to give you a minute or two for pictures on the glass. You could definitely feel the bridge moving as you walked along, but it wasn’t anything none of us couldn’t handle. 🙂
We took pics, Ethan did a flip or two, and we headed back. There’s an indoor sitting area with great views at the gift shop so we got out of the sunny heat for a short time to have a drink before we said our good-byes and parted ways.
Our intended plans were done for the day, but it was still early and somebody said Zorb…
Oh, yeah, I remembered there was Zorbing in the Smoky Mountains! I had read about this years and years ago. We looked it up and found it was only 10 mins from us so we changed into our swimsuits and drove down the road. This was a vacation bucket list item for me from way back, but something I had completely forgotten about.
A Zorb is a big plastic ball that gets filled with water and you go inside and roll down the track. Kind of like a hamster ball for people. What could go wrong with that? A hit and run perhaps? My only concern once we got there because there was a deer in the middle of the track as we were waiting for our ride up to the loading area. Definitely something you see often in TN, deer in the road, but not something I expected to see while Zorbing, ha ha.
The deer was gone and we were getting ready to get put into the big plastic ball. It was hot in there, so much so that I couldn’t stop saying that as we were getting ready to be released down the hill. The three of us got to be in one together and it was almost too crowded. I asked for the optional go-pro that they provide so we could document our descent down the hill. I was in charge of that and I would not let it miss a moment of recording our ridiculous faces as we went down. (Note to self – the person in the middle should not be the one holding the go-pro.)
We picked the zig-zag trail, the one on the far right in the pic, and once they opened the gate off we went rolling, bumping, and sliding the whole way down. I immediately got splashed in the face with water and thought my contacts were in danger of falling out, then it occurred to me that all the rolling about may have pulled at my swim bottoms some. Luckily, I was smashed between my guy and the boy so there wasn’t too far for me to go. I did feel every bump! It was a ride for sure, and one that the guys immediately did again. I stayed on the side lines this time for video footage and pics – you know, for the blog… 😉
For their second go, they picked the straight down track instead of the zig-zag one. And with one less person in the ball, I think they liked it better. I am sure if we find ourselves somewhere again with Zorbing, we will definitely have another go. It was a blast!
What else could we possible find to do after a day of all that? A shopping center and mini-golf, of course.
We had dinner at the nearby shopping area. After this we walked around and window shopped, then we did a bit of moonshine tasting. There was a Ole Smoky Moonshine location at the shopping area and we thought we’d stop in and see what it was about.
You can pay $5 for a tasting, oh, and there was a waiting line. It was a little more exciting than a regular ole wine tasting that I am used to, actually It’s almost like an attraction in itself. The bartenders – is that what you’d call them – are entertaining and you get to sample a nice selection of what is available, even including moonshine pickles!
Almost all of the moonshine is sweet, too sweet for us, but we would have never tasted most of it otherwise. We did like a few, and even came home with our own mason jar of moonshine for later.
The day ended as packed full of fun as a typical vacation day usually is for us. We did a lot on this trip for only intending on really doing two things. A whole week in Gatlinburg would be well spent. There really is so much to do! I have a feeling we will be back again.
Thanks for reading. ❤