Sunday, September 11, 2005

Just got back from the Smoky Mountains

Wendy and I had our third anniversary on Wednesday 7th, followed by my 27th birthday (man am I getting old!) on the 8th. By the way, if anyone is thinking about getting me anything - I'm saving money together to get the Canon Powershot A620, which I think now will actually be released very soon instead of in October! Of course I'm not asking anyone to get me this, just any Amazon GC in any amount will do. :)

We went out to Carrabba's for dinner on our Anniversary because Wendy's father Mike had given us a gift card to go out to eat. Thanks Mike!

On Thursday we made the drive to Gatlinburg, TN. Part of the reason that we moved to North Carolina was so that we'd be closer to our favorite vacation area. Well, the trip is approximately 5.5-6 hours now, which I guess is closer, but not as much closer as we thought it would be. Still, always a good time. We listened to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on the way there and back. (well, about 9 hours of it total out of 20). Guess we'll finish it on another trip.

We didn't do anything too out of the ordinary, but we decided to finally hit Clingman's dome, which is either the highest or second highest point in the Smoky Mountains, depending on what you are reading. We talked about doing it before but it was always too Smoky - big surprise.

This is Clingman's Dome

Isn't the view from on top awesome? I'd suggesting clicking on the picture to really see the mountains in the distance. It is about a .5 mile hike but the incline is kind of difficult. Keep in mind at that altitude the air is a bit thinner.

The next day we ventured to the Andrew Bald Trail because in a book it was listed as one of the top ten trails in the US to go on and was classified as "EASY". I may be out of shape but I don't think it should have ever been classified as easy. This trail starts basically at the bottom of the paved trail up to Clingman's dome, some 20 miles of road up the mountains.

A bald is an area in the mountains where trees do not grow. I wouldn't say there were NO trees, but definitely much less.

I'd show you some pictures of the actual trail itself but lets just say we both look pretty crabby from it. It was quite rocky for most of it and the there were tons of flies on the way down. If you decide to take the trail make sure to bring plenty of water and don't be afraid of all of the flies and gnats. Wendy said she felt like Frodo carrying the one ring up to Mount Doom.

Needless to say, we were pretty tuckered out after that one.

I also fell in the Little Pidgeon River, but thats something I am not going to expand on. :) Come to your own conclusions.


Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that Clingman's Dome is the highest point in the Appalachians.

Great pictures! When we went, it was very very foggy.

I'm very jealous. C and I want to go back. John B. and Sarah M. were in the Smokies this weekend too! They stayed in one of the JHM cabins.

Happy Bithday/Anniversary!

belle said...

Congratulations and Happy Birthday!! (Did you get my card? I never know how long it takes mail from up here.)
The Smoky Mountains look beautiful. I have to go there now because so many people have said it's just amazing.
Congratulations again! :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary, Again!

So, now I know what all the fuss was about.

Have you guys ever thought of going to the Rocky Mountains (I don't know if Wendy's been there yet)?

Anyway, a 20 mile "walk" is not easy, even for me. Hell, a marathon is 26.2 miles, remember?

Mrs. R said...

Wow - so there is something to see from Clingman's Dome - all we saw was clouds.