Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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The two RV Gypsies
enjoyed Ober Gatlinburg
August 26, 2020

history Ober Gatlinburg is the only ski resort in the state. It has eight ski trails, three chair lifts, and a wildlife encounter area and is accessible via roads and a gondola from the city strip. It was not ski season when the two RV Gypsies were here, but they do not snow ski anyway.

Ober Gatlinburg - Chair Lift and Amusement Park - August 25, 2020

The two RV Gypsies rode the Aerial Tramway at Ober Gatlinburg, an amusement park and ski area, located in the mountains overlooking Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Established in 1962, the area contains a large mall with indoor amusements, an indoor ice skating rink including new ice bumper tubes, snack bars, a full-service lounge, restaurant, gift and clothing stores.

Outside there is an alpine slide, the ski mountain coaster, a chair swing, a maze, mini golf, a scenic chair lift to the top of Mount Harrison, kiddie rides, water raft rides (summer only) and a new rock climbing wall. What was formerly known as the Black Bear Habitat where visitors could see bears close-up, has been expanded to become the Wildlife Encounter, where in addition to the black bears, there are animals native to the Great Smoky Mountains such as North American river otters, bobcats, birds of prey, opossums, raccoons, turtles, snakes, and flying squirrels. The two RV Gypsies did not enter the Wildlife Encounter area.

Ober Gatlinburg gondola Ober Gatlinburt Aerial Tramway

There are two 120-passenger cabins. Although the two RV Gypsies would not want to be in the aerial tram with that many people. The 2 mile tram ride runs 17 miles per hour and takes about 10 minutes. It provides views of the mountains in the daytime and the sparkling lights of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and beyond at night. The tramway crosses the Gatlinburg Bypass, a road which connects around the north and west side of the town and provides an alternate route of U.S. 441 (Great Smoky Mountains Parkway, or just "Parkway", which is the main street through town). The road is part of adjacent Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

view from the Aerial tram ride a round building

Below: Meeting the downward gondola at the half-way mark

the half way mark another Aerial Tramway

Below: This house has only 6-inches of the foundation touching the ground.
The rest of it is on stilts.

house without much support

Below: The bear area at the top of the mountain

The bear area The bear area

Below: Getting off the Gondola, Karen Duquette photographed one of the two wheels and gears (one controls upward movement, one controls downward movement) of the gondola.

gear movement of the gondola

Below: The two RV Gypsies bought a photo of themselves, then explored Inside the Amusement Park and shopping area.

The two RV Gypsies Smokey Mountain Wildlife Encounter sign

Below: Lee Duquette found a bear to kiss

Lee Duquette kissed a bear Lee Duquette kissed a bear

Below: This bear was pouring honey
into a pond

Below: Indoor Ice skating and bumper cars

bear pouring honey Indoor Ice skating and bumper cars

Below: Then the two RV Gypsies explored the outside area of Ober Gatlinburg.

Lee Duquette at Ober Gatlinburg Karen Duquette at Ober Gatlinburg

A chair lift up Mt. Harrison, Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg flags The ski lift entrance

Below: The two RV Gypsies got on the scenic chair lift. On this date, it cost $7 a person to ride, and the weight capacity was 600 pounds. The entire ride lasted 30 minutes.


Karen Duquette noticed the Alpine Slide that she fell off of back in 1978 so she snapped a quick photo (shown below). She does not take many pictures while on a ski lift because she does not want to chance dropping her camera or phone. This whole area has obviously grown and changed a lot since Karen was last here.

scenic chair lift and Alpine Slide

Fashback buttonclock running backwardsBelow: Photos of the same Alpine Slide and ski lift taken in May 1978 just before Karen Duquette went over the side and off the Alpine Slide track. They did not space the riders out like Alpine Slides do now-a-days.

Alpine slide 1978 Alpine slide 1978

Below: Photographs of the viewfrom the ski lift in 1978

Chair lift in Gatlinburg 1978 view 1978

Brian and Renee Duquette in 1975

the children of the two RV Gypsies

Below: Return to the year 2020. It started to rain, so the two RV Gypsies got off the ski lift at the half-way station and took the ski lift back down. But they were given a rain check which they used the next day.

divider bar

A ski lift up Mt. Harrison, Ober Gatlinburg - August 26, 2020

The two RV Gypsies had started to ride this on the previous day, but due to heavy rain, they returned the next day.

Welcome to Mt. Harrison sign scenery at Ober Gatlinburg

Ski Lifts and Chair Lifts are not exciting, but the two RV Gypsies liked the relaxing ride up and down the mountain. They were disappointed that once they were at the top, there wasn't much of a view of the town. There were some country singers with about 4 people listening. So the two RV Gypsies quickly got back on the ski lift and went back down the mountain. They would not pay to ride this Chair Lift ever again.

big bird flying over the ski lift country mountain entertainment

Below: Going back down the mountain, there was a bit of a pause as workers spent time finding someone's cell phone that they dropped.

the ski lift going back down the mountain
Ober Gatlinburg scenery Ober Gatlinburg scenery

Below: Gatlinburg Space Needle provides a 360-degree view of the Smoky Mountains from its 407-foot observation tower. The attraction includes glass elevators, educational exhibits on the history of Gatlinburg, a two-story arcade, and since 2016 a magic and mentalism performance at the Iris Theater. Lee Duquette did NOT want go to the top of the Space Needle, although Karen Duquette would have liked to. But they have been at the top of other space needles, so it was ok.

Ober Gatlinburg scenery Ober Gatlinburg scenery

Below: At the bottom of the ski lift, Karen Duquette photographed the Angel Trumpet flowering tree.

Angel Trumpet sign Angel Trumpet flowering tree
Yellow Angel Trumpet  and a bee yellow Angel Trumpet  and bees
pink Angel Trumpet flowers

Below: Then it was time to ride the Aerial Tram back down to the town of Gatlinburg. Karen Duquette noticed a building with a "Do Not Jump" sign shortly before the tram hooked at the bottom. DUH!

Do not jump sign Do not jump sign

look below

go to the next adventure of the two RV GypsiesThe Stars Car Museum


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