Friday, July 11, 2008

Charlie's Bunion

Michelle and I were down in Georgia this past weekend for my cousin's wedding and on the way back we stopped in Tennessee and did a quick day hike in the Smoky Mountains. My profile picture actually came from the ones we took on the hike. It was an absolutely beautiful walk in the mountains that took us over 4 miles of the Appalachian Trail. We were only moderately rained on. This was a kind of scouting mission of sorts for the big trip in the spring I mentioned last post. We checked out one of the many shelters that are built along the AT:

This is the Icewater Spring Shelter. Looks pretty cozy doesn't it? I thought so. Anyway, while there we ran into a crew who worked for the AT Conservancy, performing trail maintenance and such. One of them was carrying a 50 gallon drum instead of a backpack. We also ran into a guy who had through-hiked the trail in 1979 and was back to visit on a weekend trip. Then, in perhaps one of the strangest events that has ever happened to me, we ran into a peahen. Yep. An honest to goodness peahen:

Don't ask me what she's doing there. All I know is that she was very nice and led us quite a way down the trail above the shelter before turning aside to wait on her next party. She was a dutiful trail guide.

Anyway, the view from the Bunion was fantastic. We were told by some other hikers that the fog had just rolled out 5 minutes before we arrived. Here are a couple of shots that turned out really nice:

Anyone who hasn't had a chance to hike in the Smoky Mountains should definitely take the time to do it. The views are well worth the hike. Go to it and have fun!!


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