Apr 27, 2008

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Traveling for work isn't something to which I particularly look forward. I love traveling, and I used to get a kick out of traveling for work, but that was before I was married and had three little ones at home. First of all, I don't like being away from my family, especially with such young children who seemingly change by leaps and bounds every single day. A week away seems like an eternity. On top of that, work travel is a hassle because it means late night packing after the kids are asleep, arranging for additional childcare help (two infants and a two year old is not something I would wish on any single person), and then spending the whole trip wondering how things are going back home and if Julie is holding up. By the end of the trip, I'm pretty worn out but I've got to be ready to jump back into things as soon as I get home. Bottom line, my work travel is hard on everyone. (But I'm not complaining. A friend of mine travels Monday through Thursday, sometimes internationally, EVERY week of the year. And has done so for SIX years. She's nuts.)

That being said, some trips have their perks. Last week, for example, I was forced to take a trip to Tennessee and spend the week in the Smoky Mountains (the most visited National Park in America). One of the highlights of the trip was a hike through the park. It lasted a couple hours and thanks to the thin air (and my sedentary lifestyle), it was nearly as challenging as the half marathon I ran last fall.

Of course, I took my camera and spent the majority of the hike snapping photos. I wish I had taken my tripod since many of my shots were limited by my heavy breathing and not-so-steady hands. Here are some of the better shots.

Definitely living up to its name.

There were two women, in their late 50s, hiking the Appalachian Trail. They started in Georgia and were on day 23 of their trek. I barely made it up the 1/2 mile path I was on.

I shall call you, "Nose Rock."

Lots of great streams throughout the park. What makes a great stream? If you have to ask, then I guess you'll never understand.

The strangest tree I've ever seen. It's like it's slowly sucking up rocks from the earth beneath it.

More water.

Same water. Slower shutter.

Random log. You may recognize it from the movie Bambi. True story I just made up.

Spooky tree. This thing haunts my sleep.

A big rock. In the Smoky Mountains there are lots of big rocks. Really big. Really lots.

A rock being assimilated by moss. Resistance is futile.

The end.


blah blah blah said...

Wow, those are some really great pictures, I am a little jealous. We used to talk about doing the Appalachain Trail and road trips across the county and international travel and then we finally got pregnant and those things we still talk about but now with kids. And who knows we might never do the Appalachain trail but its still fun to think about.


Chatter said...

I love these pics and it's totally making me want to buy a new camera. Damn you James!