Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Boondocking Day 2-Laurel Creek Falls

Happy Birthday to my Brother Dave today
and my S-I-L Cindy yesterday 
Wednesday April 20
Elkmont Campground
Great Smoky Mountain National Park

We ran the generator for an hour this morning
while we did the dishes,
charged up phones, laptops and flashlight batteries;
then set out for
Laurel Falls
and the trail beyond
which was reported to have
Virgin forest. 

I’m the water person;
David is the tree person.
So this hike was great for us both.

Every parking space was taken so
we drove to a 2nd parking area
and walked back up to the trail  

I was amazed at the number of people
on a Wednesday in mid April. 
I can’t even imagine what this place will be like
during the summer or fall.
My advice:  
Don’t come then!!

The 1.3 mile trail up to the falls is blacktopped. 
Weather has taken its toll on the paving
but it is doable for folks in wheel chairs
or pushing strollers. 

The falls are 80’ tall,

Plunge down
run under a bridge

 and down again.

While walking across the bridge
I caught him at it again  so
this photo of David’s foot is for Nancy Mills,
a companion to the one she took
of David on the edge during our hike
together to Abram's Falls in Cade's Cove,
and also for others who know him well.

“Sometimes” gets closer to the edge while hiking
than at any other time in his life J

At first path beyond the falls was wet and slick

but once we got a few yards from the falls
we had the trail to ourselves. 
The spring ephemerals are out
and the slopes were covered with them

and white

Foam Flower
Star chickweed
Squaw Root
Jack in the Pulpit

acres of May apple budding

The trail was lovely winding up
and up
past big trees

and bigger trees
which, no matter how good your picture,
never look AS BIG as they really are.

We went about 3 miles or so
before stopping for lunch
on the ridge top

which was still heavily treed but windy
and then headed back down

to see the trail
from the "other side".

I never mind hiking an
in and out trail.
It looks totally different
on the way "back".

This lovely view, for instance, was not one
we would have seen coming in

We saw this near the end of the hike.
Not sure what it is, but its deep color
was a wonderful contrast to the other
whites and soft spring ephemeral flowers.

It was a beautiful hike,
with terrific weather.

We had another

Ain’t Life Grand Day!!!


  1. LOVE that photo of teeny tiny Sherry against that mammoth tree! I guess you could say you're "literally" a tree hugger. :)

    Can't wait to read the rest of your boondocking posts!

  2. It's clear to me now that David will go to great lengths, heights, and depths for the best photos!! I am so jealous!!

    I think that last flower is Sweet Betsy...at least that is what Syl called the same thing on my post!!

    You two look and sound like you are having so much fun...keep it up, we are loving it.


  3. Yep, Sweet Betsy is a native plant that smells very sweet, sorta like fresh apples. It's an old plant that was used in flower beds for generations. My Granny Bessy had some and so did Gin's Grandma Long.
    We are enjoying your boondocking. The mountains are so green. Travel safe.
    Syl & Gin

  4. What a great trail and nice hike. Perfect time of year for the Spring wildflowers in the Smokies.

  5. A nice hike with great pictures. Glad to see you two kids having fun out there! ;c)


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