About the Valley
Welcome to the May/June 2009 issue of About the Valley. This issue talks about a new attraction coming to Pigeon Forge, Titanic Pigeon Forge, and a hike to Brushy Mountain. We have also made some improvements to Pine Cone Lodge we want to share with you.
TITANIC PIGEON FORGE
A new $25 million project is under construction in Pigeon Forge. Titanic Pigeon Forge, a ship-shaped museum/attraction devoted to the world's best-known ocean liner, will be christened in the spring of 2010. The attraction is being constructed on the Parkway near the Black Bear Jamboree, the Miracle Theater, and WonderWorks.
The 30,000-square-foot attraction will display hundreds of priceless Titanic artifacts in 20 galleries on two decks. There will be exact replicas of the "Grand Staircase," a first-class suite, a third-class cabin, and the Marconi wireless room.
Each visitor will receive a boarding pass bearing the name of a real Titanic passenter or crew member and will be able to touch an iceburg, experience the chill of 28-degree water, sit in an actual life boat, "steer" the ship, and send an SOS message.
For more information, visit www.titanicpigeonforge.com.
BRUSHY MOUNTAIN HEATH BALD
Are you an avid hiker? Then, you may want to visit Brushy Mountain with an elevation of 4,900 feet and providing a magnificent view. There are two hiking trails leading to Brushy Mountain. One starts at the end of Greenbrier Road and is a 10.8 mile rount trip. A shorter route is the Trillium Gap Trail, which starts at the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail near Gatlinburg. After 2.9 miles, there is a junction; go left, and it's less than half a mile to Brushy Mountain. You can also continue up the mountain and Trillium Gap Trail takes you another 3.6 miles to the top of Mount LeConte with an elevation of 6,593 feet.
Brushy Mountain provides not only a magnificent viewing platform--it is covered by one of the largest heath balds in the Smokies. Because of harsh soil conditions, heath balds are dominated by low-growing shrubs. Instead of trees, there are rhododendron, mountain laurel, sand myrtle, and blueberry.
The Smokies have an estimated 300 heath balds totaling approximately 7,300 acres. They appear in the distance as dark green streaks running down the narrow ridges and are self-sustaining because of the high acid content of the soil.
Visit http://www.localhikes.com/Hikes/BrushyMtn_3840.asp to learn more about the Brushy Mountain Trail hike (10.8 miles round trip). To learn more about the Trillium Gap Trail, visit http://www.knoxville-tn.com/hiking.html. This site contains helpful information about hiking in the Smokies and information on many easy to moderate to strenuous hikes.
PINE CONE LODGE CONTINUES TO IMPROVE!
We are constantly trying to improve Pine Cone Lodge so you and your friends and family will enjoy visiting our cabin and the area attractions.
Pine Cone Lodge now has new sidewalks. This ensures handicap/wheelchair accessibility from the parking area to the main level of the house.
We have also improved the outdoor firepit with a small rock wall around the pit and extra seating.
We hope you will plan to visit the Great Smoky Mountains and surrounding areas and make your visit even more fun by staying at Pine Cone Lodge. It sleeps up to 14 guests and has lots of great features (outdoor kitchen, outdoor fireplace, firepit, pool table, game table with lots of games, XBox 360 video game, and lots of movies!).
Make your reservations early as many months fill up quickly.
THE KIDS' FAVORITE MEAT LOAF
My kids never like a meat loaf with a lot of extra ingredients, so this became their favorite.
Approximately 3 pounds of ground chuck
1/2 to 3/4 Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats (not instant)
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Mix well all the ingredients except bacon. Put in a 13 x 9 baking dish and top with bacon strips. Cook at 375 degrees 30 to 45 minutes (or until done).
IF YOU ARE PLANNING A TRIP TO THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS, PLEASE CONSIDER STAYING AT PINE CONE LODGE. THE COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE OF A CHESTNUT RIDGE CABIN MAKE YOUR VACATION MORE FUN! CHECK AVAILABILITY AND RESERVE YOUR DATES EARLY -- MANY RESERVATIONS ARE MADE WEEKS AHEAD.
If you are interested in owning a vacation home or rental home in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, we are offering Pine Cone Lodge for sale.
Thanks for subscribing to About the Valley. We look forward to bringing you more news next month. As always, if you have any questions or comments or want to share your favorite place to visit in the Smoky Mountains, e-mail us at .
Chestnut Ridge Cabins