Yesterday morning we left our cozy rental in Gatlinburg and drove an hour to the Big Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to meet Sharon for a hike. To get to Big Creek we took I-40 towards Asheville into North Carolina. We got off at exit 451 and found this fine mess in the middle of the road. On our way back out after our hike I pulled over and removed all but the two largest pieces so no one gets hurt.
After detouring around the pieces of mountain that had left dents in the asphalt we continued on. The approach road to Big Creek isn't very long or rough, but it is a narrow gravel road. The views are stunning though!
We got right to business once we got out of our cars, and even though Cory was sleepy and reluctant to hike we encouraged him to give it a chance. Who could resist faces like these?
We weren't on the trail very long when we saw two deer.
After watching them for a few minutes we continued on the gradual climb alongside Big Creek. I noticed some quartz intermingled with the cliff face, and of course some lichens and other things.
We got caught up on each others' news, and Sharon asked Cory some questions and got to know him a little better. When we got to the halfway point we convinced Cory to keep going since the grade wasn't as steep. He took out his Nintendo 3DS to keep him distracted from his tired legs.
The only thing of note that happened along the trail was a military jet flew over head, ripping apart the peace and quiet. I wonder what the wildlife thought of it?
Eventually we made it to our destination of Mouse Creek Falls after 2.1 miles. Sharon got out her snack and enjoyed the serenity while I hopped around trying to get a good shot.
The autofocus didn't want to focus on the waterfall, but the manual focus didn't do me much good since I suddenly can't see worth a darn out of my glasses. I know there is a way to adjust the diopters for the viewfinder, I guess I need to investigate that. Not like I don't know how to make that work for me, I do it on our lensometer at work all the time when I check in glasses.
|Mouse Creek Falls|
Sharon had Cory take our picture. The look on his face as he was made to suffer this torture was just as cute as the looks on our faces in the pictures he took.
Back at the parking lot we introduced Sharon to the delights of chocolate from the Chocolate B'ar and now she can't wait to stop in there on her next trip through Townsend to get some sea salt caramels. Then it was so-long-see-you-later and Sharon headed north back to Knoxville while we turned south towards Table Rock State Park in South Carolina.
We made it just minutes before they were closing up the visitor's center and the lady was a little irritated that we didn't call ahead and rushed through all our check in information. I'll talk more tomorrow about my impressions of SC's State Parks service issues, but the CCC built cabin we rented is lovely...and free from TV, Verizon service, and wifi is down the road at the camp store. Somehow we will survive!