Friday, September 6, 2013

Trail Hikes

Oops I'm falling into that pattern again, the one that I neglect my blog :( dang it why do I do this........ but ANYWAY

Last November Gerard (hubs) and I took a weekend trip to Gatlinburg, TN and decided to do a trail hike in the Great Smokey Mountains. We as a family have taken several trips to this area and I've always wanted to go on one of the hikes but our children are NOT into nature AT ALL! I wanted to see a water fall so we stopped at the welcome center for info and headed up the Smokey Mountains to Grotto Falls. The drive to the trail was beautiful, winding and sometimes narrow, we were blessed the day we decided to take this adventure and have perfect weather 65° and sunny!
This was the best day EVER! Spending time in Nature with my MAN what more could you ask for!

A stream along the way!

Grotto Falls
Awww don't we look so sweet!

This summer (July 2013) we went back to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN for another family vacation and of course Gerard & I headed to the trails again! Our girls are old enough to be left alone  and of course they didn't want to go along so the youngest ones last words as we left was "I hope you see a bear and make sure you take a picture of it!" They have a few trails with waterfalls so we decided to pick another waterfall trail, this time we headed out for Laurel Falls. 

Saw this little guy as we headed onto the trail.

The "Danger" sign says "High Bear Activity"

The trail to the falls was beautiful! There was lots of people out too. As we were getting close to the falls the family that was in front of us asked if we saw the bears? BEARS?? Where and I WANT to see them!! We went on to the waterfall stayed there for a while and headed back. In about the same area where the family asked us about the bears everyone on the trail had stopped on both sides coming and going? What is going on? I couldn't see anything but no one was moving? Finally someone said to me "Do you see them? They are right there?" It was the bears!! 
Hi There!

There was a Mama and 3 baby bears! The mom and one of the babies had already crossed the path and two babies were still waiting to cross. The one pictured above was so cute! He actually looked just like a teddy bear and I just wanted to hug him LOL! I couldn't wait to get back to tell our daughter that we REALLY did see a bear! Told her she should have came along:)

Then right up the road from our house is Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill which is one of the original sites of the Shakers.  I have lived in Kentucky since 1985 and have lived up the road from this place since 1999 and NEVER knew they had hiking trails! So one nice sunny Sunday afternoon we decided to go to the hiking trail with......YEP a waterfall!

 Gerard and I were at amazed at the beauty! Although the trails are VERY confusing and would be EXTREMELY easy to get lost on, we had a wonderful time and couldn't believe we have been missing out on such beauty that is just down the road from us! Now we can't wait to return.

Shaker Village has decided to put on a trail Half this fall and after all of these hikes we've been on I decided to go ahead and sign up! I was debating on it as I am not really into being a 'Trail Runner' but I felt like I should do this half anyway for support to my local community! (I swear I'm a sucker for stuff like that~ gotta support your local community:) So it is now official I have signed up for FOUR half's this fall! Looks like I better get to training!!