I Was Stuck On A Mountain in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Hiiiiii!!!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday. My family of 4 spent 9 days in Gatlingburg, Tennessee. We rented a log cabin on the top of a mountain. It first it was beautiful and magical…and then we got stuck on it during a blizzard!

Traveling during a pandemic can be done as long as you have clear expectations of what you are willing and are not willing to do in terms of your safety comfort level. Our family drove 12 hours (no airplane), stayed at a private log cabin (no hotel room), wiped down the entire cabin with Clorox wipes upon arrival, brought our own pillows, only ate outdoors at restaurants, didn’t do any tourist attractions, stayed away from all crowded areas, wore masks EVERYWHERE, etc.

Our 9 day trip can be broken down into 3 distinct categories: 1. Serene Mountains 2. Snowy Mountains 3. Stranded on a Mountain.

The beginning of our trip was peaceful, beautiful, and wonderful.

Our log cabin was BEAUTIFUL. It was completely private and quite literally on top of a mountain. It had an indoor pool (!!!), 2 hot tubs, a pool table, a fireplace, 2 balconies, and a Christmas tree! It was gorgeous and it smelled absolutely divine.

In the master suite. My husband refused to get in this one (!) but the kids and I loved it, lol!
Hanging on the refrigerator in our cabin!
Jon and I snuck outside to enjoy a peaceful few minutes in the rain. It was as glorious as it looks.
At one point, I looked down from our master bedroom loft and found my daughter just peacefully reading a book. PROUD MAMA.

We went on a family hike each day and saw some absolutely gorgeous sights! Hiking to the top of Laurel Falls was definitely one of the highlights of the entire trip. The long hike up was BEAUTIFUL but there aren’t even words to describe seeing the waterfall at the top. Truly one of the most magnificent things I have ever seen. I cried! If you are ever in the area, this is absolutely a must do. Stunning.

When you hike to the top of a mountain, you reward yourself with a snack. Best apple of my life!

We also loved driving (and walking) through Cades Cove. Two separate times deer came right up in front of our car! Such a fun way to spend an entire morning. So much history there, we loved going into the log cabins and old churches.

Wild turkeys just strolling along the road next to us. No big deal.
When you see a random waterfall on the road as you are driving, you pull over! Gorgeous!
Oh hi, deer.
Saw deer, immediately pulled over! So, so cool.

I found $90 cash in the bathroom at Cades Cove! I waited and waited to see if anybody was going to come back to look for it but nobody did. I was hesitant to turn it into the visitors center considering it was cash and anyone working could have taken it. My wonderful husband had the lovely idea to put it in one of the Cades Cove donation boxes and that’s exactly what we did (after already having donated our own money hours earlier). It felt great to know that the $90 went to such a wonderful cause although I so wish the owner would have come back for it. Either way it wasn’t my money to spend and it feels good to know it went to a wonderful cause 🙂

The first 6 days of our trip were spent in lovely weather. We ate outside! We hiked up mountains! We drove to Asheville and visited the Botanical Gardens!

Gatlinburg Nature Trail
Gatlinburg Nature Trail
Reading with my girl. Happy.
Paula Deen Store!
Wherever I go, I find the Dunkin’…

And then on Day 7…

SNOW.

Our loooooong and steep driveway
Grill at our cabin
Bear proof garbage cans at our cabin

Like….blizzard out of NOWHERE. I’ve never seen anything like that before. The snow just kept coming and coming! We played outside and it was honestly my favorite part of the entire trip. It was POURING on us! At one point I wrote “MOM” in the snow and 2 minutes later it was all filled in. Craaaazy. I LOVE SNOW and this snow was STUNNING. Felt like a such a bonus to have this happen while we were there…almost like 2 completely different trips in 1!

Had the weather forecast predicted this blizzard, we would have left a day or 2 earlier than planned just to ensure that we would be able to do the 12 hour drive but it legit just came out of NOWHERE.

So we played in it and sat in our hot tub on our balcony while it fell. At this point in the trip, the snow was still exciting.

Jon and I 🙂
Christmas Eve. Snowy perfection!

We went to bed that night wondering what this was going to mean for our ride home the next day ….and then in the middle of the night our power went out. IT. WAS. FREEZING. Our cabin must have been 50 degrees by early morning. It was so incredibly cold. Thank goodness for warm robes and a gas fireplace! I brushed my teeth and packed our stuff all by the light of a flashlight. The power was out for a total of 7.5 hours. The MINUTE is came on I very literally RAN to the coffee maker and made the absolute fastest pot of coffee of my entire life. I was so afraid that the power would go out again and I needed this pocket of time to make a pot of coffee! Being stuck on a mountain with no power, no car, and no food…scary. But no coffee??? TERRIFYING.

5:00 AM. FREEZING.

Our driveway was absolutely massive, steep, and covered in ice. Jon tried to back our AWD SUV down it and…this happened.

Shit.

So that’s when things started to get a bit…interesting. Our car was stuck, we were stuck, and our food supply was quickly dwindling. Instacart wasn’t delievering, restaurants weren’t delivering, local grocery stores weren’t delivering. Grubhub, Ubereats, Door Dash…NOTHING. We desperatly tried and tried to place orders but soon after they were placed, they would get canceled. Yet we kept trying because we very literally had no choice. Roadside Assistance and all local towing companies were completely backed up. Cars were literally stuck EVERYWHERE! Blocking streets, blocking mountain paths, blocking everything. We very literally couldn’t leave and had absolutely nobody who could help us. So thankful that the cabin management company allowed for us to stay an an extra night. We truly had no way to leave!

Stuck on a mountain.

We basically spent all of Saturday on our phones trying to find someone to help us with our car and trying to find ANYWHERE to deliver us food (all with a HORRIBLE Internet connection)! We placed Instacart order after Instacart order and restaurant order after restaurant order and they all would inevidbly just get canceled. At this point we were tired, hungry, and feeling pretty helpless.

Our kids…omg our kids…they were WONDERFUL through all of this! They kept themselves busy while we tried to figure all of this out. We played Go Fish, Uno, and Family Trivial Pursuit to pass the time all while still trying to find someone on our phones to help us. I taught them the quote “You can’t always control what happens but you can always control how you react”. It was a perfect time for a life lesson!

And then…HOPE! After 2 days of searching, we finally found a pizza restaurant that agreed to deliver to us! We watched and watched the GPS as the car got closer and closer to us and when it was 1 minute away…it encountered a truck blocking the street and couldn’t get through. The delivery driver turned around and we were once again left hungry, frustrated, and exhausted.

About an hour later, we received a notification that another restaurant was coming (at this point we had placed multiple orders with multiple restaurants and would have gladly accepted ALL of them if need be) and….

THEY CAME!!!!

Our excitment was short lived though. Our order was for Jon S. and we received an order for John L. At this point, all we could do was laugh and dig in to John L’s food. Let’s just say that John L. had apparently placed a VERY different order than Jon S….but by this point, nobody cared. WE HAD FOOD. I don’t eat anything spicy and I hate rye bread. Corned beef with spicy mustard on rye bread??? YES PLEASE! I literally ate every last crumb. John L. wherever you are, I hope you enjoyed my turkey on whole wheat…

Once we ate, everything seemed better. Yes we were still stuck on a mountain but we were stuck on a mountain with a bit of food and power. However, we had no toothbrushes because I had thrown them away when packing by flashlight that morning. Does anyone else do that? Every time we go on vacation, I always throw our toothbrushes (and shower loofahs) away before we return home! Usually when I do that, it’s ok because we go home the same day. This time however, I maaaaaay have done that a bit prematurily. Oops.

Garbage that we couldn’t take outside because the bear proof garbage cans were locked…and the lock froze!

The next morning the very first thing we did was to search for a restaurant to deliver us both breakfast and lunch at the same time. The roads were a bit clearer by this point, it was no longer Christmas, and we continued to put a massive tip on our order. WE FOUND A RESTAURANT TO DELIVER TO US.

1 hour later and we had ice cold scrambled eggs, soggy pancakes, brown banana slices, and strange looking meats. It was one of the most delicious meals of my entire life and I was thankful for every single bite!!! I will never, ever take food for granted ever again.

We spent the entire morning once again on our phones trying to find a towing service to come and help us to get our car out of the ditch. A few claimed that they would get to us…as soon as they could. It did not look promising. Jon spent time scraping 1/4 of the massive driveway with a tiny windshield ICE SCRAPER because there wasn’t a shovel anywhere to be found. It was nuts!

If you know me in real life you know that I always try to find the humor in every situation. The snow shaped like a penis outside of our cabin made me smile!

By this point, we were slowly starting to accept the fact that we would be spending another night when suddenly…our angel showed up. A random man who was driving around the mountain with his Jeep and a towing rope just looking for people who needed help. WE NEEDED HELP! Him and Jon worked together and somehow were able to get our car OUT. There was a tiny few seconds where we thought Jon’s car might roll over down the driveway with him inside of it but I’m skipping over that part because it was terrifying. Bottom line…the car was OUT and now safely at the BOTTOM of the driveway.

The ditch where our car was. I think our tires might have mud permanently on them from now on!

It was 3:00 pm. Jon wanted to be home for work in the morning which left us with only one option: leave as soon as possible. NOT ideal to leave at 3:00 pm when you have a 12 hour drive ahead of you but we had no choice! The kids and I scrambled to repack everything while Jon walked each piece of luggage down the sheet of ice that was our ridiculously long and steep driveway. It was insane.

Once Jon loaded the car, he had to help the kids and I make our way down the ridiculously icy driveway. It was scary.

Our car ride home was LONG. Longest car ride of my entire life. When we walked in the door of our house at 2:30 in the morning (exactly 12 hours after we left because there was a time change), I was so thankful to be safely at home.

Looking back on our time in Tennessee, I am choosing to remember the amaaaaazing 3/4 of our time there! I’m also feeling very blessed in knowing that our situation in that cabin could have been much, much worse. We had each other and that was all we needed (although heat, lights, COFFEE, and food were all very much appreciated).

Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my personal life with you today! Obviously you can tell that I spent time reading while in Tennessee. I read an AMAZING book on this trip! It was almost 400 pages, I devoured it while in that cabin, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I’ll post my full review of it here on Wednesday!

As for now, I’m currently reading this book. It’s about people who rent a luxurious cabin on top of a mountain, get snowed in without power, and then start DYING. Thank GOD I started reading this once I safely got back home, reading this while stuck on that mountain would most definitely NOT have been a good choice, lol. Crazy to think that I actually DID have it with me in my suitcase! Thankfully it remained unopened until I was safely back in my own house with lots of power and lots of food 🙂

Happy New Year!

Xo,

Jenny

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33 thoughts on “I Was Stuck On A Mountain in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

  1. Oh, my goodness, what an adventure you had! Thank you for sharing it, I enjoyed reading your story. I admire how you and your family handled each scary moment and surviving without food and coffee, LOL.
    I’m happy for your safe return. Some day I’d love to visit that area of Tennessee. Just not when it’s snowing!
    BTW, I remember reading a book about being stranded in a cabin during a blizzard. I can’t remember the name of it though.

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  2. I heard what happened. What an adventure you had!!! Looks like a wonderful place. So beautiful and serene. I’ m glad everything turned out okay and you and the family are safe. You handled the situation great by not panicking. Keep writing the blogs. They are wonderful.

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  3. The cabin looked amazing, but the last part of your trip sounds like it was stressful. I’m glad you were able to look on the bright side for the most part. The part about rushing to get coffee when the power came on cracked me up. 🙂

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  4. Okay that was quite an adventure! I am sure you now need a vacation after the vacation! The cabin looked lovely (we dont see much snow here in so-cal so I was quite envious ) and it looked like the whole family had a blast. Hope you all have a happy new year!

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  5. Soooo jealous of not being there for the snow!!! (Not the whole being stuck and hungry on a mountain though) lol

    But I HAVE to know the name of this cabin and how you found it etc.. we’re going in the summer (so no snow to worry about lmao) and this looks sooooo nice!!

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  6. I’m glad you guys had a beautiful and safe trip. Thank you for sharing your story because it helps us prepare for our upcoming winter trip this year. Some supplies I would have never thought of brining are now on my list. Could you link the info for the cabin you stayed in please? It looked wonderful and I’d like to look into staying there December 2021. Thank you.

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  7. Your story was for sure one to remember! So glad y’all are safe and able to tell this story! I enjoyed reading this so much! I had an experience on my way to Boone nc trying to get to. Sugar mountain resort! We ran off road stranded for 2 horse while others were stuck as well then an angle showed up I say and towed us up the road to safety. Couldn’t drive up to condo so a nice police officer got us up there but we were stuck for 4 days with limited food and couldn’t get any delivery so we ate out of a vending machine when out food supply ran out! We still had a great time! Sounds like y’all did as well!!

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  8. Good morning, I’m so happy that you and your family are safe. My family and I love Gatlinburg 💘 in fact my oldest daughter just got married November 21st up there. We did alot of praying for good weather and no shut down because of the pandemic. We also stayed in a cabin with a hill we had to go up that if we would’ve got that snow ❄ we would been stuck 😐. I enjoyed your story I also wanted to know the name of your cabin?My God continue to bless you and your family.

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  9. We were there that week too.when it hit we got stuck on the mountain. We lost power round 5pm on Christmas eve. We didnt have any heat or water. We stayed till Christmas day we tryed to come down to get something to eat but our truck would slid on the ice in the drive way so my kids and husband started breaking ice with there boots and spoons. They finally got out the drive around 4 we got down road and there way a tree down so we tryed to turn around and got stuck again on the ice. Thank God this guy came along with ice chains and they fit our truck we got back up the hill. We got to town round 6 and ice was frozen every where. I told my husband to find a hotel and food cause all 5 kids were hungry we found a waffle house open and waited 2 hours to be seated. Husband went and found a hotel for the night. We got up the next morning I told them we were going to go get our stuff out the cabin and got home. We found a place with snow chain $150 later and feed the kids. We went back up there was still no power. I have never seen my kids pack so fast lol. They got there stuff and pack everything in the truck by 4 and were ready for our 7 hr trip home. My oldest son he is 17 got in the truck and said mom i know we came on this trip cause i wanted a snowy Christmas but next time i ask for snow i going to make sure i ask for power too. My husband received a text sunday round 9 pm that the power had been restored at the cabin he was like damn we would had frozen to death by then and starved.

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  10. Great Story to Read glad that your trip was Great up until then snow storm but that’s what makes the story. It’s a blessing that you had your family and God to keep your composure and stay safe. Your Cabin was very nice and looked cozy and relaxing. So where are you guys from with that long 12 hour trip home? Stay Blessed and may you have a Happy New Year James From Indiana.

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  11. We had a similar experience . We arrived in Gatlinburg around 4:30 Christmas Eve as it began to snow. We stop to a grocery store to pick up just enough food for that night and Christmas Day because my truck was loaded with gifts and luggage so it was not much room for 5 days worth of groceries . By the time we came out of the store it was coming down pretty heavy. My trucks hood and bed cover were covered in snow.We were thrilled to have our first white Christmas . The drive from the store to our cabin was celebratory at first until we started up the mountain . I put my truck in 4wheel dr after I felt the tires spin out a few time , I thought this is not good. As we were going up the snow was falling heavy I couldn’t see that well so I was driving slowly. A car was coming down around a curve so I stoped to let them pass and when I tried to continue up my tires wouldn’t grip and the truck fishtailed into a run off ditch. We called 911 and got the dial tone. After several attempts at calling I got out to access the conditions. I told my family that we would have to grab a few things to eat and try to find our cabin on foot. The gps said it was 3 mins away driving . So we make the treacherous walk in about 4 or 5 inches of snow up a mountain only to get to a cabin with no power and no water. The saving grace was a gas fire place on a timer. Long story short ,We ate cold cuts for Christmas Eve and Christmas. I wasn’t able to get my truck with the food luggage and gifts to the cabin until the day after Christmas. We had a pool also which we used the water from to flush the toilets. Saturday I was able to drive down and get hot food some battery lights and a few gallons of water to take bird baths with. We got clean took pics and opened our gifts around the fire grace. The power didn’t come back on until Sunday morning around 11am our check out was Tuesday . We were able to enjoy the rest of our stay .We will never forget Christmas 2020 in Gatlinburg.

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  12. I too have been to Gatlinburg, Tennessee and it is Beautiful on the mountain top, my cousin got married there Sept 2020. As I was reading your story I pictured my cousins mountain top cabin which was Gorgeous as well. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Tennessee it’s a must see place to visit and I’m planning on going back. Thanks again…

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  13. What an entertaining read! We are going to the same area tomorrow, only it’s going to be 60* 😅 But snow in our neck of the woods (Richmond VA) the day AFTER we get back.

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