Posted by: lylescott89 | August 19, 2011

The Journey Continues: Take a Hike

Hey kids,

I prepared a fabulous breakfast on Friday morning consisting of eggs, pancakes and sausage.  Obviously the pancakes were a big letdown after the ones we had the day prior, but they were still good and I did a fine job on the scrambled eggs and sausage.  The only thing missing was some Tabasco or other acceptable hot sauce, but we made due with what we had.

Since we were in a cabin in the mountains it was a long and curvy 25-30 minute drive to get to the entrance to Smoky Mountain National Park.  Not that we were complaining as we had plenty of time and the ride itself was quite pleasant and beautiful.  We decided it would behoove us to stop at the visitor’s center and pick up a couple of things for the day.  One thing I felt we needed was a good map of the park and the location of the hiking trails.  Adam wanted to get a hiking stick so he could be like daddy.  Luckily for us they had both items in one convenient location.  Adam perused all the hiking sticks until he found one that he felt fit him the best and, thankfully, it was quite inexpensive.

Adam wanted to do a long and strenuous hiking trail, but we had to remind him that he had old parents and that we were in no shape to do a strenuous hike.  Plus, we tried to explain to him that even a so called easy hike can still be quite difficult to one who is not accustomed to hiking.  With that in mind we headed to the Laurel Falls Trail, which was listed as an easy hike and it obviously had a waterfall, which Adam thought was cool.

We arrived at the trail and Adam was excited to get going.  Donna reminded me that this was the one of the trails that we did back in 1999 and this one specifically was the one in which I almost fell off the cliff.  I told her I’d be much more careful this time.

So we started our hike up the mountain and after about 500 feet or so Adam said he was tired, bored and started the “are we there yet” questions.  Yep, I knew it would be like this yet I tried to convince myself otherwise.  He asked for me to carry him on my shoulders and I said I would, but only if he wanted me to pass out and die.  So we kept walking and he kept complaining.  I will have to say that while it was about 20 degrees cooler than it had been in Nashville, it was still pretty hot on that trail.  Yes, I sweated through yet another shirt, but had plenty in the car for backup.

After I don’t know how long we arrived at the falls.  Adam suddenly lost his edge of being tired and whiny and was thrilled with seeing waterfalls up close.  But even better, he saw people down at the bottom of the falls climbing on rocks and if there is anything that Adam likes to do it is climb on slippery rocks.  So after a rest at the top and several photos Donna took Adam down the non-trail to the rocks below.  I chose to stay up high and just watch him play, but after about 10 minutes they were both waving me down so I decided to give it a try.  The trip down was over giant, jagged rocks and was not all the much fun.  However, the view from the bottom of the falls was spectacular and watching Adam play was even more fun up close.

After an all too brief nap on a reclining rock it was time for us to head back down the mountain.  Remember those jagged rocks?  Well they were even more difficult to navigate going up to the trail than they were coming down.  Adam made it in seconds, but it took me a while.  But, once we were back on the trail we could now descend the mountain fairly quickly, though still not quickly enough for Adam.  Once we made it back down to the start of the trail Adam and I collapsed and sent Donna to get the car.  We could walk no farther.

Key safety tip:  If a group of people on motorcycles waves for you to go in front of them down a mountain road just politely say no thank you and let them go.  Otherwise they will tailgate you and yell at you for going too slow in your SUV down a winding road.  Of course it was their own fault for letting us go, but that did not make them any less annoyed.

With a new shirt on and sneakers instead of hiking boots it was time to stake out a lunch spot.  We had recalled eating at a place called the Smoky Mountain Brewery years earlier and wanted to go there again.  I pointed it out to Donna, but she just drove right by because obviously when I say “it’s just past this light on the right” I really mean just ignore me and keep on driving down the parkway.  So after several recommendations as to where to turn around Donna finally found one to her liking and made a left turn to the next street over.  Once we looped back around I used a more forceful “turn right here” to get her to go to the correct parking lot.  Donna was worried about paying for parking, but I told her that parking was free if you shopped at one of the stores or dined at one of the restaurants in that plaza.  So, she parked and we walked to lunch.

We were met by the hostess, an incredibly attractive redhead, and were told it would be just a minute for our table to be ready.  So I went to the restroom to wash my hands and when I came back out the redhead was still there, but Adam and Donna were gone.  Little Red told me that she seated them upstairs and that if I went up there and turned left I’d see them.  And you know what?  Little Red was correct.

Our table had a nice view of the mountains and there was a steam we could see as well.  I recalled eating there before and having a nice time and I hoped this would be the same.  It was.  The pizza there looked delicious, but we had gotten pizza from Kroger for dinner that night so I had to look elsewhere on the menu.  So I ordered the grilled sausage sub with green peppers, onions and cheese.  I had the potato salad as my side and needless to say I was not the least bit disappointed.  It was a superb sandwich.

After lunch we wandered down a little through Gatlinburg and took some photos, but we were all pretty tired and decided to go back to the cabin.  Adam and I played checkers and pool.  Donna took a nap.  Does this surprise anyone?

Cove Mountain also has a pool for swimming as well as a stocked lake for fishing so we headed over there after we played and Donna napped.  Adam and I swam for about an hour while Donna read a book and then Adam decided he wanted to go fishing.  Now, most everyone knows that I do not fish.  I do not like fish, I do not eat fish and I do not touch fish.  Nor do I touch worms or any other sort of bait.  Thus it was time for me to relax with a book while Donna and Adam purchased some night crawlers and got his fishing gear out of the car.  Adam seemed to enjoy fishing, but was frustrated at the fact that he was catching nothing.  Apparently the fish were well trained in the art of nibbling the night crawlers off the hook and not getting caught.  After a while I walked over to give Adam some encouragement and by golly you could literally see all the fish in the lake swarming around the hook and getting the worm off of there.  It was really pretty amazing.

Adam had no luck fishing so Donna promised to take him back in the morning as they had plenty of night crawlers left.  We headed back to the cabin where I prepared some delicious pepperoni pizza and a good time was had by all.  Adam and I hopped into the hot tub after dinner and shortly after that he was beat to a seal pup tired and he turned in for the night.  Then I had some magical time with my Kindle in my beautiful cabin.  A nice end to the day if I do say so myself.  Saturday was eventful as well.  Keep reading kids.




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