Day 19: Zero in Gatlinburg, TN

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hi hi,
Hope you all are well! The gang from MI arrived late last night, and we enjoyed a quick visit and before we knew it, it was 2am.

In the morning my mom and dad went to the store to stock up the condo! Mom made a huge awesome breakfast and I ate to my heart's content (and to that of my stomach)  Bacon, pancakes, cinnamon crumb cake, grapes, juice, oh and it all started with some oatmeal!  Hiker heaven is filled with food.

In the afternoon we drove up to the park and did a short hike (2.6 mi) up to Laurel Creek Falls in the park. Very pretty spot and a lot more water volume than the high country (and volume of people...Both in shape and quantity!!)

After the short hike we drive up to Newfound Gap to show the younger cousins the great views and take them into North Carolina for the first time! We also saw a few thruhikers up there, and we tried to offer some trail magic (but didn't do a good job planning it...)

We hiked a few steps down the actual AT... Marie was really funny when she said "this is the trail??" really sort of disgusted / disappointed ( the Laurel Falls Trail was paved the whole way :) ) I guess it is cool that they now have a better vision of what the legndary AT actually looks like. We only walked about 30 yds until the snowpack started, but it was fun.

On the way back down the mtn in the car I saw a black bear up on a ridge about 200 ft up, but by the time we tried to turn around and see it again, it was gone) figures that I'd see a bear on the road and not the trail...

Back at the condo mom makes a fantastic steak, mashed potatos, salad, asparagus, bread, and wine. With some ice cream as dessert I am actually going to bed full... So it is possible :)
Hope you are all doing well. No miles that counted today, but lots of fun and recuperation... Exactly what a zero should be.
Night all
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