We started the day in the very crowded Elkmont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Must be vacation season. We headed into Gatlinburg for some gas and breakfast and found our first good east coast, traffic clogged, tourist frenzy. We haven't seen this sort of thing in the west, but we imagine that has as much to do with the width of two hundred year old roads as anything else. The "downtown area" is a bumper to bumper experience funneled through a narrow barrage of Ripley's Believe It Or Not'ish branded tourist experiences. All the shopping you could ever want in five blocks. The most surprisingly opportunity was the Bible Factory Outlet.We finally got ourselves aimed in the right direction, bought some Canada priced gas and an Anchorage priced breakfast, and headed back into the park. The drive over the Newfound Gap was beautifully scenic, if not a little busy, and we crossed into North Carolina at the top. Just this side of the town of Cherokee, which we naturally accidently visited, was the turnoff for the Blue Ridge Parkway and we headed toward Virginia on an ingenious two lane blacktop road that follows a mountain ridge. They just don't make roads like this anymore. About eighty miles in, we followed the advise of one of our road trip books and headed into Asheville. Asheville is the first authentic liberal, hippy dippy, college town we have stumbled across. This means two things, lots of galleries for Theresa and the opportunity to see a movie we've been hearing about. We decided to call it a night.