Saturday, July 18, 2009
Smokies trip, part II
We didn't get started until practically lunchtime. The trail starts at Newfound Gap and follows the Appalachian Trail for a ways. Most of that is uphill. From there you get on the Boundary Trail, and my hiking book mentioned a short descent followed by a "gentle ascent."
The short descent lost us half of the elevation we'd gained, and the "gentle" ascent was not at all gentle. We were in a hurry, too, worried about getting done before dark. Finally we all got to the top, and I have to admit I was looking at the Lodge at the top with some degree of jealousy. Hot dinner, warm beds, and wine? Yes, thank you!
But we had to hike down. Uncle Minion and I ran ahead so we could get down and shuttle the cars back. This photo is taken near the beginning of the descent. The Alum Cave Trail is direct, with no up-and-down fooling around, although it does descent to a lower point. We did the 5 miles down in one hour and 50 minutes.
The final day of the trip we had planned to go tubing, although my car opted out and just drove back to Nashville.