Last week we camped at Cades Cove for three nights at site B4. We left home around 9am and stopped for lunch in Townsend (Black Bear Café – lunch special was open faced roast beef with mashed potatoes for $8.99) so we arrived at the campsite around 3:30. Don backed in with the camper like a pro! I kept my mouth shut, which helped him the most I think. It took minutes to set up and then we walked around the campground. Since we ate a late lunch, we didn’t cook any dinner.
The second day we walked around the campground and hiked on the nature trail. Then we drove on part of the Cades Cove Loop Road but turned off on Rich Mountain Road. This is a dirt road for 4 wheel drive vehicles and is one way to Townsend. It was a beautiful drive and we ate at the Black Bear Café again for lunch. The special was spaghetti with a side salad and garlic bread for $8.99. When we got back to the campsite we walked about the campground again. For dinner we had chili and corn on the cob. We also had a fire, which was nice.
The third day I got up early and started a beautiful campfire. Then after our morning walk, we drove the loop road again and stopped at the visitor center and old buildings. We ended up in a bear jam and I got a great video of a mother bear and her two cubs. Then we drove on Parsons Branch Rd., which is another one-way dirt road for 4 wheel drive high clearance vehicles only. It took about 90 minutes to drive the 9 miles. We came out on Hwy 129 near Fontana Dam and drove back up towards Townsend. We stopped at the Black Bear Café again for lunch and the special was a the grouper with turnip greens and navy beans for $9.99 which Don ate. I had chicken salad, which ended up being a salad with fried chicken sliced on top of it. By the time we left, my stomach started hurting. The rest of the evening my stomach was cramping and I couldn’t enjoy the nice campfire Don started. I ended up going to bed but not being able to sleep. I didn’t sleep all night long because I was in so much pain.
We left Friday morning and I was still in pain. I couldn’t eat breakfast but Don ate some at McDonalds. I dozed on and off all the way home. Once we got home, I helped unpack all the essentials and went straight to bed for the rest of the day.
Even though I got sick, I still had a nice time. I hope I didn’t ruin it for Don though.
Things I Learned:
- When they say high clearance vehicles, trust that they mean it!
- The Black Bear Café was a great place to eat.
- Don’t get out of the car when you see bears even if everyone else is out of their cars.
- Campfires are nice.