We headed out to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park on my husband's birthday. A great way to celebrate a birthday, if you ask me. The girls were so excited. They were thrilled to be going camping in the mountains for a few days. THRILLED! Especially, once we actually made it into the park because it was just gorgeous. All those rolling mountains and landscapes that seem to go on forever. We made it to the Smokemont Campground on the first day and took a little hike from there. A 3/4 mile loop right off of our campsite. Cool little bridges, a beautiful creek, and all sorts of pretty everywhere.
We packed up our gear and headed to the Elkmont Campground with a quick stop at Clingman's Dome. This is the highest peak in the park and we were excited for the views. Unfortunately/fortunately it was foggy and sprinkly, but still stunning with all that pretty hazy light. We have never been to the Smokies before and wanted to see which part we liked the best. This was great because there was a creek right behind our tent and we got to listen to the rushing water all night and the girls got to play in the water and, again, gorgeous.
We left the Elkmont Campround and headed towards Cosby, but on the way we had to stop and surprise the girls with horseback riding. It is one of my favorite childhood memories and the girls needed that one too.
After that, we hiked the mountain to Grotto Falls. It was gorgeous and well worth the walk. I love waterfalls. LOVE. They bring me such a calm joy that makes me so contently happy.
note: I didn't bring a tripod on this trip and tried to handhold to blur the water. This was at 1/10th of a second on my knees. I couldn't go slower than that. Bah.
We headed over to the Catalooche Campground via a windy dirt road. It took a while. This place may be the most remote in the whole park. It was well worth the drive. It was just gorgeous. The girls were thrilled to find a swimming hole with a rope swing. We spent most of the day right there in the freezing river. Then we played bocce ball and Greg and I kicked the girl's butts. 17-6. It was awesome because they were talking to much trash.
And yes, I did make everyone stop what they were doing to pose for family photos.
and then we went home and the kids ate the most giant plate of pancakes ever.
Also, I wish I could go on vacations with people and document all their adventures. Why isn't this a thing? This should be a thing, because it would be awesome.