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!)

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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!

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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!!

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

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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 ;)

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First stop Saturday morning? Breakfast!

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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!

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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.

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Enjoying God’s creation :)

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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?

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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!

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

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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!

 

 

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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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