Jun 09, 2011
Sep 15, 2011
After this expedition I drove a short distance down the road to a town called Gatlinburg. It was very much a tourist trap and reminded me somewhat of Niagara Falls, ON. With exhibits and attractions which had very little or no connection with the main attraction in the area, the Smokey Mountains of course.
After waking up quite early this morning I took a drive through the Great Smokey Mountains national park at a leisurely pace stopping at several picnic areas and view points. I also saw a bear walk right it front of me (while I was driving) That was an amazing sight, he wasn't worried by me one bit. I then ended up at one of the visitor centres; after watching a film about the place, learning about the flora and fauna in a little exhibit there and getting a map I was ready to go exploring. I selected a 7.2 mile trail that was graded as moderate. The trail followed the course of a river up one of the mountains. This was a really nice hike, listening to the sounds of the park, different birds and the trickling of the river, talking to fellow hikers occasionally. However on the way back down the trail I was caught in a rain storm! It was quite intense and seemed to move in very quickly. I tried to pick up my pace a little but the rain was actually very refreshing and made a beautiful noise as it rolled off the leaves and splashed into the river. I did however get soaked through to the skin! As I approached the car the rain had stopped, I got ready to leave and as I was driving out I noticed an area that looked ideal to take a quick dip, being so wet anyway, that was no longer an issue. The water was so cold, it was very pleasant.