10/11/2011

Smoky Mountains Camping Trip

     We left for the Smoky Mountains on Thursday afternoon, after Sam and I got out of our classes. It was a long drive, and it was dark by the time we reached all the beautiful scenery. Mom had ordered a Gilligan's Island DVD from Netflix for the trip, and we watched almost ten episodes. Cheesy, yes, but it helped to pass the time. :) It was ten when we reached the campground, eleven when you count the time change. We got the tent up quick, and popped straight into bed. Mom and Dad slept in the van (the back seat folds into a bed) and all four of us kids slept in the tent. Benjamin is a very nice person to sleep next to when it's cold. He's warm. :)

Ben and Jason
     On Friday, we had cold bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, and got our camp set up. Aunt Shayna didn't arrive until five, so we went out looking for fun places to stop. :) We went to the visitor's center, where they had re-created a log cabin farm, and we went to an old mill by a stream.
Mingus Mill
I loved the millstream, because of all the moss :)
     Dad found a windy road through the mountains that he wanted to follow. We had our picnic out there, and we stopped at a bridge, and hopped around on the rocks and skipped stones. The leaves weren't quite at their peak, but there was a lot of beautiful red that was just coming out.
     It took us about two hours to drive through the mountains. On the way back, we passed through the Cherokee Indian reservations, and bought some firewood. We were driving past the visitor's center, when Ben yelled that he'd seen a baby bear cub. We'd all kind of been hoping to see some bears, and we turned around to see if we could find it. When we reached where he'd saw it, someone was standing there with a camera, and it was gone.
     We ran across a couple whose car had broken down, and stopped to help them. Their water pump was out, or something like that. Anyhow, Dad knew how to fix it, and he dropped us off at the campground, and he and Sam went and helped them out.
     While we waited for Aunt Shayna to arrive, Ben and I walked around the campground. We ran across a nature trail, with three very cool bridges. They were made out of wide logs with railings. When we headed back towards the campground, we saw Aunt Shayna driving in! :) Sam and Dad got back not long after that.
      Aunt Shayna brought her eno, which is a sort of camping hammock. Ben and Jason wanted to sleep in it. :)
     Sam's birthday is on the 7th, and Jason's is on the 8th, so we had a birthday party for Sam.
Sam is now 14!
     When it got dark, we all went on a walk around the campground, and ended up hiking on the nature trail that Ben and I had found earlier that day. It was a lot of fun, but Jason was scared to death. I think he was afraid of bears. I don't blame him for being scared though. If I had to hike a trail by myself in the dark, I would die! We all made it through the hike safely, however. :)
     We sat up late, waiting for Brad to arrive, and then we all crawled into bed. It was really cold! :p
      On Saturday we went on a long hike in the mountains. It was very beautiful, and it was also very crowded. I was surprised at how many people there were in October. Maybe everyone wanted to see the pretty leaves. =)
Walking backwards on the trail...
     I was in charge of the camera, because Grandma W. had requested lots and lots of pictures, since she couldn't come herself. Jason was very impatient for his birthday to arrive. Aunt Shayna brought his cake, with lots of sprinkles...
Seven candles, and a LOT of sprinkles!


Happy with all of his presents. =)
     When it was dark, we had hobo dinners. Mom and Aunt Shayna chopped up carrots, potatoes and chicken. There was also corn, sausage, hamburger, peppers, and I don't know what else... We wrapped it all up in tin foil, and cooked it in the coals. Yummy!
     I was pretty sad to leave on Sunday. :(  I suppose all good things have to end, or they wouldn't be half so wonderful. On the way out, we hiked a trail to a waterfall. Someone told us they had seen a bear, but we didn't see it. We got to see all the scenery this time, since it wasn't dark. The drive home was really long, with more Gilligan's Island. Lol!

3 comments:

  1. love the pix! and glad u had a good time :D
    The lighting in the waterfall pic is *AMAZING*. I could kill for that lighting in a photo shoot!! wow. Its perfect. ^_^

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  2. Thanks! It was NOT a hard place to take pictures, just because it was so gorgeous. =)

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  3. That looks and sounds like SOOOOO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!

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