Thursday, April 20, 2017

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Part 3

Another morning hike took us to Porter's Creek. I didn't bring a trail book, so other than my notes (which said, "popular, wildflowers" and gave the distance), we had no idea what to expect.

See how beautiful these creeks are? Gorgeous. Don't you just want to get in there and wade?

SURPRISE! A waterfall! The boys were super pleased, especially since we planned on going about 15 more minutes. But this made for a good turn-around spot.

Look closely at my boots in this picture. After only a quarter-mile of hiking, my left sole detached from my boot (except for at the toe). About a mile later, so did the right one. Seeing as though I only had flip flops in the car, these seemed a better choice (more like a hybrid flip-flop-boot). Thankfully I brought old running shoes that worked for the rest of the trip.

It was wildflower week in the park. Gorgeous!

That afternoon, we went to Gatlinburg. First stop was the aquarium. The boys loved it, of course.

Then it was this ridiculous 5-D movie (we passed on the 7-D one across the street).

And then up the tram to the lift for an alpine slide ride! The boys love these wherever we find them. We stayed in town for dinner (a welcome treat for the adults).

This morning was two hikes. The first was a short-but-steep walk to Clingman's Dome, the highest point in the park (and Tennessee). The views were stunning, and it was totally worth dealing with Rhett's whining.

The second hike was to Andrews Bald. It's this weird spot on the mountain where no trees grow! Again the views were stunning.

That afternoon we went to Pigeon Forge. We started by mini-golfing and ended with a ropes course. It was this cool set-up of about 30 obstacles. The three oldest members of the family were scared, the littlest one was not.

And the dismount was a 30-foot drop. Fun times!

That evening's dinner was burgers, followed by a nice walk around the campground. Note to self: the best campsites are B10, C2, and C3. Who wouldn't want to be right on this river?!


  1. So much awesome going on here! What a fabulous trip! Andrew's Bald made me laugh!

  2. Yep, it totally looks amazing! Um, love your flip-flop-boots. I think you're on to something . . .

    You guys (you?!) did a great job and mixing up all the hiking with some "fun" things. Not that hiking isn't fun . . .

    The ropes course looks very cool - I wonder if I would be scared, or brave like Ollie?!