Thursday, July 5, 2012

Climbing Mountains

Chad and I celebrated our 13 year anniversary with an amazing getaway weekend to the Smoky Mountains.  We arrived on Thursday with a splash...that's because we took our first white water rafting trip.  No pics of that though since we don't have a waterproof camera.  But it was serious fun!

On Friday, Chad convinced me to take a hike through the mountains.  Now, you may know by now that I love to hike so that's not why I needed the convincing.  In all honesty, I had a few fears...most of them centered around bears and other wild animals.  I felt the most sensible thing was to take a guided hike, which we had planned on Saturday morning.  But Chad didn't want to wait until then to get the woods.

So we stopped at the park visitor center and choose a recommended trail.  We were told by the park ranger that we probably wouldn't be confronted by a bear unless we were carrying fried chicken or Krispy Kreme doughnuts, but if we did see one to yell loudly and act aggressive.  This did nothing to calm my fears.

However as we approached the trailhead we saw about 30 cars parked around.  knowing that it was a well-travelled path did help.

About a quarter of a mile down the trail, I kept feeling something tugging at the back of my leg on the inside of my hiking pants.  Thinking it was a tag, I pulled it off.  See the above picture?  Know what that is?  It's the velcro tab from a diaper. Inside my hiking pants.  Yup.  I'm a mom.

All along the trail were the exposed roots of trees creating beautiful patterns.

Ok, really.  Why do we ever sit at home on our couches when God created beautiful places like this to see?

As we climbed up, we also crossed over.

Another bridge ...

And up through these steps.

At this point the climb started getting more difficult.  Steep inclines and dropoffs.  But at the top was this beautiful sandy area.

And what a view...

The entire hike was about 5 miles and took us around 3 hours.  It was definitely one of the more strenous hikes we've done, but oh-so-much fun.  
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