Great Smoky Mountains Weekend

This weekend was my second time visiting the smokies, and my second time spending most of the weekend getting rained on and socked in.

smokies be smoky

smokies be smoky

David and I drove from Baltimore to Tennessee (10 hours YEEHAW) and met Matt and Lindsay at the Elkmont campground in the park.  And then it almost immediately started to rain.  And it rained… and rained… and rained.  Our plans for a big hike on Saturday were thwarted and turned into a few shorter hikes instead.  We wound up hiking chimney tops and grotto falls.

view of the scramble at chimney tops

view of the scramble at chimney tops

scramble scramble

scramble scramble (david’s photo) 

Chimney tops has what I imagine is a lovely view on a nice day.  The end has a semi-exposed little rock scramble that made things interesting despite the weather.

the most view we had all trip.  chimney tops summit

the most view we had all trip. chimney tops summit

After chimney tops we hiked the short trail to grotto falls, which has a deep pool for swimming and is also notable in that the trail goes behind the falls.  We got in our “showers” for the day and, as a bonus, got to drive through Gatlinburg, which I can only describe as what hell must be like 🙂

lindsay getting her shower on at grotto falls

lindsay getting her shower on at grotto falls

The next day the weather was looking better so we decided to go for our big hike, Mt. Cammerer.  The weather started out sunny but by the time we got to the ridge the trail looked like this:

why trail, why?

why trail, why?

On the plus side, we heard lots of rustling and some weird grunting coming from the bushes and I was fairly convinced we were going to be eaten by a bear, but a fellow hiker informed us later that it had been a BOAR!  (Or “hog” as he called it).  Apparently this is a thing that exists in Tennessee.  Unfortunately I do not have any pictures 😦 😦 😦

On the day we left, the sun was shining because of course it was.  Thanks, smokies.  Better luck next time…

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