The Smoky Mountains 2017

So, it is no secret that I may, a little tiny bit, like mountains. Okay, so maybe I love mountains with my whole heart! So, it was a no brainer that I tried to fit in some mountain time on my 2017 summer vacation!

I went to the Smoky Mountains for just 2 days this time around, but it was with most of my family, so it was memorable. I have been to this mountain range before, but it was a long time ago.  This year’s visit to the Smoky Mountains was a short one, but I tried to fill the agenda, as well as find peace while I was there.

 

Day 1

We drove through Dollywood the first day. (If you have never seen Dollywood then, well, let me try to explain it the best I can-it is like a city of tourism at the base of the mountains. There are amusement rides EVERYWHERE. There are gift shops and hotels lining the 2 way street. It is kind of chaotic and it is kind of a shame it is so close to such a natural place of beauty. I personally would not vacation there, but I can see how small kids would like the ‘amusement feel’ of it.) Long story short, the traffic in Dollywood, along with the traffic of mountain construction, delayed the events of the day. Good thing there was a view!

There was always a haze over the mountains as well as clouds that hung in the valleys (AKA. Smoky Mountains).

 

Finally, after going in the visitor center, we decided to go to Laurel Falls. It was a very easy hike, but great for a fun walk with the family to a breathtaking place. Plus, it was raining so we wanted to make sure we did not get too invested in a hike (even though I wish we would have…there is always next time :))

 

 

This is a great and fairly easy hike for families. It is (for the most part) a paved path, with gradually increasing elevation, but at some points the path is VERY thin so that is something to be conscious about with small children. Of course, on the day we hiked this trail it was very humid (so that is why my hair changed styles like 5 times-because it looked like a curly french fry and then would fall out) and I do not like humid weather, but at the same time the humidity made the cool and fresh breeze of the waterfall that much more amazing!

After the hike, we drove around a little bit, and then went to our hotel to go swimming and chill for the rest of the night. We wanted to get an earlier start the next day.

Day 2

On the second and final day in the Smoky Mountains we decided to go to the tallest mountain peak in this range-Mount Mitchell. On this cloudy overcast day it was hard to see the peaks, but that just brought more mystery to the scene. So we drove up the mountain(s) and at the top I took an (about a) mile hike up to the tip of Mount Mitchell. This was a super short walk, but I am so glad I did it-the view was amazing!! The feeling of peace as you look over the world is priceless. Of course with my luck though, it started to thunder so it was a quick, but unforgettable trip/view.

Mount Michell is the tallest peak East of the Mississippi River in the United States.
Mount Mitchell is located in North Carolina.
This was the a visitor center near Mount Mitchell.

After that, we drove through the mountains some more and admired the turning roads in some coverage from the rain. One of my favorite things to do is soak up culture, and that is exactly what we did.

While soaking up the scenery we came across this cute and amazing ice cream shop called Dots Dario. It is so small, but I could definitely tell this was the place to get your ice cream fix for the locals! (Btw I shared a chocolate soft serve with my sister-so good!).

It rained everyday (especially in the afternoon), but we were blessed enough to get some sunshine and amazing views!

 

After going to the Smoky Mountains after the heartbreaking 2016 forest fire, my heart hurt a little. It hurt to see people be so reckless and not think about consequences of their actions. In this case the mistake of 2 teens caused the destruction of one of the most well known mountain ranges in the United States. It even coast the lives of innocent people. Although it was hard to see the destruction that people can cause on such a beautiful place, it was also a relief to see nature can take its course and rebuilding itself. It was good to see how such disaster can be prepared and hopefully can be used as an example to others so they can be more careful.

I found this Bible verse and thought it wen perfect with the situation so I just had to share:

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. 

Isaiah 54:10

 

 

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