December 6th, 2013
It was cold and dark and rainy this morning when we left home. We’re off on an exciting 3-day adventure to the Smoky Mountains in TN. The weather forecast is calling for a rainy weekend, but we are very excited, and anticipation is building! We have been waiting for this day for a long time… and here we are at last :-).
We stopped at Ingall’s grocery store in Asheville, and bought sandwiches to eat at the trail-head. Our trip lasted about 3 1/2 hours, and Bethany did most of the driving since she is recording her hours behind the wheel. I enjoyed reading a large portion of a book Daddy just gave me.
We started our hike just before noon, and it took us about 3 hours to cover the 5.2 miles to our reserved camp site – #37. The river here is beautiful – loud and fast. We followed it for most of our hike, and crossed a few times.
I was worried that my broken toe might bother me, but it’s just a little sore, and I was able to soak it in the river at our camp site.
We found a huge happy snail in a soggy area near our camp site. It was quite friendly.
The guys enjoyed a short relaxing nap in the afternoon, while Beth and I soaked our feet in the water. Bethany’s knee and ankle are hurting, so she’s trying to take it a little slower.
David fixed us a delicious dinner of freeze-dried favorites from REI, and we had hot chocolate to warm ourselves. As we were finishing it started to rain. We hurried to put everything away, but by the time we were tucked in our tents everyone was wet.
Since it was only 6:00, Bethany, Jonathan and I played Dutch Blitz, Chess, and tried to fix the leak in the rain fly that was right over Jonathan’s sleeping bag ;-). Thankfully Jonathan had his surival kit along, consisting of something like 100 rubber bands, a hand-made cardboard box (that was rather soggy looking)… and a plastic bag :-). Somehow, he’s always equipped (remembering one very memorable trip when he fixed our camp stove on day 1 with 2 rubber bands…)
It’s pouring rain, and the rushing river runs beside us just through the trees. The three of us are warm and toasty in our sleeping bags… praying that we’ll stay dry!