Backpacking in Cades Cove, Tennessee – Day 3

From Backpacking in the Smokies – Day 3

It’s the perfect time of year to hear acorns falling every 8 seconds. Strange how these large acorns falling against the leaves can sound like bear footprints when you are in a tent and it is pitch black. This morning we cooked on a great campfire. We’re very thankful for the dry weather that has afforded us so much firewood. Getting water was a real challenge as i had to clean off the filter TWICE while trying to fill our 4 bottles.

We learned that we camped between the twin peaks of Double Mountain. The peaks were 100′ on either side of our tent. We also learned that we are very close to several bee hives. Ever since we woke up we have heard the sound of bees buzzing. Glad we can’t see them. We can only see 1 hive and it’s a safe distance away. Can you see it?

From Backpacking in the Smokies – Day 3

Our hike was mostly downhill today. A pleasant change from yesterday. Almost 1 hour on the trial, which did not yield the jaw-dropping views the book said it would. Then, we hiked down Rich Mountain Road, a one-way access “road” that leaves the park and heads toward the city. It was a very poor excuse for a road. More like a wide trail covered in slate gravel. After what seemed like 12 hours (and turned out to only be 2), we reached Cades Cove Loop. Now that was a jaw-dropping scene. It was gorgeous! We felt like we were almost done. Sadly, we still had 1 hour’s walk on the loop. Steph’s blood sugar was low and she was NOT happy about the walk. (Stephanie’s note: In my defense, Dan told me we were going to subway when we left and so we didn’t eat any lunch. All those hours of walking and breakfast long gone! It’d make anyone a little crabby.)

Here’s a view of Cades Cove from above, on Rich Mtn. road:

From Backpacking in the Smokies – Day 3

And here’s Cades Cove from the bottom:

From Backpacking in the Smokies – Day 3

After all that walking, we drove on Rich Mountain “Road” for 10 minutes and got back to where we started. 10 minutes in a car, 2 hours on foot. Amazing.

On the trail today I completed memorizing Romans 3:27-31. We talked a lot and walked slowly as our legs were stiff and rebelling against our will to continue. No major blisters. No major injuries. No deaths. It was a good trip.

Now, on to Subway for the post-hike tradition: A foot-long sub!

Today’s Stats:

  • 4 hours on the trail.
  • 7 Miles hiked
  • Indian Grave Gap Trail -> Rich Mountain Road -> Cades Cove Loop -> The Vibe…

One thought on “Backpacking in Cades Cove, Tennessee – Day 3

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