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Synchronous Fireflies

JohnDB

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Ok,
My wife won the lottery...
So I guess I will be heading to Gatlinburg TN on the 6th&7th of June to watch bugs.

Oh well...I'll pick up some Sourwood honey while I'm there.

Anyone know of other stuff that is fun in Gatlinburg? I've done the Titanic museum.
 

for_his_glory

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Never been to Gatlinburg, but just looking up some things there is a Hollywood Star Car Museum, Cades Cove, Skylift, Space Needle, Ripley's Believe It Or Not to just name a few thing's.
 

HeIsRisen2018

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Ok,
My wife won the lottery...
So I guess I will be heading to Gatlinburg TN on the 6th&7th of June to watch bugs.

Oh well...I'll pick up some Sourwood honey while I'm there.

Anyone know of other stuff that is fun in Gatlinburg? I've done the Titanic museum.




Yeah I've never been there before or even heard of it but I have heard of the Titanic museum and that sounds really neat considering the fact that I love that movie. :) Later on this month it will be revealed where I am going this year and John please don't give anything away because I want it to be a surprise. :winkI figure that after Memorial Day I will start a thread about vacations this year because probably most people will have already made their plans by then or just starting to think about them. :yes
 

JohnDB

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Never been to Gatlinburg, but just looking up some things there is a Hollywood Star Car Museum, Cades Cove, Skylift, Space Needle, Ripley's Believe It Or Not to just name a few thing's.
Yeah,
Most all of those are simply huge tourist traps.

Maybe we will just walk one of the trails to see the view.
 

JohnDB

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Yeah I've never been there before or even heard of it but I have heard of the Titanic museum and that sounds really neat considering the fact that I love that movie. :) Later on this month it will be revealed where I am going this year and John please don't give anything away because I want it to be a surprise. :winkI figure that after Memorial Day I will start a thread about vacations this year because probably most people will have already made their plans by then or just starting to think about them. :yes
Yeah,
I was hoping for one to the Florida Keys...
But I am going to blame StoveBolts (Jeff) that my truck motor had to be replaced and took all our vacation money and scuba lessons money.

*Sigh*
 

HeIsRisen2018

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You know that the suspension bridge has glass treads right?
Those walking on it can see right through to the bottom of the canyon.

They are huddled together for emotional support. Not because of familiarity.




I know that was my point I was being sarcastic. I really don't understand how anybody could ever be brave enough to walk a crossed that. It definitely looks like a suicide mission. :nonono
 

JohnDB

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OK...time for an update.

It was totally AWESOME!!!!!!!

Some more background info on everything.
They open the lottery for one weekend for everyone who wishes to enter the lottery to go and see the fireflies. During that one weekend almost 30,000 people entered in the hopes of winning the lottery to get a parking spot. Only 1,800 can win the parking tokens...and Identifications are checked thoroughly. (no cheating allowed or just a cell phone confirmation email)...they have your name and date printed out waiting for you to show up.

Gatlinburg and Dollywood and Pigeon Forge and Sevierville were all absolutely stuffed full of people. Uggghhhh....I liked the place better when everyone thought that it was all burned up a couple of years back. Traffic was murderous. But I am at home in TN...so I know what I am looking for when looking for back way to where I am wanting to go.

After we got checked in to the hotel we ran by the grocery store to get dinner to pack out there to the forest. (we already had camp chairs and drinks in the truck) We got in line and waited for the Government shuttle busses to pick us up and drop us off...wasn't a bad wait whatsoever. We were there in line a touch earlier than they said and all actually went down great getting to the site for viewing.
They gave us a red LED flashlight with a glowing handle to keep...(I thought that this was a really nice touch)...we visited the gift shop and looked for some sourwood honey...they said that they were going to be out until next fall. I did get a ball cap as I thought that I had left mine in Nashville. (but I actually had packed it in my suitcase of all the lousy places to put it)
They had a picture book of the synchronous fireflies...but it was *cough* $60....for a coffee table book? Not on this discount beer budget with Champagne tastes.

My wife and I walked for a bit and found an old cabin area (cabins are now gone and the only thing left are old rock foundations and fireplaces) So I picked this spot and "camped out"...there was an occupied campsite not far away...They came by to watch the fireflies with us. (had to be close to 6-700 people there last night. (of course many handicapped in wheelchairs were brought along so people could cut lines etc)
And of course there were several people there who were obnoxious and "rednecks" and ditzy girls and horny redneck guys trying to breed with the women on site. I met a nice guy from NY living in the City...we had to converse for a while when it was still light out...his GF and her mother were there. We enjoyed chatting about NY. He somewhat knew the history of the City but didn't know it the way that I told it. (Hey, I lived it thirty years ago...when he was born)

Of course the obnoxious people couldn't leave their flashlights alone...and brought out ones that were way too bright and kept illuminating us while we were trying to watch the fireflies...There are basically three types of fireflies there...
The early guys...these light up just as it is beginning to become dusk. Nothing special about these guys...
Then when they quit...and they did...they quit flashing. There was total dark for around thirty minutes after these guys quit.
Then the synchronous fireflies began...they flash around five times rapidly together...and then take a break. Some will sync up with those around them and form groups of five to ten and flash all at the exact same rhythm and time. Others are just flashing at the tame time in their own groups. But then they all stop at the same time and take a 20 second to minute break. Kinda cool. and considering that this covers a whole acre at a time...more than cool...and when you are standing literally in the middle of it all...too cool for school. (and in total darkness to where it is an incredible lightshow....if you can get rid of the schmucks)

There is another firefly out there that glows blue...kinda bluish green but he is called the blue ghost. He lights up and stays lit for at least 30 seconds up to a minute when he flashes...he isn't that bright but looks like a ghost fairy carrying around an LED flashlight of some kind. (They tend to be somewhat rare)...but we seen about 7-8 of them in a group...They were right in front of us.

The Christmas mall made me hate Christmas (or at least our celebration of it) for a while...The "Frazzled Chicken" restaraunt was a tourist nightmare/purgatory complete with flatscreens behind motorized chickens with tacky chicken names of famous people. But the food was decent and reasonably priced...it was tacky decor and uniforms for the staff...and attracted all the tourists with kids....(uggghhh...the crying babies and whining children)

Found the flea market with the sourwood honey and escaped tourist purgatory...and headed for home.
all in all....totally worth it.

If you get a chance next year to enter the firefly lottery and perhaps win...by all means do so. It was a great low cost but fun adventure into the smokey mountains to see something truly unique.



The ride back was
 

for_his_glory

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I'm not much for crowds when it comes to going somewhere to enjoy myself. I'm mostly into natural sites to visit. We just sold our camp and getting ready to buy a 20' travel trailer. Being from Pennsylvania there are so many interesting places to see. I haven't made a bucket list, but the first place we want to go is the PA Grand Canyon. The pictures are breath taking and camping close by to walk the trails to the overlook.
 

Edward

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You mean a trail like this?? :eek2





View attachment 8579
What bridge is that? At first glance I thought it looked like Royal Gorge Bridge but not with a glass deck. I can see it's not Royal Gorge. Looks interesting though. I'd walk across it.

One of my friends wives, who came to visit with them out to see us in Colorado did not want to walk across Royal Gorge bridge. We was all going to and was goading her to come with...and she started crying she was so scared! She finally did and the bridge didn't collapse, lol. but you can feel it sway when you walk across!
 

JohnDB

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I'm not much for crowds when it comes to going somewhere to enjoy myself. I'm mostly into natural sites to visit. We just sold our camp and getting ready to buy a 20' travel trailer. Being from Pennsylvania there are so many interesting places to see. I haven't made a bucket list, but the first place we want to go is the PA Grand Canyon. The pictures are breath taking and camping close by to walk the trails to the overlook.
Most people end up camping in Walmart parking lots more than campgrounds...

Just saying...
There aren't any hookups in the smokey mountain campgrounds...no electricity, water, or sewer...there are some community bathrooms. It's mostly tents that we seen. I'm thinking that for the good campground you have to pack it all in on foot.
 

for_his_glory

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Most people end up camping in Walmart parking lots more than campgrounds...

Just saying...
There aren't any hookups in the smokey mountain campgrounds...no electricity, water, or sewer...there are some community bathrooms. It's mostly tents that we seen. I'm thinking that for the good campground you have to pack it all in on foot.
I've noticed that some do set up their campers in the Walmart here. There was this one family that was there all week. Just where I want to camp, LOL.

The camp we sold only had electric and no other amenities. I'm use to not having running water and having to use an outhouse or just a shovel and nature. I was sixteen before we had running water in our house growing up and having to use an outhouse. We make a trip once a year with my brothers to Tionesta Lake here in PA as we get there by using my brothers pontoon. It's ruffing it to a certain extent as we take a lot of gear with us.
 

JohnDB

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As I get older...
I don't like "roughing it".
I get grumpy without my good coffee and half n half. I like flush toilets and sinks. I like electric lights and lack of bugs.
I don't mind the lack of internet but I'll need a way to play movies and access books. Everyone else appreciates my taking showers regularly.

As far as Walmart camping...it's a great place to park overnight for free...and campers have black and grey water tanks as well as fresh and generators.
 

HeIsRisen2018

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What bridge is that? At first glance I thought it looked like Royal Gorge Bridge but not with a glass deck. I can see it's not Royal Gorge. Looks interesting though. I'd walk across it.

One of my friends wives, who came to visit with them out to see us in Colorado did not want to walk across Royal Gorge bridge. We was all going to and was goading her to come with...and she started crying she was so scared! She finally did and the bridge didn't collapse, lol. but you can feel it sway when you walk across!



Idk what bridge that is tbh, I just know that it's either somewhere in China or Japan. Oh yeah and for the record to the other responses on here,.. I love (and miss) going camping and I'm not a huge fan of crowds either but I just learn to deal with it when it comes to going to places I enjoy like amusements parks and Awesome Con. :biggrin2
 

for_his_glory

Light in darkness
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As I get older...
I don't like "roughing it".
I get grumpy without my good coffee and half n half. I like flush toilets and sinks. I like electric lights and lack of bugs.
I don't mind the lack of internet but I'll need a way to play movies and access books. Everyone else appreciates my taking showers regularly.

As far as Walmart camping...it's a great place to park overnight for free...and campers have black and grey water tanks as well as fresh and generators.
I'm like you, getting to old for ruffing it. We only do that once a year as where we camp with my brothers and a few friends you have to get there by boat. My brother brings his generator and a camp kitchen and potty so ya, this girl gets her morning coffee :coffee plus the luxury of a toilet.
 

HeIsRisen2018

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I'm like you, getting to old for ruffing it. We only do that once a year as where we camp with my brothers and a few friends you have to get there by boat. My brother brings his generator and a camp kitchen and potty so ya, this girl gets her morning coffee :coffee plus the luxury of a toilet.



Sounds like my old couch potato Girl Scout camping days. What wonderful times that I do so miss.
 

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