We were also unlucky enough to share the cabin with some cockroaches. I killed a few and the rest I reported to the park office so hopefully they will go in and finish murdering the rest of them. People wonder why I like to RV and to tent camp and I'll tell you right now I never had a cockroach in my tent and even if I did it would be pretty darn easy to evict him and any of his friends! Once I zip that zipper ain't no bugs getting in! We kept most of our personal items in the car so as not to encourage hitchhikers.
I dragged Cory onto the Hidden Springs trail yesterday which is a 5 mile loop. Since Cory doesn't hike or do much any thing resembling it I broke him in slowly. We walked for half and hour in and then half an hour back out on the flat limestone littered trail. There was quite a bit of reindeer lichen growing. I figure we did just about 3 miles because we kept a steady pace.
He was pretty tired but I forced him past what he thought his limit should be. We have a lot of hiking ahead of us on this trip and it doesn't get easier if you start out too slowly. Besides, we had to give those new Keen hiking boots a good breaking-in!
I didn't have my track expert with me, so I'm guessing raccoon on the muddy print above. Anyone able to confirm that?
We spent the rest of our time yesterday hanging out at Panera sucking up their free wifi and then I darted in to Dillard's in Murfreesboro to snag Cory some Woolrich flannel shirts on clearance. Score!
|trail to the right, sinkhole to the left|
This morning after I loaded most of the stuff in the car I decided I had enough time to scoot over to the 1/2 mile Limestone Sinks trail which was right across from the cabin area. Be careful where you walk, they don't call it Limestone Sinks for nothing!
|they went that-a-way|
The exposed limestone along the trail is covered in a variety of crustose lichens, all you have to do is lean in and look. Bifocals may be necessary for those over the age of 40.
|My no-line bifocals aren't doing their job very well lately, time to bump it up a notch|
It was only 30F so my walk was almost a run, and at the end I noticed something I had missed during my hurried tour.
At first I thought it was ice, then a closer look revealed...what? I still don't know. But once I saw them I saw there were a lot of them, some just barely emerging from the ground. Obviously some plant that left behind that brittle stalk is making its way back above ground.
And now we're in Gatlinburg after an unusually uneventful drive. I took the Chapman Highway and then skipped Sevierville and the Outlets area by taking the River Divide Road to Henderson Road. I ended up coming out onto the main drag just before The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge and it was worth the detour. The roads are very twisty, definitely not for night driving or RVs, but it was quick and easy in the daytime in a car. We even made it through Gatlinburg fairly quickly and are settled in to our rental house after a short walk near the Sugarlands Visitor Center and a visit to The Sinks.
|our home for the next few days|