For spring break this year Grandpa Bob decided to kidnap all our kids and take them down to Gulf Shores for a little beach time leaving Steve and I to PART-AY! We were immediately overwhelmed by the possibilities. After much debating we decided to not stray too far from home. So, we headed for the Smokey Mountains for some hiking.
It snowed the first day so we hung out in the hot tub in our little chalet and headed down into the cute little town of Gatlinburg and had dinner at Bubba Gump's. Day two was sunny and gorgeous so after we discussed the possibilities we decided to hit the trails. When we were loading up in the car to head out I noticed that the passenger side door was covered in muddy paw prints. Upon closer examination we determined that they were from a bear or bears who were jonesin for some of our fig newtons on the front seat. Yikes!
Ramsey Cascades is where we headed. It is an 8 mile round trip hike that climbs over 2,000 feet...the entire hike is literally uphill...in the snow. We had to cross two teeny-weeny "bridges" (I use that term loosely because it was a tree trunk cut in half with some sticks nailed to ONE side to give you something to hold onto as you crossed...did I mention said "bridge" was also covered in ice and hovering about 12 feet over a rushing river filled with jagged rocks) as we climbed higher the snow got higher too. Needless to say we were exhausted by the time we got back to our car and made good use of the hot tub upon our return. On our way to dinner we saw a black bear walking up the neighbors driveway! Steve jumped out to take some pictures while I waited and prayed in the car that they didn't eat him.
The next day we did a 5 mile hike that lead to a beautiful waterfall that you could walk behind. We encountered 3 more bears on this hike who were foraging for some goodies in the woods. They ignored all of us as we snapped some pictures. They were very cute! It was an awesome week and so good to reconnect without our kids. Thanks Grandpa Bob!