9. (Upon reaching Newfound Gap) "Those hikers coming down from the Boulevard Trail sure look tired for it to be an 'easy' eight miles."
8. (Upon being stuck in Labor Day traffic in Gatlinburg) "I was elected president of the United States four times. Where's my motorcade?"
7. "You know, Eleanor, if we have time on our way back I really need to stop and pick up a new 'No. 1 Grandpa' ballcap."
6. (While driving through Pigeon Forge at night) "Franklin, that TVA idea must have worked. It appears they have a little bit of electricity around here."
5. (Upon seeing the plethora of go cart tracks and miniature golf courses) "These people must be really serious about driver training to start them so early. And I'm never going to take a golf bet with anyone from Sevier County. They practice every day with dinosaurs to distract them."
4. "That Dolly lady and this Elvis fella must be good."
3. "Franklin, I think we need to come back down here and open up a pancake house. I notice a distinct shortage of pancake houses in Sevier County."
2. "I can't believe it. They were looking in the wrong place all those years. Eleanor, for the life of me, I never would have dreamed they'd discover half the Titanic in such remarkable shape in Pigeon Forge, Tenn."
1. (Upon returning to Newfound Gap and taking in the vista of the Smokies unfolding before them) "There was nothing easy about it but dedicating the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was a fine idea. This is every bit as special a land as it was 72 years ago. It's worth protecting."
Now for the LeConte Lodge weather report and a return to reality. Our Sunday high reached 67 degrees with an overnight low bottoming out at 55. We enjoyed a welcome sound on our roof last night--a healthy rain. We registered 0.53 inches overnight. The forecast is pretty soggy, so maybe we'll get caught up a little bit over the next couple of days. We'd be glad to have you hike up to see us. Just make sure you're prepared for wet weather and slick trails.