We decided to go camping one more time - this one a 3-day weekend as I took a vacation day on Friday. Unfortunately, we spent a wee bit too much time buying a camera (notice all the photos this time) and shopping for bear spray at REI...then the weather turned and it was doing this for the first 3.5 hours we arrived:
It poured. We didn't get anything set up at all so we decided to go back into the little town and grab dinner since it was still raining at 6:30.
The aftereffects of all that rain in the Smokies was a REALLY misty morning:
No matter though, we thought we could take advantage of the cool weather to get our Black Rock Mountain hike started. And - we bought a Travel Bug to drop in the GeoCache at the summit!
This "hike" was really, really dense with foliage. And it was still wet and muddy and more than a little slippery. I was grateful for my new-ish hiking shoes.
A bit further down the road you can sure see the damage this spring's tornado caused in this park. Several hiking and biking trails were closed, and we heard over 1600 trees were down. The tornado went right through the campground and several sites are still cordoned off.
Finally, we made it to the summit!
Jeff beat me over to the overlook - and what a view. A great place to catch lunch (Clif bar and Gatorade) and recoup for the trip down. But alas! We could not find the GeoCache. BUMMER
We came back down and I took a shower. Jeff re-grouped, read some hints about the GeoCache and decided to head back up the mountain to track it down. AND HE DID!!! Our first Travel Bug is now out in the wild - and has even been picked up already! Our goal is to see 25 Summit or State Park Caches.
The night's sunset capped off the weekend perfectly.