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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Travel Tuesday: The Great Smoky Mountains

Pretty sure this was the first trip I used pano mode on my iPhone
I've started a new feature called Travel Tuesdays. Each week I'll post photos, recommendations, or itineraries from trips I've taken or am planning to take. You can see past posts here

Three years ago Alex and I took a quick trip to the Smokies. It was the end of September 2012 and not quite peak fall, but we were able to see some nice color variation. I think this was my second time in the Smokies, but it was Alex's third. He went on a week-long hike with his cousin in May 2012 and was eager to show off a few spots. 

We parked at Clingmans Dome (the highest point in the Smokies) and hiked four or so miles down to our campsite along a steam. I thought I was in good shape, but this was pre-running and I was struggling. The entire first day was downhill over wet rocks and my legs and lungs were dead. When we hiked back out (all uphill) I had to stop a lot. I realized I was pretty hungry and needed some on-trail nutrition (again, something I learned to manage during running). 

Alex - he let me use his walking poles on rough terrain

After our hiking trip we stayed in a fancy lodge. Alex found and booked it all by himself and it was very romantic! This was also pre-engagement so of course a friend texted, "do you think he's going to ask this weekend?!" Well I didn't, but thanks for putting that in my head!! (He didn't. And I wish they hadn't texted me because I probably would have enjoyed the trip more! So remember, don't ask anyone whose been in a relationship for a long time these kinds of questions.) 

Some truly Smoky Mountains

P.S. We did another, much longer camping trip at Mohican State Park a year later and I was in much better shape and knew how to eat properly. (I'm not kidding. Before running I ate like a weird, malnourished bird.) We hiked a hilly 10 miles the first day and I don't remember being terribly sore afterwards. 

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