"" Writer's Wanderings: Mini Road Trip - The Smokey Mountains

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Mini Road Trip - The Smokey Mountains

Cup of coffee in hand, I sat in the quiet of the morning on the wonderful deck of the house where we were staying with our son and his family and watched the sun come up over the mountains. The view was spectacular as was the sunrise.

With four kids twelve to three years old, there is a bustling start to the day when they are all up and ready for breakfast. As I watched my daughter-in-law in the kitchen, I remembered the days I had five young mouths to feed. Great memories. Kids fed, we made sandwiches to pack for lunch and gathered chips, drinks, and apples and were on our way to our first outing in the Smokey Mountain National Park.

On our way down the mountain we saw the local gang of wild turkeys. A few comments were made about Thanksgiving being only a couple months away. The sun was shining brightly through the trees and promising a beautiful day ahead.

After about a forty-five minute ride, we found our destination, Deep Creek near Bryson City, NC. The trail was said to be easy and there were several options we could take to see three waterfalls. We chose the shorter trail to one of the waterfalls--a concession to Grandma and Grandpa and a three year old whose little legs might not go the distance.

Not a minute into our walk and our grandson spotted a blue tailed skink, a black and white striped lizard with a blue tail. With all the attention upon him, the skink quickly backed into a clump of leaves so all I got was a picture of his head. Yes, he did have a blue tail.

There were many starts and stops along the way to examine flowers, bugs, and butterflies. A few more stops to look for salamanders along the water's edge and wave to a few people brave enough to tube on the cold water of the creek.

We arrived at one waterfall and admired it through the trees. The next one could be viewed at the bottom of the stairs but I did my admiring from the top while the others ventured down and back up again.

Avoiding the trail that would take us on a long loop, we answered our growling tummies with a return trip down the trail to our van and lunch. A picnic table next to a shallow calm area of the creek made an excellent venue for enjoying our sandwiches. It didn't take long though for the kids to be attracted by the shallow waters. Shoes came off and exploring began.

When they didn't immediately come out complaining that the water was cold, I thought I'd give it a try. I pulled off my hiking boots and socks and started in. I imagine what I felt is what it might feel like to a football player to put his sore appendages into an ice bath. Do toenails really curl? I looked to be sure. How those kids were staying in that cold water so long was beyond me. Guess my age was showing. While they enjoyed the water Grandpa and Grandma enjoyed the sunshine and the rest.

We made a stop on the way back to Eagle's Nest Mountain to buy corn and sample some apple cider, then the grocery store for some sausage and accompaniments for dinner and we were on our way back up the mountain, past the gang of turkeys again to the beautiful retreat on the mountainside.

The air chilled quickly with the setting sun and as nighttime fell, the sounds of crickets and the occasional owl filled the air. It was off to bed to recharge for our next day's adventure.

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