Thursday, May 1, 2014

Great Smoky Mountains NP

We are staying in the mountains of North Carolina and took a day to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I camped here with a friend 40 years ago when I was 17! The place hasn't changed too much - it's still beautiful, with ridge after ridge of rolling mountains. 

We drove from the North Carolina entrance to the Tennessee side and took a couple of hikes along the way.

A nice waterfall in the Deep Creek area
This doe was waiting for us at the top of the trail
It's a bit early in the season and many of the trees hadn't leafed out yet, especially at the higher elevations. The Smoky's top out at 6,643 feet, and the drive from Cherokee NC to Gatlinburg TN goes from 2,000 feet up to 6,000 and back down again.  

Fortunately some of the trails had wildflowers in bloom.

We enjoyed our day in the Smoky's. We found the serene beauty of these rolling mountains to be a nice contrast to the jagged peaks we had enjoyed in the West.

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