Gatlinburg Tennessee New Years 2013

I realize it's been 3 months since January, but i forgot that i hadn't posted this yet.  This year, like last year, Karrie and i went down to Gatlinburg Tennessee for New Years with her family.  Here's pictures of our trip from a year ago.

We really enjoyed staying in a cabin last year so we decided to get one again.  The cost for a cabin in Gatlinburg is about the same as a decent hotel room, plus you get a super nice house to stay in, with lots of room.  Last year we stayed about 10 miles from downtown Gatlinburg, the last half mile being straight up a 1-lane road.  So this time we reserved a cabin that was much closer to the downtown and on more of a main road.  They don't tell you the address of the cabin until after you reserve it.  They give you the distance to key landmarks but you have to guess by the pictures as to what the road will be like.  Fortunately we were on the main road between Gatlinburg and Ober.  So every morning when we woke up we got to see the line of cars trying to find the last parking spaces for skiing and snowboarding.

Cabin in the Mountains of Gatlinburg

Here's what the cabin looked like from the outside.
gatlinburg cabin, cabin rental, gatlinburg tn, tennessee

And here's what the cabin looked like from the inside.  It had really high ceilings and a bedroom in the loft area.  It was great for having lots of people over.
inside cabin, rent cabin gatlinburg, pigeon forge cabin rental, tennessee

We didn't have any time to go hiking in the Smokey Mountain National Forest this year.  I still want to go on the Appalachian Trail for a hike sometime.

But the second day we were there it poured with rain and the big ditch along the side of the road was really flowing with water.  So i took some pictures with my homemade ND filter.
nd filter river, flowing water, tennessee stream, smokey mountain

Some of them turned out alright.  At least this time i remembered to shoot in RAW mode.  Last time when we were at Laurel Falls i forgot to change from JPG and i had the hardest time processing the photos in Photoshop.
river rocks, water flowing, ditch, road, beauty

In case you were wondering, here's how i took the pictures.  A steady tripod with just my small Canon S95 camera.  Also i had my homemade neutral density filter on the front.  The filter was made out of a piece of welders glass which is tinted green.
tripod, camera, water, nd filter, how to

It was pretty cold but one day we went go-carting in Pigeon Forge.  For my birthday this year Karrie got me the Go-Pro Hero camera.  So i was shooting video while we were riding around.
gopro camrea, go cart racing, test field of view

Here's a video i made using the GoPro camera of the two times we rode go carts.  I was using the handheld mount for the GoPro that i made and it wasn't very steady.  Which is why you see the black areas above and below the picture.  That was the stabilization software in Youtube trying to smooth it out.


One big thing we had to get done while we were there was finalize our wedding arrangements.  Karrie and i decided to get married on top of Mt. Harrison in Ober this summer.  So we needed to  meet and finalize our wedding plans.  They said that New Years is the busiest time of year for them, but we got everything worked out.  Then they gave us two free passes to check out the wedding site.  The passes ended up being good for everything in ober, the tram, chairlift and even the wildlife encounter.  

Wedding Location in Tennessee

Here's a picture of the tram one night when we were walking by. 
gatlinburg aerial tramway to ober, tennessee, tramway mall, downtown

Before going up to the top of Mt. Harrison we thought we'd stop by to see the animals.  Although it was winter and the bears were hibernating, it was still super cool.  We got to see them feeding Great Horned Owls.  But the otters were the best part, they were really friendly.
otters, ober, wildlife, gatlinburg, tennessee, friendly 
Here's what it looked like on our ride up the chairlift.  I guess that's why they call them the Smokey Mountains.  Going up through the clouds meant that visibility was less then half a mile.
chairlift up the mountain, smokey mountains, into the fog

Here's a video i took while we were riding the chairlift.  It was really quiet and cold going up.


Venue for Wedding in Gatlinburg

This is what it looks like at the top of Mt. Harrison.  I did some panorama shots so that we could plan out where all the wedding arrangements were going to go.
panorama view on top of ober, mount harrison, mt harrison

Here is where we plan on having the ceremony.  The benches and stumps will all be moved out of the way.  And the building on the left is where the bluegrass band plays.
wedding gatlinburg tennessee, site, top of mountain, ober

I also took some video's while walking around.  That way if we missed anything we could go back and see where things were. 

While we were up there we measured a few things.  Then when we got home i took an aerial image off Google and drew in where we wanted everything to go. 
aerial layout of wedding site, cad drawing, plan, tennessee, gatlinburg wedding

It's an ongoing job to plan out the wedding ceremony.  Hopefully we will get it all in order by the end of June.

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