Encounter With An Ark (part one)…

Our journey to the ark began on the day after Easter–early on the day after Easter.  After months of waiting, and weeks of planning, the big day of our trip finally arrived!  Taking a bus tour someplace was something Ed and I had always wanted to do.

packed and ready to ride

Ed and I did our usual morning chores, then loaded the car and headed toward the church about 7:30.  The bus was scheduled to pick us up at 8 a.m.  When we arrived, the bus was there, and already half full! In all, about forty of us would be making the journey to visit The Ark Encounter, in Kentucky.  As the trip progressed, I soon figured out why so many folks had arrived early and filled the front half of the bus.  The front of the bus gets to unload first!

our bus for the next four days

Ed and I added our suitcases to the pile, then headed for a seat toward the back of the bus.  One of our favorite couples from church took the seat right behind ours, so we knew this was going to be a fun trip!  Soon our bus was rolling and headed for Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Everyone was excited, as the open highway lay before us.  We chatted and joked among ourselves.  Before long, the tour guide popped the first [of several] movies into the dvd player, and everyone settled down to watch Courageous.  About an hour into this movie, I began to realize that I might have a problem–motion sickness!  I’d never watched a movie on a bus, therefore, it never occurred to me this might happen!  Sitting in the back of the bus probably didn’t help either.

Fortunately, my daughter had suggested packing some Dramamine, which I promptly took at the next rest stop.  However, once motion sickness occurs, it’s difficult to shake as long as you’re still in motion.  Sadly, I spent a good portion of Monday’s trip riding with my eyes closed!

We stopped at a large mall, about four hours from where we live, and ate lunch at their food court.  I was able to eat, and actually began feeling better while we were stopped.  Unfortunately, the queasy feeling kept coming and going for much of the trip, that first day, even though I didn’t watch any more movies.

Thank goodness, I was finally feeling almost normal by the time we reached Pigeon Forge–nearly nine hours after leaving our church!  THAT WAS SOME BUS RIDE!!!

Our bus pulled up at the “Dolly Stampede” (formerly known as the “Dixie Stampede”) about 5:45 p.m.  The dinner show was scheduled to begin at 6:00, so we were cutting it close!  The guide quickly took a group photo, then herded us into the building to be seated. (I apologize for the quality of the few photos that I took. It was dark in there.)

a glimpse of the show at Stampede

Ed and I had never been to the “Dolly Stampede”, so we didn’t know much about it, other than they put on a show for you while you eat dinner.  We didn’t know they don’t furnish you with eating utensils or that they bring your meal one item at a time!  Imagine our surprise when they brought our soup to us, and we didn’t have a spoon!  However,  we quickly figured out why that handle was on the side of the bowl 🙂

The show soon began, with an assortment of horses, riders, cattle, covered wagons, and even some buffalo!  There was a story line behind the show, of course, and even a little friendly audience competition.  At one point in the show, they solicited volunteers, from the audience,  to participate in part of the show.  We soon discovered that our pastor and his wife had been selected to be participants!  (This was actually their second time going to “The Stampede” and being chosen as participants!)  How exciting that they participated in the bucket relay race, and won a medal!

our pastor and his wife participating in the bucket relay

While the entertainment in front of us played out, the servers continued to bring food to us–one piece at a time!  Following the soup and biscuit, a Cornish hen was served, again with no eating utensils!

 What?  No fork and knife?!

This was later followed by a slice of pork, one half of a baked potato, an ear of corn, and an apple turn over!  To say our stomachs were stuffed and our hands were very messy would be an understatement!  Fortunately, they did provide us with a warm, wet towel at the end of the meal, but I’d much have preferred a fork, knife, and spoon!

After our meal was over, we exited through the Stampede gift shop and boarded our bus which took us to our hotel for the evening.  Ed and I got separated in the gift shop, and lost from each other for a bit, but that’s another whole story!

Once we made the short journey to our hotel for the evening, we exited the bus as they called our names and presented us with our room keys. Happily, mine and Ed’s names were the first two called!

upper view of  our hotel lobby in Pigeon Forge

Imagine our surprise when our room key didn’t work!  In fact, nobody’s room key worked!  It turned out our keys hadn’t been activated, but within a matter of minutes, everyone was finally able to enter their rooms.

I’m told some folks soon went to the pool, but the only place Ed and I went was to find the place where breakfast would be held the following morning, then off to bed we went!  We were exhausted! (to be continued)

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Published in: on April 20, 2018 at 7:18 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sorry you were queasy. That Dolly Stampede sounds like a place here in CA called Medieval Times and you eat with your hands. I’ve never been there. The meal sounds delicious. The hotel looks lovely. That’s crazy about the keys! Looking forward to reading more about your trip.

  2. When I taught school and had to ride a bus on a field trip I always asked a parent to sit in back so I could be in front. I completely understand the motion sickness, esepcially on the road to Pigeon Forge.


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