Smokin’ Smokies

It’s funny, when I think of our trip to Great Smokies National Park and Gatlinburg, I think of tears and burning, despite my rating it one of our best trips ever!  No one cried while we climbed up to Ramsey Cascades except my legs and feet, which whimpered the last 2 miles!  Logging in at a strenuous 12.75, this hike was really awesome and worth the leg-shaking paralysis we risked.  There were giant poplars that took all four of us to reach around, lots of fun snowman sculptures next to the smaller falls, and of course, Ramsey Cascades.

I swear it ought to look steeper, given how steep the climb!  On the way down we hiked alongside a Smokies guru, and heard how the rock snowman creation started with sherpas and a blessing of sorts on the hikers.  My favorite was this guy, who looks like he wants to piggy back up to the falls.

His arms are stretched out saying ‘pick me up’ and his stones are dry–they want to go soak in the pools and tumble down the water slide!

Later on we hiked to Grotto falls, and passed a spot on the trail where someone (I’m guessing the elk we saw on they way in) had spilled their…raisins.

Certain people in the family thought they looked more like Milk Duds, but since I like my candy, I won’t even go there!

You could burn that thought from your mind with anything off the shelves at Pepper Palace.

This place is the hottest in town, and if you look closely at the pic you’ll see I’m wearing two stickers on my shirt.  One cause I had a nice-sized spoonful of the Nasal Napalm, and one for my smiley dots dose of Hottest Sauce in the Universe.  When they get their Wall of Flame updated, I’ll be there, with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.  But, that seems to be the combination needed for the greatest trips and travel!

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