Thursday, September 1, 2011

Smoky Bears

Apparently my fall was pretty funny looking on from any vantage point but mine. Andrew said I kinda laid there for a second. I'm pretty sure at that moment I was wondering, "Is this really happening to me...Again?" Even though I took a nice hard spill early on, I didn't want to ruin a good trip(no pun intended). So, I hobbled my way along for the rest of the day. I'm glad I'm a trooper.

After driving around Cade's Cove we headed to the south side of the park and actually drove up mountains. We stopped at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Andrew's mom and me got "Not so Junior Ranger" patches and a certificate for some of the activities with did in the park. We exited the park on the North Carolina side and Andrew's parents bought me a NC mug for my birthday.
On the way back into the park we saw two male Elk battling it out. Ok. It was pretty calm and they seemed to be testing eachother more than a violent shake-down.
Then we drove up to Clingmans Dome and started the 1/2 mile hike to the observation tower. It's a steep trail with a 330ft gain. But, the views were spectacular.
Andrew and me on the AT! Maybe one day for real.
The views going down were amazing, the sun broke through the clouds a bit. Did I mention it was freezing up there? Because of the elevation it's regularly cold up there. I was not prepared, but the breeze felt good once you worked up a sweat.

Back in the car, we headed on down the mountain to get back to our cabin. On the way down we saw a mama bear and her three cubs. As we pulled by she actually growled at the car.
Up high you straddle the NC/TN line and they had a sign. I love signs. It makes it easier to remember what you're taking a picture of.
Pictures of the cabin coming soon and on the way home we stopped at Maker's Mark in Kentucky and I have a few pictures of that.

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