Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 7: Great Smoky Mountains NP, TN to Athens, GA

Friday, April 24
Great Smoky Mountains NP, TN to Athens, GA
Odometer Begin: 109,087
Miles traveled: 176
Time spent traveling: 3 .5 hrs
Other: Miles hiked: 4
Number of showers in the since Wednesday: 1
Wx: sunny high 80s F!
States traveled through: TN & GA

Another grand morning! We were able to sleep in until 6:30 am this morning. Don’t let anyone tell you that extra half hour doesn’t mean anything! I have to say; we are getting better at breaking down camp, no bickering ensued! The hike we chose today was a short (4 miler round trip) trail off the 441 the road that bisects the park and will lead you from Tennessee to North Carolina.
From Smokies
The sign at the start of the Chimney Tops Trail says something along the line of “The view is worth the climb” and “strenuous hike, wear proper shoes“…but what it should have said “strenuous hike; if hiking is not your thing or your usual pass time…skip it“. This was the all time understatements of hiking signs. For a trail this popular this is the one time when the usual conservative sign would have been more appropriate. For us, it was fine but the poor souls we passed on the way down had NO IDEA what they were in for. The trail pretty much goes straight up even with switch backs and ends in a hair raising climb over practically vertical slabs of rock. It was pretty cool!! Unfortunately, the camera died right near the beginning of the trail.

Upon returning to the car, we had a quick parking lot clean up (Shout out to Pond’s Cleansing Cloths!) we headed east then south on 441 all the way to Athens. A shower was high on the priority and then Brian had to take care of his yearly craving for Zaxby’s.

For photos of our time in the Smokies, (or is it Smoky's? )

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