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Meigs Mountain Trail Hike 2-19-11

22 Feb

On February 18, GWH and I went hiking in the Smoky Mountain National Park. We hiked part of the Meigs Mountain Trail, starting behind Elkmont. This was supposed to be a 4.6 mile round-trip hike with a couple of small waterfalls, a few creek crossings, and a cool old dam at the end.

On the way there, GWH got pulled over for swerving. After the park ranger was sure that we hadn’t been drinking, I explained that my VERY ADHD husband had found an awesome fishing hole and had pulled over to the side of the road to check it out. She was pretty understanding and told us about a few fly-fishing holes that she knew guides often took fishermen too. Never a dull moment in this life.

Anyways, the hike was supposed to start at a parking lot… which has since been shut down. Add about an extra mile to our round trip total now. And this was supposed to be a pretty flat easy trail so that we could get our hiking legs back in shape before starting anything new.  The new parking lot leads you up a large hill… to an even larger hill… where it connected to the parking lot we thought we were starting at. After this very uphill start, the trail flattened out and we were able to start paying more attention to the views. The first waterfall came right after this bridge.

Here is the view from the bridge… with my good-lookin’ Great White Hunter looking on…

This is a huge chunk of quartz right on the trail… very sparkly in person… this picture doesn’t do it justice.

Beautiful trail… Beautiful view

GWH hiking

Looking down into the holler…

There were a few more creek crossings that we thought.

 

We saw signs of animals everywhere… Here is ground torn apart by hogs…a tree torn apart by a newly awakened bear… and some hairy poop.

 

 

 

 

Here is me crossing a creek… It starts with the approach which involves me walking all the way up to the creek until my tiptoes are wet… studying every rock carefully…

throwing out my arms for balance… and running as fast as I can with my eyes closed while I pray not to land in the water completely soaked from head to toe…

and a beautiful (mostly) dry dismount to the other side…

I did all 17 creek crossings this exact same way! When I was younger, I tried to drown in a creek that was just over 3 inches deep… I had to ride home wrapped in blankets while my parents drove with all my clothes hanging out of the car from the windows so they would dry. It tends to make you a little more cautious… it also tends to give you the nickname “Miss Grace.” Anyways…

There was this beautiful tree along the trail…

It was so beautiful on this hike. It is an old growth forest and you could see forever. We saw a bunch of (flock?) of grouse (grouses? greeses?) on the trail. There were quite a few creek crossings though. More than a couple! One last shot of the river…

And a beautiful gate which I have no idea of the purpose of…

Overall, we really enjoyed this hike. The “dam” was so old that there really wasn’t anything there but a pile of rocks. GWH isn’t much for hiking to nowhere so he was a little disappointed. There were a few spots that were a little steep, but once the trail levels out it is a really nice easy hike. We may hike this again in the spring though. It will be even more beautiful with all the rhododendron bushes in bloom. There is a backcountry campsite we may stay at, and then continue farther down this trail to The Sinks. I hope to post more pictures of hikes in the future. I forgot how much I loved hiking in the Smokies!

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A Christmas Miracle… and it’s not even December!

29 Nov

This year for Christmas I really wanted to do photo cards with a picture of us and the dogs. I have been planning this card since before Halloween. Then I started buying Christmas presents and realized I couldn’t afford cute photo cards this year. The joy of being a student… I get to say “maybe next year when I’m a pharmacist” a lot!
Then I heard that shutterfly is offering 50 free photo cards to bloggers, just for writing a blog. I love shutterfly and have used them before to make a beautiful calendar with pictures from my wedding. You can make one too… just visit Shutterfly’s calendar section. I already know they make great quality products so I am excited to see the photocards.
I plan on doing a black-and-white photo with some red accents. If you want to see my favorite cards, scroll to the bottom of the post… or you can just wait until you receive it in the mail and be surprised. I LOVE SURPRISES… AND CHRISTMAS… AND CHRISTMAS SURPRISES!

Go to their website and pick your favorites.

If this picture turns out as beautiful as I imagine, I have thought of having it printed on canvas and using it as a Christmas decoration every year. You can turn your favorite picture into beautiful canvas art by going to this link.
Or you can buy me gift cards to shutterfly so I can decorate my home and I would love you forever.

Seriously!

Here are my top 3!
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24 August, 2010 18:55

24 Aug

nothing like reading bear precautions before you go out for a hike…. my favorite lines are… “the following suggestions may help”….”if the bear seems to be getting agitated”… and last but not least… “fall to the ground in a fetal position to reduce the trauma of the attack”
my preceptor told us a story of a friend of his who curled into the fetal position… the bear latched on to his elbow. The pain was so unbearable he flattened out and the bear took a chunk out of his butt…. Later they pulled a tooth out of the guy’s elbow.
He made it into a necklace… when his butt finally healed and he was allowed to sit instead of laying belly down! I will be hiking the Appistoki Falls trail tonight.
Happy trails!

One week in Montana…

6 Aug

This place is awesome! I am really enjoying my time in the pharmacy this week. I am doing inpatient pharmacy this week which involves making IVs and entering orders and counseling patients at discharge. I got to make a banana bag yesterday! I was really excited about it but I think the pharmacists here think that I am a dork.
The pharmacy crew spends most nights after work hanging out together. It usually involves hiking and alcohol… or some dinner and alcohol… or looking at the stars and alcohol… I fit in well! I have tried 2 local dark beers here… Pigs Ass and Moose Drool. Both were great and my preceptor loves that i drink dark beer!
We have done a short hike in the park and yesterday we went to the park lodge to hang out. This picture was taken on the lodge porch at sunset. The guy in the picture is my preceptor Harold. He obviously said something to make Lanae laugh. Megan is on the right. Sorry for the quality. I am taking pics of my laptop with my phone. bye for now!

Road trip to Montana – Day 2! missouri iowa minnesota…

31 Jul

we have been on the road for about 16 hours now… we stopped in St. Louis for the night last night. As we crossed the Mississippi there was a lot of rain and fog. The arch looked awesome. You could see the bottom all lit up but the top was lost in fog… looked like it was going though the clouds and up to the sky. Really really cool!
This morning we drove through Missouri. I turned off the interstate and drove about 100 miles on some highway. So glad we did! It was really pretty. But its sooo flat. This girl is ready for mountains!
We hit Iowa next. There was a lot of corn… with soybeans to break up the montony. We did stop in Le Mars. The ice cream capital of the world. I had white chocolate caramel nut… in a waffle cone. That was the best part of Iowa.
We are currently in Minnesota. Tried to visit Pipestone national monument but it was a trail you had to hike. It was getting dark so we had to skip it. (sad face) Hoping to stop near Fargo ND tonight.
Petting zoo story to come!

12 July, 2010 23:12

12 Jul

One word… Worthless.
She has been asleep like this for hours.

Not That Kind of Girl

10 Jul

My in-laws have a house on the lake. It is wonderful. We spend a lot of time at their lake lot just swimming and hanging out and eating. Lots of eating. Not gonna go there because I promise to have at least one blog that doesn’t talk about food… or wine… eventually! ANYWAYS……

One of the best things about their spot on the lake is that it is very close to a boat ramp. This particular boat ramp is kind of a steep angle. It gives inexperienced boaters trouble… and therefore, our family gets a LOT of laughs. Also, it doesn’t have a dock so you have to pull your boat in as close to shore as possible and hope you don’t get wet while getting out to get your truck.. or other vehicle. Do you know that people try to pull their big fancy boats with cars… or minivans? I find this odd. ANYWAYS…

One particular day from earlier this summer came to mind today and I thought.. I need to share this.

The sun is starting to set and boats are coming in off the lake. A nice boat pulls in to the ramp. A guy wearing a cowboy hat is driving. Cowboy hat and jeans on the lake… We laughed but didn’t think much about it. The girl with him jumps out to go get the car. The “cowboy” didn’t pull very close to shore so she got pretty wet. We laughed at him being so “considerate”. The girl is backing their truck down and we notice the “cowboy” is holding…. THEIR CAT!!! He had their cat on the boat… and he was holding it and petting it…. While the GIRL backed the truck down and hooked up the boat. “Cowboy” didn’t pull up on the trailer so she walked then strap down and cranked the boat all the way up onto the trailer!! All this time he was still loving on his cat!

At this time my father-in-law says fairly loudly.. You don’t deserve to wear a cowboy hat! I was dying from trying to hold in my laughter. The girl pulls the boat out of the water onto dry land and HELPS the “cowboy” get down out of the boat.

We all just sat there staring. I still can’t believe I saw that. The men in the family all laughed and said, “Honey, why don’t you do that?” or “Why aren’t the women in our family like that?” That would be because they all married strong, independent, and (most importantly) stubborn women!!

Now, I know how to do all the things that this girl did… and I take pride in that… but I am more proud of the fact that my husband knows that anytime we are in the boat together, he does all the work while I sun myself and act like the trophy wife I am!

Love, Laughter, The Lake! – Life is GOOD!