Sorry for not posting recently. It’s not for a lack of material, rather a lack of time and discipline. We have a lot of material to post here, we just need to get off of our butts and do it.

Appalachian Trail, GSMNP, October 6, 2010

 

I spent last week on what has become my annual solo trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I try to go between Labor Day & the changing of the leaves in order to avoid the crowds. This typically involves dodging hurricanes heading towards Florida, since I promised my bride that, after an unfortunate incident involving my being out of town during a hurricane, I would not travel if there is a storm heading our way. Unlike previous years, this was not an issue this time. Which is not to say that the weather was not a player in this year’s trip.

This annual adventure has rapidly become a highlight of the year. I can do day hikes at my own tempo (slow, not like other crazy people in this family) and take lots of pictures of landscapes that are notably unlike Florida. Trust me, when you’ve seen one alligator you’ve seen them all. I have a beautiful campsite in the Elkmont campground that I return to each year. At night I sit by the fire with my adult beverage and eat well. Very well. Over the course of my three full days, I hiked about 19 miles of trails, took a horseback ride (just me & the guide…very nice), took 340 photos (of which a couple are pretty nice), met many very nice people on the trail and walked in snow. Snow. Did I mention the cold? This Florida boy camped in 35 degree weather. While it was refreshing after our typical hot, humid summer, it was a bit shocking during my middle of the night sojourns out of the tent.

This was the first year that I didn’t see any bear. Darn.

 

Sunrise, GSMNP, October 5, 2010

 

 

Alum Cave Bluffs Trail, GSMNP, October 5, 2010

 

Note: The peak in the right foreground in the photo below is Porter’s Mountain

 

View from Charlies Bunion, GSMNP, October 6, 2010

 

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