Erik & Misty's Smoky Mountain Adventures

Dollywood, Mini Golf, & What Have You
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Postby Electerik » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:53 pm

Off the beaten path, adjacent to the public-but-non-commercial Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport in Sevierville, sits the non-profit Tennessee Museum of Aviation.

Sounds exciting, doesn't it?
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The addition of the word “flying” crushes my dreams of seeing warrior-penguins right from the start.
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The lady that runs the place, and her little dog, too.
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This hallway leads to the first exhibit area.
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I wore an airplane attraction-appropriate shirt. (Nerd alert.)
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The first exhibit area has stuff like this in it.
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Smisty wanted her picture taken with this female mannequin, because she is a woman.
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This is...sort of a decal on the wall, with a window into the second exhibit area (where the planes are).
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This is a display of how war actually is on the ground.
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As you can see from this display, the engine usually accounts for over 1000% of an airplane’s total size.
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Here, we enter the main exhibit area.
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A big hanger full of airplanes and stuff!!!
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An old-timey movie camera, and a cutaway airplane section to show how they used to film such things.
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Oh, how cute! A diorama!
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Which is cooler: the actual biplane, or the little tricycle biplane?
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This helicopter was used in Terminator 3. Which, by the way, is the best of the Terminator movies, and one of my favorite movies of all time.

And no, I’m not kidding. And I can’t figure out for the life of me why no one else seems to agree.

Replace all the boring talky stuff from the first two with car chases.
Make the killer robot from the future a hot lesbian chick.
Nuke the entire fudging world at the end.
WIN.
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This is a halftrack. And while it is very cool, it did not appear in Terminator 3. Which does have the best car chase of all time in it, incidentally.
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I am speaking, of course, of the “crane chase,” which features a giant crane, a fire engine, an ambulance, several police cars, a pick-up truck, and a motorcycle.
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Many of these planes still work, and do fly. It’s okay to sit in them, right?
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The wolf has come down from the north, and your fat little town is safe no longer.
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This plane should be called a “whale shark.”
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A giant propeller which was also not used in the film "Terminator 3."
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This was the largest plane on display, and seemed to be getting some work done on it.
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The “Wicked Wabbit,” leaking oil.
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Why must you turn this museum into a den of lies?
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That one’s wings are broken.
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The gift shop, where you can learn to dress like a real pilot.
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There will be a magic show at zero-nine-thirty!
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Hooray for airplanes!
Erik Allen Elness

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Postby cfc » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:42 am

speedmetal wrote:In all honesty this was not one of my favorite mini golf places but it was alright. It just seemed weird and the theme was lacking. The course was okay but not very challenging. I think the last photo looks more like Paul Hogan than John Wayne but that's just my opinion.


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I think it looks like William Shatner as Crocodile Dundee.
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Postby monkeyoverlord71 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:52 am

^ I think it looks like you after falling asleep on a sunbed.
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Postby Electerik » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:17 pm

One of our favorite restaurants in the area, and the best pure steakhouse, is The Alamo. They’re slightly on the expensive side--but, on the weekdays during the off-season, they do buy-one-get-one lunch entrees to bring in the locals.
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Alamo is actually located on part of the old Magic World attraction site.
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Misty feels right at home here, as she is originally from Texas.
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I call this my “Wile E. Coyote” look.
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Let’s start with a nice prime rib salad.
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What a $30 steak might look like.
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Chicken with mushrooms and cheese, chocolate cake and ice cream, and key lime pie. What else could you need?
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The Alamo. Man up. Be a cowboy. Eat steak.
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Postby speedmetal » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:34 pm

Can we go back before we leave town? I love Alamo...... :lover:
Caution: Smisty

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Postby Electerik » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:59 pm

Nascar Speedpark is the biggest family fun center and go-cart place in the area. We were going to wait until next spring to do an update on it (since their coaster was down all year), but once our timetable for moving got accelerated, we decided that we at least wanted to go experience the mini golf before we left.

Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf
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The indoor section of Nascar Speedpark is housed in this giant corrugated metal building.
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Inside is a giftshop with lots of Nascar merchandise, and an arcade.
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There’s also an eatery...
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...some racecar motion simulators...
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...and slot cars!
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Outside are several go-cart tracks...
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...and even some rides. (But none of that was running the day we went).
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The coaster: “Daytona Draft.” Closed all year due to a (claimed) part issue, so far as I am aware.
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But we didn’t come here today for that stuff anyway.
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We played both sides. The Viking course was kind of dull (as most ADA courses tend to be), but was in significantly better shape than the Dragon course.
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All of the water features were off, and many of the greens were in bad shape.
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This hole is probably pretty cool with the water on.
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Whereas this one has no green at all, at the moment. Just concrete.
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On the other hand, the very nice employees at Nascar didn’t actually charge us anything to play the mini golf--probably because of the state of it. So I can’t really complain too much.
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Go, Misty, go!
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The Viking course greens were nicer, but most of the holes were rather straightforward.
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I shaved. Sorry.
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I did like the different colored “rough” sections on some of the holes. That’s not very common ‘round these here parts.
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The final hole on the Viking course is really weird, in that it ends in front of two glass doors. I guess you were supposed to enter the building at that point, which was going to be an arcade...? Seems to be being used for storage, now.
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Smisty says no. It would be interesting to see these courses at full strength and properly cared for. On the other hand, it is the off season, there was no one else there, and they didn’t even charge us to play. So...there you go.
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Postby Moose » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:34 pm

It's too bad the place wasn't more cared for, perhaps before the season starts up they will make the needed repairs.


That steak dinner looks lethal.

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Postby disneyfan1313 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:37 pm

Was that hole really just concrete? Are these places generally kept up a bit better during the season or are they always a bit ghetto?

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Postby traincrossin » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:15 pm

I shaved. Sorry.

:shockr: But why?

Kinda sucks that the mini-golf was neglected like that, even if it was the off-season. That would actually seem like the best time to fix it. Oh, +1 for slot cars. I still have some, they're lots of fun.
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Postby Electerik » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:10 am

Scenic Helicopter Tours is something we'd wanted to do for some time now, but never had because it's (quite frankly) expensive. Perhaps for both these reasons, it seemed like the perfect way to bring our Smoky Mountain Adventures to a close.
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The establishment is located on a hill way out in Sevierville.
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The inside of the main building.
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The various flights. We chose the yellow one. (Note the helicopter museum in the center of the map. That's now MagiQuest.)
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Gift shop, "buy your photo," scary heater, and dude about to charge at me.
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Here's our helicopter.
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Just kidding, Smisty.
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This warning is posted inside the helicopter. So if you make it in, then I guess you're set for when you exit.
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Off we go. (Hey look, it's our car!)
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I guess the helicopter place needs to be next to ugly things, in case it crashes.
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Gaining altitude.
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Sevierville from the air.
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Wow. Apparently, there's a quarry in Sevierville. I honestly had no idea.
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Nascar Speedpark and the Tanger Five Oaks mall.
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Now entering Pigeon Forge.
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Dollywood's Splash Country (in winter).
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Dollywood up ahead. Let's go in for a closer look.
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Main entrance on the left, Thunderhead at the top, rapids in the lower right.
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Mystery Mine is towards the top left, Tennessee Tornado is top right.
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The Country Fair section of the park. I have to admit, flying over Dollywood was a big part of the reason I wanted to do this.
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Pigeon Forge, from near traffic light #10.
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The spur between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
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Gatlinburg.
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Ober Gatlinburg (top) and some of the surrounding cabins.
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A few more cabins as we head towards the national park.
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I just like this photo. That's the pilot on the right.
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Here is a model I made of the countryside in winter.
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Wears Valley.
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Heading back into Sevierville.
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Sevierville's new convention center and the Wilderness Resort.
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Thank you for flying with Erik & Misty. We had a great time, and we hope you've enjoyed it as well.
Erik Allen Elness

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