|Pretty sure this was the first trip I used pano mode on my iPhone|
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.