Monday, May 12, 2008

Trip to the Poky Mounsains...

We have returned from yet another successful McCallen trip to the Smoky Mountains. This continues to be one of my favorite places to go. You can have the beach; get me to a trailhead in the Appalachian mountains, and I'm on my way.

We marked two more trails off of the 850-mile long list this trip: Forney Ridge trail from Clingman's Dome parking lot and Alum Cave Bluffs trail. Both of these were spectacular walks, and both were very different. Forney Ridge trail was more steep and much more technical with lots of roots and rocks. But, once you get to Andrew's Bald, all of the looking down at your path stops and you get to take in the clear view of Fontana Lakes and beyond. Alum Cave Bluffs trail is somewhat more simple to trek, but the outcome is no less incredible. The Bluffs are a sight to behold and I would recommend the 3.5 hour round trip to anyone.

Some extra excitement from the trip included a powerful thunderstorm bringing sideways rain, quarter size hail, and lightning on Friday night. We also witnessed a charter bus becoming stuck on Ski Mountain road on the way up, and, yes, on the way down. I submit this as the greatest act of ignorance of the weekend, no offense to the driver. Finally, we saw 3 black bears in Cades Cove (And about 80 deer). On the way back to the cabin after Cades Cove Saturday night, we also got up-close and personal with ole Smokey. A 300lb + black bear tried to make a break across the road in front of us, but luckily for all of us, he thought better of it...

When are we going back???

5 comments:

crossland downs said...

I will trade you a 2001 Jeep Cherokee with a slow leak in the rear end for the CJ. It comes with a child seat.

B said...

As long as you are aware that I currently can count at least 4 slow leaks on the CJ, I'll do it. When?

TC said...

Cool blog by the way....are you coming to the brew festivus?

gabe said...

crossland downs in tha house! don't you need that child seat or is junior not allowed anywhere that cherokee?

B said...

Unfortunately, no, I'm not going to make the brewfest. It's truly sad, but I'll be on the beach in Miami. I'll make up for it, though...