Weekend Update: Hiking the Smokies

Hello dear friends!  After a whirlwind weekend to Tennessee for a friends’ wedding and reuniting with my sweet kiddos, it’s time for another Weekend Update with Tara at Running N Reading!  (She completed a 24 hour Read-a-thon over the weekend that I can’t wait to read about!)

Weekend-Edition (1)

Backtracking a bit (since Friday was such a blur!), we had a fun training walk last Thursday night – the LAST group run/walk before Mini Marathon race day!


And Summer made these adorable Countdown to Summer Fun chains for our kids!  I still can not believe all my kids will be out of school in 23 days … Agh!!


After training, I headed home to pack for a quick-but-fun long weekend in Gatlinburg with my husband!



The view from our cabin was amazing!  Make no mistake, I am a beach girl at heart …  but these views are positively breathtaking.  There’s just something about sitting in a rocking chair on the wrap-around porch of a beautiful cabin enjoying the scenery and the mountain air that is good for my soul 😉


First stop Saturday morning? Breakfast!



The Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin was apparently a place I *had* to eat … now I see why!  Sticky Bun pancakes (gluten-free!!), eggs and coffee meant I was never hungry on the hike that followed this meal!



We needed an easy trail loop that began (and would end) near our cabin resort since we had a wedding to celebrate that evening!  Laurel Falls fit the bill – 2.6 mile loop along a relatively easy paved trial to a lovely waterfall and back.



Enjoying God’s creation 🙂


Once we got to the bottom of the trail, we saw cars stopping in the road to take pictures of the bear up in the trees.  Look closely … can you see it?



We were so excited to tell our friends we had seen a bear … until their bear siting totally trumped ours just a couple hours later when this guy strolled up to, then crossed, the parking lot of the resort!


Bear sightings aside, we made to the adorable Little Log Wedding Chapel to celebrate our friends’ marriage.




We made it back from our relaxing weekend last night, and was back with my favorite Java & Sole girls (16 of us today) at dark-thirty this morning!!  The dedication of each one of these women continues to motivate me more each day; it’s hard to miss a run or workout when you know these smiling faces are waiting for you in the parking lot!





Was your weekend fast and furious or more R&R?  What is your favorite type of vacation destination? Generally the beach! but the mountains offer a different kind of peaceful relaxation as well.

6 thoughts on “Weekend Update: Hiking the Smokies

  1. Runner Leana says:

    Sounds like a great weekend! Those sticky bun pancakes look amazing.

    1. Java & Sole says:

      I am still dreaming about those pancakes three days later … they were delicious! Thanks for stopping by Leana!

  2. Hi! I’m visiting from Running N Reading’s weekend update! Based off of your pictures, it looks like you had an amazing weekend!! I am a beach girl at heart too, but I couldn’t agree with you more about the rocking chair, porch and nature! Perfection. And a bear! How crazy is that? Now, I’m hungry after seeing your breakfast pictures. Have a great day!

    1. Java & Sole says:

      Hi Lara! Thanks for stopping by – it’s not hard to unwind in the Smokies. I only wish we’d been able to stay longer. I would have liked to enjoy a few more cups of coffee in those rocking chairs!

  3. Brian says:

    Runner Girl Net and I are on a mission to hike all the waterfall trails in Smoky Mountain National Park. Ramsey Cascade is amazing. And Grotto Falls is where I asked her to marry me. Abrams Falls is another of our favorites. Hen Wallow Falls is a pretty easy hike and the name is hard to beat…

    1. Java & Sole says:

      That sounds like an excellent way to keep your Smokey Mountain trips new and exciting! I used to go a lot growing up, and went once about 6 years ago so I’m a little rusty on my trails. But Laurel Falls was a pretty great hike considering our time constraints. There were several I wanted to do though!

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