Thursday, June 20, 2013

Our Trip -- Grotto Falls

One of the things I most looked forward to about our trip to Gatlinburg was revisiting places John and I went on our honeymoon. We did quite a bit of hiking and took the Roaring Forks Motor Trail stopping off at places to hike. One hike we took was to Grotto Falls and so I was thrilled to go back! Last time we were there we saw two bear cubs and I kind of was hoping I'd maybe see a bear from a distance again. There are signs posted everywhere about what to do if you see a bear and I don't think my Mom was too happy to see those. But I was on the lookout. We did see signs of one, or at least we thought they were signs, like some scat that I did take a picture of but I'll spare you. We saw some fresh tree bark and also a track in the mud.

I did not take pictures of the view but hiking in the Smokies is a bit different than hiking here at home. Same foliage and smells but much more of an incline and when you stop and look out from the side of the mountain and see more mountains it just takes your breath away! I love all of the reminders of God's beautiful creation. If only I could sit and do that all day long. Ahh!

This is near the beginning of our 2.6 mile trek. I can tell it is the beginning because my dear husband is in the picture. That man cannot walk slow to save his life! I used to be able to keep up with him but after having children, well, I stay behind with the little legs and he takes off with whoever can keep up, which lately, is most of them! And if you look closely you can see he is carrying Zippy on his back.

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And...we lost him. Some of the kids would run back and forth between us to see how far behind we were. The energy they have -- wow! My parents were a bit out of their element when it comes to hiking but they gave it their best. Dad continued the whole way but Mom found a spot to rest and wait for us.

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Here might be one reason the trail was a little rough. Patches of roots sticking up. I thought it a beautiful design but a bit tough to walk on.

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John did stop from time to time for us all to walk together. There's our little guy. He enjoyed the trek too. It didn't hurt John's back but it certainly was a sweaty ride.

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I don't know about your children but mine LOVE the water and climbing. They were often off the path and climbing rocks instead. Tank still has his shoes at this point but on the way back down he and Missy went barefoot since that is what they normally do.

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A quick rest or maybe just a nice pose. And Missy got in a picture! She kept up with the boys as always.

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We made it! Lower portion of Grotto Falls

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You can see the top portion of Grotto Falls in the background. You can also see that the kids did not take the path around to get to the falls but had to go the hard way climbing over boulders and through water to get there. (Pictured are George and Pete) Crazy kids! I did find I am not quite as sure-footed as I used to be. Wish I could do that!

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Here is Grotto Falls. Not quite as majestic as I thought it had been but amazing none-the-less. The thrill of this one is you can walk behind it. You can barely see John (in blue) with Zippy to the left of the falls. And through the leaves are the kids making their way. I didn't get a better picture because my lens chose this moment in time to stop focusing. Manual didn't seem to work either. So... this was before I got close.

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And this was taken with John's phone. We tried hard to recreate the picture we had taken on our honeymoon. This time with a baby on back and one in my belly. I am kicking myself for never organizing our pictures. I dug through boxes and bins and did not find that picture. I did find a lot of other memories though. :)

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By the time we got back down to where Mom was resting and playing games on my phone (a very handy thing to have when hiking!) we heard about a bear sighting. Evidently a group who passed Mom said they had seen a bear and made loud noises and threw things and it ran. It was a busy trail though and enough people came past so she wasn't totally alone but I know she was itching to get back down. I had my eyes peeled the whole way back for any more signs of that bear. Just one glimpse? :)

You can see more of Grotto Falls at Hiking In the Smokies.


Kidcraze said...

Oooh, it looks wonderful!
I always secretly hope to see a bear when we go to my parent's house or camping, but still haven't seen one. I only want to see it from a distance, though!

Heather said...

Sweet photo of you and John (and S and baby) under the Falls!

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