Great Smoky Mountains - August 2016
A friends' wedding in Asheville, NC provided an opportunity to explore a new national park on this side of the country. For three days Ray Ray and I camped through a small - but very steep - valley in the park, sometimes re-cutting what was supposed to be a semi-cleared path. We came across some incredible sights.
At our first camp site we found a fireplace that used to be at the end of a cabin used by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program FDR started to put able-bodied men to work in the national parks and provide some much needed economic help for them and their families.
We heard more bears than we saw but one did cross our path on the second day, scurrying away as quickly as possible. We crossed stream and rivers that often required a footwear change - better to have wet sandals than soaked boots.
By the time it was over we covered a total of nine miles, though it felt like a thousand. The third day was all uphill and a fist-hand lesson on the importance of packing light. Click on any image below to see our trek. We did all the hard work for you!