Great Smoky Mountains

We went camping at Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday night. After growing up and taking regular vacations to many national parks back west, I’ve wanted to visit all of them. Great Smoky Mountain is less than four hours from where we live, and it has been one place I wanted to visit ever since I knew we were coming out here.

I didn’t plan activities at all, expect for getting a campsite. What we did wouldn’t necessarily be what I would have planned, or would plan to do again, but we did have a great time. On Friday, we left early and drove through the park with its wonderful views throughout.

After finding the right road, we hiked Grotto Falls. I used to think three mile hikes were easy, but now with the two kids it is much more difficult and complex. I’m grateful Joe is able to coax or carry Peter the whole way.

Camping went great. Peter loved it. His favorite activity was throwing rocks in the river. He was soaked from picking up rocks in the river. He and Joe went and caught lightning bugs too. The lightning bugs are fun out here, but there is also more of every other kind of bug too: I have plenty of mosquito bites I’m trying to ignore.

We went up to Clingmans Dome the next morning. It was foggy so we didn’t see any views, but it was still pretty. The high altitude air reminded me of Utah, made me miss it a bit.

It was a great mini-vacation. I liked just having one night and two days, a lot less stressful than the longer vacations I usually do.


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