The Pits: The Wilderness.
The Peaks: Today was our earliest day. The boys and I had planned to meet Traci around mile 7 of her 20 mile run to bike with her for a little bit and break up the monotony of running 20 miles alone. We met her at Carrier Park and rode a couple of miles. We had planned to go further, but it was early and chilly and our hands were getting cold. The boys and I got in the car and warmed up, then I let them plan at the basketball court inside the Mellowdrome at the park.
We left the park and headed to Vortex Doughnuts to pick up Traci’s requested post-20 mile snack. I didn’t think the doughnuts were that great, but personally I’m not a huge doughnut fan. But I just wouldn’t advise going out of your way for these.
We got everything loaded in the car and made the 1 hour, 45 minute drive to Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville. Our room wasn’t going to be ready for a few hours, so we decided to go on in to the indoor waterpark. Walked straight into the family room, locked the door, looked at each other and said, “We’ve made a huge mistake.”
The place is an absolute nightmare. It’s full of nasty, half naked people and bare feet. It’s warm and humid. Everything’s damp. It’s loud and too crowded. You get the feeling that everything is coated with urine or fecal matter.
I personally made a couple of trips back to the car to get stuff just to be able to get out of the place for a few minutes. Finally our room was ready, so we got everything loaded in. We were again reminded how good we had it at the AirBNB in Asheville and we longed to be back there.
We had a snack then headed back out. The boys wanted to ride the water slides, so I went with them. The majority of the time was spent waiting in line for a ride that lasted less than 20 seconds. I rode with Turner the first time, but he didn’t like that I screamed so he wasn’t keen to ride with me again. Weston said he wanted to ride the big slide, the Storm Chaser. There’s apparently a 55 foot drop down into a huge funnel-shaped thing that neither of us were fully aware or prepared for. I will say that the look on Weston’s face when we
slid fell into the funnel was priceless. I don’t think I’ve ever seen his eyes bigger. This was the main positive experience I had at the Wilderness park.
We got pizza from Papa John’s for dinner and ate in our room. After dinner, we took the boys back down to the waterpark and let them play. Traci and I hung out by the side of the pool and had a much needed drink. We’d finally had enough and came back to the room for showers and to put an end to the day.
Ironically, during the drive to Sevierville I finished listening to the audiobook Psycho-Cybernetics, by Maxwell Maltz. The main idea is about the power of positive thinking and how you view yourself. This experience is certainly a trying one in respects to that idea.