The Smokies Conquered
The Smokies are one of the places that I have found that people either really love or really hate. I am just underwhelmed by them, but let me explain why before you dismiss me. The first time I went hiking was with the outdoor club in high school and we went to Mount Le Conte in the Smokies. It was one of the most majestic sites I’ve ever seen, even to this day. There was Alum Cave that is such a unique experience, a walk through cave, moss covered bridges, and views that will overwhelm you. All of this, though, is not part of the Appalachian Trail, tragically. But, there are so many other beauties that are on the AT.
The AT portion of the Smokies
Endless amounts of moss covered beauty, peaks and valleys, Charlie’s Bunion, and a gorgeous fire tower that is accessible after a fun rock scramble. I met a nice ridge runner and an ATC volunteer named Manhattan. Manhattan told me about the history of an area of Rocky Mountain and pointed out carvings in the rock I might have missed. I love history and this was the highlight of my day. To me, meeting interesting people with a story to tell makes hiking this trail so much more interesting and interactive.
Over the five days that I traveled in the Smokies I met so many new people and caught up with some hikers passed by at other times or new ones that I had only heard of in passing. There was the older couple training for Macchu Pichu, the families spending spring break together backpacking, and section hikers trying to finish before their permits expired. It was a plethora of people, as well as many new stories to embrace as I moved over the rolling elevation (and I mean rolling).
I found my favorite part of the Smokies was watching the sunrise from Charlie’s Bunion. My hiking partner and I left camp early that morning, so that we could have a chance to see a spectacular sunrise. It was amazing to look out over the mountains and watch as the sun poured beautiful views over us. It was truly amazing and definitely something I would do again anytime.
We ended on a high note with beautiful weather as we took our time the last day. We were rewarded with a scramble up to see the fire tower at Mt. Cammerer. It was my second time there, but it was still just as ahhhhmazing as the first time I went almost 2 years ago. There are 360 views as far as the eyes can see, as well as a plaque to detail the history of the fire tower. Want to know the true story behind it??? Then, you’re going to have to make the awesome trek to see it. My recommendation is a sunset at this fire tower.
Ending the Trek
The views did not quit as we left the Smokies. There was a plethora of blooming foliage and waterfalls that greeted us as we descended to Davenport Gap, but one of the best views was trail magic. An awesome group of ladies greeted us with fantastic friendship and food. It was so wonderful that I thought that I might cry. What a perfect day and way to end our time in the Smokies.
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Absolutely love this. You should also start a YouTube channel. You would get followers for sure. I would be one of them!!!
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