We hike one of the Natl Park Trails

Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
Trip End Oct 16, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another lazy start to the day - weather was overcast but warm. We set off for the National Park about 5 miles away and visited the rather uninteresting visitors centre (there's only so much you can say about a forest). We decided to undertake a 6 mile loop trail that runs along a river for the first piece then heads up the mountain before running back down again.

There a loads of large abandoned cabins of wood and tin dotted around the bottom of the trail. The logging company let employees buy plots many years before the Park was set up in 1934. Once it became a Park the properties were purchased by the Govt but owners could then take out a life-time lease, the last of which expired in 1982. So there is this ghost town of cabins - it must have been wonderful for the owners and their kids in the summers of yore.

The climb was easy at first along an old logging dirt track followed by a trek along a small path up the mountain...actually it wasn't very interesting as there was no scenery to speak of. We met a retired guy and his middle aged son (who lives in Atlanta) and had a long chat - the retiree had spent many years in Germany.

MJ had been struggling with our PC satchel containing water and sandwiches (too much as it happens) and we got to eat our lunch about 3pm only 0.3miles from our car there having been nowhere to sit for a picnic along the trail. Typical!

We headed back into Gatlinburg but $10 parking and the fact we were knackered meant that our only stop was in a BW carpark to pick up an internet signal to book a hotel at our next stop in Asheville.

The cabin gave us the chance for a snooze followed by skinny-dipping in the hot tub (see- it's a good job it's in a remote location, not even any horses to scare). Another excellent home-made burger and more crap US TV in the evening which Dubya trying to tell us that life is now back to normal in Iraq thanks to his surge idea.
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