Great Smoky Mountains NP (Day 1&2)

My trip to the Smoky Mountains was kind of ‘spur of the moment,’ due partially to the discomfort from the familiarity of home and also my excitement for buying my new car! On the way, I stopped at Cheaha State Park and DeSoto State Park in Alabama. I arrived to the Smoky Mountains on June 4th in the afternoon. It was my plan to watch the sunset from Clingman’s Dome, but unfortunately, the weather was pretty bad. And they aren’t called the Smokies for no reason!

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Just being able to see the mountains at all was rare! At Clingman’s Dome, the clouds were so bad I could barely see a couple of feet in front of me. I decided to take a break from all the hiking I’d been doing and relax in my car for the rest of the day, maybe watch the sunrise in the morning.

Being a cheap bitch and also in love with my hatchback Prius, I was camping out of my car for the entire trip. My back seats go down and I’m pretty short, so all it takes is a mattress pad and a comforter to make it feel like home. Really not joking, it’s super comfortable!

In the morning, the fog wasn’t much better. It actually rained ALL day! I decided not to wait around for the mountains and at least visit Cataloochee, which is like a small historical field. On the way in, I was greeted by a herd of elk! They were pretty close to the road, which made me really happy!

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I looked around at some of the buildings, but for the most part, I couldn’t hike due to the rain. Even my little $0.99 poncho couldn’t help me in this weather.

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After checking out the herd of elk one more time (they were still there!), I headed back towards Clingman’s Dome. It was still too cloudy. I really wanted to wait for the sky to clear up before I started hiking the mountains, because I didn’t want the views to be obscured. I had to be back in Louisiana before the end of the week, so rain or shine, I would have to start hiking on Day 3 😦

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