Smokin’ Engine in the Smokys

Probably our biggest complaint about the Great Smoky Mountains - at least near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee - is how crowded they are. After driving a loop that felt like standing in line at Disney World we consulted the map - aha! A twelve mile dirt road that is rarely driven! We’ll be away from the crowds and into the mountains! Perfect!

Now, if you’ve been following along with our adventures at all, you’ll notice one consistency: our adventures tend to get really exciting when the van misbehaves. These adventures have ranged from the amusing (like the time we almost ran out of gas when we discovered that the gas cap locks itself from time to time - requiring a special key, which we didn’t have on hand at the time) to the less enjoyable (like the time we were nearly stranded in Pennsylvania with all of our treasured belongings and two cranky travel cats).

It should probably come as no surprise to you that this adventure followed along these rather predictable lines: a mile and a half up the mountain (on a one way road) we heard a giant clunk. Five minutes later, and we noticed the oil gauge was rocketing towards what mechanics officially call “WAY TOO HOT.

We pulled over, popped the hood, and noticed the fan was, well, no longer there. 

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