What to Do Next?

I’m at Southern Serenity for what is probably my 13th stay. I’ve been to Gatlinburg many more times than that through the years, starting in the late 1980’s. My dilemma this time is what to do next?

There are so many things I have yet to see in the area. And so many things I want to do! But it never fails, I always end up doing those things I LOVE to do, and only manage to fit in one new adventure. Maybe this time I’ll push the envelope and partake in TWO new adventures! Or perhaps I’ll just spend a lot more time sitting in the rocking chairs on the porch?

If you could do something in the Gatlinburg area you haven’t done yet, what would it be?

Salamanders in the Park

Did you know that Smoky Mountain National Park is known as “The salamander capital of the world”?  Well that’s quite a surprise!  What animal do you think of as inhabitants of the mountains?  Most people would answer bears, or deer, or fish, certainly not salamanders!

According to the National Park Service there are at least 30 different species of salamanders in the park. Some of the types of salamanders are the red-cheeked salamanders, found only in and near the park.  And the beautiful, vibrant, red salamanders pictured above. At any given time there are more salamanders in the park than all the other land animals.  I am always on the lookout for salamanders when I’m hiking or relaxing on the front porch of  our log cabin.  And you’d think with all those salamanders a person could easily spot them, but no.  I have only seen one salamander in all our travels to Gatlinburg.

Visitor at Southern Serenity

One spring day while sitting on the porch of Southern Serenity I was lucky enough to be visited by a salamander – then he quickly scurried away, I barely had time to snap this photo (you can see him in the shadow).  I’m not quite sure what type of salamander it was, but I know he was friendly or he wouldn’t have ventured up by me on the porch!

The largest salamanders found in the park are hellbenders. They can reach over 2 feet in length. Watch this video to learn more about ongoing hellbender research in the park.

For more information about salamanders and other park creatures visit the National Park Service website, http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/amphibians.htm.

Cabin Rentals

Do you need a place to stay when you are vacationing in the Gatlinburg area?  How about a stay in your very own log cabin?

Check out this video for Jackson Mountain Homes, a Gatlinburg cabin rental company.  The video also shows some of the Gatlinburg area.

The cost is comparable to a nice hotel room, but the amenities are much better!  You have your own home which equals privacy, a full kitchen, hot tub, fireplace, front porch with rockers and a grill, pool table and/or other games for entertainment.

Southern Serenity is a cabin you can rent through Jackson Mountain Homes.  Bonus – you can even bring your canine companion!

Southern Serenity Front Porch View

Southern Serenity Front Porch

Isn’t it lovely?  This is the front porch view of Southern Serenity, our log cabin home in Gatlinburg Tennessee.  When I sit on the front porch in one of the rocking chairs I can hear and see the small waterfall in the yard. The sound of the water makes me feel so calm.

In the afternoon the sun shine warms me on the porch and filters into the cabin through the large glass windows.  At night I like to sit in the hot tub on the front porch with a glass of wine and let the aches from hiking in the Smoky Mountains just melt away.  You can hear the bullfrogs raising a ruckus as they call to one another in the cover of dark.

I think Southern Serenity is lovely!