We hit Maloney Point up again for sunrise - not as spectacular as yesterday but definitely still fun in its own right. A had injured her eye so I was learning how to drive her Prius. It is enough different from other cars that it was jarring to learn its quirks while driving windy roads.
Laurel Falls was one destination I was looking forward to revisiting. I had last visited it in 8th grade during “Field Ecology” - and we arrived at night. I’m pleased to note that my recollections are similar though I’m surprised we hiked it in the dark (no flashlights - on purpose) Hilariously, I just discovered in re-reading my journal that we had a ‘short drive to the campsite’ - I’ll bet you good money that we stayed at Elkmont. HAH.
On the Road Again…
We hit the road after that - I am glad we switched hikes - we were originally going to do Abrams Falls on Monday morning. We had a nice, relatively uneventful drive home and I proved that I still have my long road trip stamina!
In reflection - I wish we had had more time in the park because there’s several other places and hikes I’d love to have gone on. As it turns out, I tackled the Chimney Tops - a 3.8 mile fairly ambitious hike as an 8th grader and it kicked my butt back then. I’d like to tackle it again - but I’m doing some training hikes/runs before I go again.
The Smoky Mountains have at least 5 different types of forests, hundreds of waterfalls and oddly enough, is one of the most polluted parks. It’s also one of the larger and it saddened me to see how much graffiti was left behind. Next time, I won’t let 20 years go by before my next visit.