Smoky Mountains 2015

Two Waterfalls

We got a good tip from Steve and Kelly that we had to visit two of the waterfalls in the park that were at the end of moderate hikes.  We could hit them both on the same day.  They turned out to be two of the nicest hikes and waterfalls that we visited.  The first one, especially, was one of the most scenic falls in the park, and I’d never been to it before.  It also had some good swimming and some excellent photo opportunities, …actually more than I took advantage of, so I’ll definitely be back.  Not being on a common trail, I’m not even sure what the name of it was, although I think it might be Whiteoak Falls.

IMG_1310wwwaterfall01wwThe second was Grotto Falls in the Roaring Forks area.  This was a unique little falls because the trail actually goes behind the water.  Several more falls downstream made it a very scenic area as well.

IMG_1286ww IMG_1322ww IMG_1328wwOne day, two hikes and two great waterfall experiences.

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Mount LeConte and the Tuckaleechee Caverns

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We have been home for a few days now and I am slowly working through the photos to prep them for the blog.

One of the main highlights of our trip was our hike/climb to the top of Mount LeConte. It was the last hike we did, taking a total of nine hours (including an hour or so at the top for a late lunch) and running a total of 13 miles.  Doesn’t seem like a lot, but the altitude change, up and down, was over 3 000 feet.  Roughly it was like hiking out of the Grand Canyon in time, distance and altitude change, though a little less hot.  (That was made up for by uneven and rocky trails, which you don’t find at all in the main Canyon routes.)  A tiring and delightful hike.  Exhausting, so I only got a few pictures, two of which are below.  If any of the boys want to send me some of the many shots that they took, I’ll post them here later.  Especially Alum Cave, which for some reason I didn’t shoot even though I’d planned to.

While the temperature in Maryville was in the high 80s that day, we had a much more comfortable temperature at the higher altitude.  Thankfully.  And just enough rain to make it interesting.

IMG_1341ww IMG_1346wwThe LeConte Lodge at the top has a sign that gives the altitude at 6593, and shows the date.  Interestingly, the sign was made by one of our hosts, Scott, the husband of Wanda, who made the hike with us and can be seen in the photo.

One of the other main attractions was the Tuckaleechee Caverns, which is a large underground cave complex.  It was a great tour.

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Water Falls

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Today was hot.  I know it is hot in Toronto, but I think we’ve got it beat with 90degree weather plus humidity. Lots of humidity.

But we did two great hikes to some spectacular waterfalls, as you can see above.  Not long hikes, but about 7 miles total.  The cold water was welcome, but only the boys went in.  Paradise spots.

Tomorrow is our major hike up to mt. Lacont.  It is probably a 6 or 7 hour hike and the big hike of the trip.  I may be too tired to post pictures tomorrow night but will get to them asap.

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We have arrived

_MG_1134ww_MG_1152ww_MG_1160ww_MG_1117wwWe arrived at around midnight on Saturday night after an uneventful drive.  The Weather has been very cooperative for the past few days and we’ve gotten out on some interesting hikes.  Here are the first pictures.

Today we were able to hiketo Abrams Falls for some much needed swimming n about 90 degree weather.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we are going to visit Gatlinburg and their pool so wveryone can score a shower.  Computer battery failing, so I’d better send.  Will try to update again within a few days.  Everyone well and enjoying the trip.

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