10/03/2009

Return to Mt. le Conte

Off to the mountains for some hiking!

Timmy and I thought it would be nice to hike Mt. le Conte one more time before he goes off to basic training, although Timmy seriously doubted that I could make it this time. I wasn't afraid. I made sure to bring my diet coke and a bag of doughnuts and I was ready for anything. Yes, I am a professional hiker:

This is the one in the Smokies where you stay overnight at the top in a cabin and where llamas bring up all the supplies throughout the season. The llamas take a different route (probably an easier one) from the Alum Cave Bluffs trail, so we have never seen them. There is not even a service road to this peak, which is one vertical mile above Gatlinburg and has the tallest "face", or distance from base to summit, of any mountain east of the Mississippi. It is one rugged trail, although it always looks to me at dinner as though nobody had any trouble getting up there except me. Maybe they eat something besides doughnuts and candy orange slices and get more exercise than making quilts.

People usually make their reservations for this trip a year in advance, but we have gotten in all three times via last-minute cancellations, including this one, so it was a spur of the moment trip and an unexpected and gloriously hailed two days off from the day job.

This is a varied trail. It has heath balds:



Alum Cave Bluffs (from which soldiers harvested saltpetre for gunpowder during the Civil War):



a sort of Fat Man's Squeeze:

Beautiful water...




Interesting close-up things:




and interesting far-off things:




Oops late for work; will finish next time.

14 comments:

MelissaS said...

Very pretty. You're my kind of hiker. Who needs bottled water and energy bars?! Next time I think you should strap the catfish pillow to your back as you hike to the top. That would give the llamas something to talk about. :)

Heckety said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!
Those photos are amazing, the views gorgeous- both near and far! It must have been invigorating to be outside and away from 21C sounds and technology! Question: how the heck do you manage to hike AND take photos? I can do one OR the other but not simultaneously!

Julze said...

oh what FABULOUS photos! Thank you for sharing them!

Sue said...

What lovely photos of your hiking trip! I really enjoyed the part about your 'trail mix'!! Who doesn't love a good do-nut on the hiking trail?
May your son have great luck and enjoy his time in the military. We pray for our military often!
Blessings!

Julie-Ann said...

I've heard of this place. I know people who did make reservations a year in advance and will be hiking next fall! It is so beautiful. I can't wait to move closer to the mountains.

A Quilter Awakens said...

Those beautiful pictures make me want to go hiking. Karmen

Gypsy Quilter said...

Wow, you took some gorgeous pics. Thanks for sharing.

Lori said...

Wow! What an amazing hike! Kudos to you for doing it!

Micki said...

The pics are wonderful! Thanks for sharing. Joe and I love hiking too!
Micki

YankeeQuilter said...

Thanks so much for all the photos! What a wonderful climb!

Jackie said...

We'll be hiking in this area next month. Your pics are beautiful...what trail is this? It will be our 3rd trip in 2 years to the area, we just love it and it is a wonderful break from the heat we'll still be feeling here in Florida.

Betty (picture circa 1954) said...

Beautiful pictures! I love seeing elevation. It finally cooled off here for the weekend, but I think they said it would be warm again on Monday...groan. I walked outside in a local park for the first time since last Spring on Saturday!

MARCIE said...

Awesome! I am glad you made it back! Farewell to Timmy! On the bright side, Now you can share boot camp stories!

Quilts And Pieces said...

Wow! Breathtaking! I have never had the chance to really "see" mountains in real life.