Click here for a map of our second day of the road trip.
We stayed up late chatting with Joe’s aunt and uncle (we hadn’t seen them in a while), and got a slow start to our day. We knew it was going to be the longest day of driving, but we underestimated how long it would really take. We got on the road by 10am (hey, with how late we stayed up that wasn’t bad). We had good weather and 5 new CDs we had bought for the trip, so the going was good.
We began to realize that the trip was taking longer than Google Maps had anticipated, but kept on truckin’!
As you can see in the picture, along with a welcome to Georgia, we were notified of the change to Eatern Time Zone. We had both forgotten that eastern Tennessee was in another time zone. On the entire trip, we only stayed at a hotel for one night, and Saturday night was that night. We did call the hotel to tell them we’d be late, and they said it was no problem. At this point, it was already late and we were several hours away from the hotel, and that time zone reminder was just about the last thing we wanted to see.
As we approached Gatlinburg, we drove through Pigeon Forge. I don’t think I can express how difficult it was to maintain the 35mph speed limit on deserted roads when our hotel was less than 20 miles away. It was hard to find our hotel. Both the Google Map and the hotel’s map were not helpful and we ended up turning around several times. We arrived at the hotel at 4:15am local time. They told us we had to check out at 11am (in less than 7 hours!) but Joe got them to move it back to noon. I think there were only two other people staying in the entire hotel (judging from the parking lot), so it was actually pretty rude of them not to extend it longer – I’ve stayed at plenty of places that will give you until 2pm without charging for another full day. (A related side note: we do NOT AT ALL recommend the Scottish Inns in Gatlinburg. The place was cheaply built and decorated, though you wouldn’t expect that given the cost. It was also very dirty – so gross I don’t even want to write about it! The only good part is the location, but it is surrounded by other hotels that would be better choices.) We immediately went to sleep.