Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Hour in the Smoky Mountains

We spent a long weekend in the Smoky Mountains earlier this year.  The crowds were relatively light and temps and weather were great - it wasn't too hot but warm enough to hike in shorts and a jacket.  I'm blessed with a family that either truly enjoys spending time out on the trails or is willing to not complain too much.  We hiked somewhere between five and seven miles each morning on various trails in the area, including one day on the other side in North Carolina.  It was nice being out on the trail, just the five of us (and the bears and other critters that we knew were there).  Either because of weather, time of day or our choice of difficult terrain we rarely encountered other hikers or crowds of any size.  In fact it was quite a shock when we finally made it into Gatlinburg - too many people and, frankly, too tacky or something.  Even the kids commented they'd rather be back in our cabin or back out on the trails away from the 'tourists'.  We, of course, were too cool and trail-wise to be considered tourists.  At least in our minds.

So, sitting on the deck of our cabin one early evening having a snack and a drink (aka Happy Hour, and yes, the kids participate with kid appropriate treats) we watched a thunderstorm make its way down and over the mountain range immediately in front of us.  As you look at the picture below try to imagine the storm moving right to left and over the top of the ridge.  The sun is setting off the right, clearly west, right?  As the storm ran away over the top of the mountains we got to see just a bit of a rainbow.  I was scrambling around the deck trying to find some angle that showed the entire rainbow but it didn't quite work out.  It's still a very cool photograph, in my view - some rainbow, some late day sun and a bit of a thunderstorm.  I hope you like it.

Smoky Mountain Happy Hour

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