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A Private Night at Buckhorn Inn

Submitted on 2013/01/22 at 5:02pm

My wife, Elise, and I have been guests at the Buckhorn many times over the years. I have also stayed there several times with fellow hikers prior to a LeConte hike. In February 1999 or 2000 my wife and I were driving from Winchester, TN to Hilton Head Island. We decided to stop over at the Buckhorn and were lucky enough to get reservations on short notice. We arrived at the Buckhorn late on a Thursday afternoon, had a wonderful dinner and retired early. Our room (this was before the “new addition”) was a very comfortable corner one upstairs. The next morning after a sumptuous breakfast we set out to explore Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The middle of the afternoon it began to snow. We decided to return to the Buckhorn while the roads were passable and arrived with several inches of snow on the ground. While warming up by the fire we discovered we were the only guests for the night. All the others had canceled because of the weather. The chef (Bob Neisler), who had quarters downstairs below the kitchen, said he would prepare anything we wanted for dinner. We settled on seafood pasta and were served by the roaring fire. After dinner members of the staff came in and sat by the fire with us and just visited. What a nice, cozy place to be snowbound. The next morning after our private breakfast, Chef Bob called the highway patrol and helped us find a way out of the mountains. There were 15 inches of snow. We managed to get to the interstate but had to drive south to Atlanta to finally get to Hilton Head. Our “Private Night” and adventure at the Buckhorn Inn in a snow storm is one of our most memorable experiences. Lawrence and Louise