Steve and Marina Capps
Mini-Vacation in Gatlinburg, May, 2003

Mom and Ron invited us to spend a weekend in Gatlinburg at their timeshare resort.
We said "Yes, of course!".
About 8 or 9 years ago I went there with Mom, Lee, Pat, Adam, and Shannon - we had a great time then.

So after I come home from work on Friday, Marina and I get in the car and head to Subway (this is the first time Marina has been to a Subway, and she gets a turkey sandwich, which she says is great!) and then Marina drives us to Gatlinburg. We park at the garage in the resort, and I carry two heavy suitcases full of stuff, and Marina carries her handbag -- it's a long walk from the parking lot to the elevators and then to the suite, and these suitcases get really heavy. Marina just smiles and carries her handbag ;-) (Maybe she carried some other little thing, who knows? How can I keep track of what she carries, burdened down as I am?).

We greet Mom and Ron, we get settled in just a bit, and then it's off to town!
We think we are going to have fun - - - - - but before we know it, Marina is attacked by a bear!


Luckily, after a fierce battle, we were able to fight off the bear. Here's Marina waving the flag in a victory celbration!!!


As we walk around town that night, we see a place to ride horses in the mountains, and we decide to go there the next day. Later, we head back to the resort and have a good night's sleep. We get up, the day is beautiful, and we are ready to go riding in the mountians!
We went to the Lil' Ponderosa Riding Stables - I liked them very much,
and if you have never ridden a horse, then I think this is a great place to go!

We arrive at the ranch, and it is very nice. We must watch a five-minute video about horse riding, and then we mount the horses! It's too cool! They help you with everything, you don't have to know how to ride a horse, they show you everything, and the horses are very well behaved. I know a bit about horse-riding from my younger years so I am not worried at all, and this was very much fun for me. My horse was especially good, all he wanted to do was eat some plants every once in a while. Marina has a bit more to learn, still.

Here are Marina and I as we mount our mighty steeds!


We ride the horses up and up the mountian, higher and higher. The trail is very beautiful, there are so many kinds of plants -
everywhere you look, you see some kind of plant you have never seen before. The mountains are so beautiful, this is a wonderful horse ride.


Higher up on the mountain, the "dropoff" at the edge if the trail becomes very steep - - - it is a bit scarey, especially for Marina, but the horses have walked this trail hundreds or thousands of times, and they are very sure-footed. Still, Marina says (after we get off the horses) "It was so scarey, the hill was so steep, what if the horse falls?" But she also says, "Oh Steve, it was so fun" And she says, "It reminded me of riding horses in Crimea, we must ride horses again, every year!"

Here's Marina riding at a switchback on the mountain trail.

(I had the camera, so Marina could not take any photos of me riding :-)

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