Friday, March 10, 2006

The Smoky Mountains

Back to the USA.

2 weeks ago actually.

I was cleaning up my inbox and found this mail I had sent out late last year. It describes a trip to the Smoky mountains during the labour day weekend in 2005 and is illustrated too! Thought I should post it here so that I can keep looking at it time and again.

I'm all enthu for a trek this weekend. Will ask around. Hope it materializes


The trip:

Karthik Ramkumar (Kramu), Gaurav Kwatra ( Kwatra) , Gautam Tambay ( tambya, tambi, tambay etc) and I went to the Smoky mountains this Labour day weekend…

The trip with a little more detail:

Now this was a craaaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzyyyyyyyyyyyyy trip.. I've never been more physically exhausted* in my life.. And I've never ever been so close to just plopping onto the ground and dying..

And then of course there were the bears.. The big black bears who could smell any food and reach you.. And so anyplace that smelt weird was potentially due to bear poo.. Any rustling of the trees around was potentially due to bears playing hide and seek.. And any funny weird sound was potentially a bear making a funny weird sound...

Sometimes I think - would I do it again? The answer - I surreeeeeeeeeee will!! I will curse and cuss and pant and fume all over again.. But I'll still do it coz in hindsight - I absolutely loved the journey… :)))))

The trip in 100 words:

Afternoon 1 : Drive to tennessee
Evening 1 : Still drive to tennesee
Night 1 : Sleep in tents
Morning 2 : Wake up and pack tents and backpacks, Lunch at Gatlinburg - town near our campsite
Afternoon 2 : Start trek, Reach rainbow falls
Evening 2 : Continue walking, Reach shelter at Mount Leconte - highest point in the Smokies
Night 2 : Cook food and sleep at shelter
Morning 3 : Wake up, go to cliff top, have breakfast at cliff top
Afternoon 3 : Go down to the Alum cave bluffs and get back to shelter, then trek downhill
Evening 3 : Reach Grotto falls, continue trek
Night 3 : Reach car, have mini dinner on road, big dinner at Gatlinburg, drive back home
Morning 4 : Reach home, spend the whole day like a 114 year old man with acute rheumatoid arthritis..

The trip in pictures:

I've got over 200 pics here which encapsulate the Smoky trip.. And these have been selected and titled from over 350.. So pardon the # of pics but I did make an honest attempt to abridge the photo log :P… Also the titles of the photos should help understand what was happening… and slide show will help.. Especially if you plan on going through all 210.. Btw - if you actually manage to do that - please do let me know.. I owe you coffee sometime!

And with no further ado - I proudly present after over 16 hours of driving (including my first ever speeding ticket), 22 miles of walking, 25kg backpack carrying, 50 hrs of bear surviving and 6000 feet of altitude(ing)...

*Towards the end of each day.. My feet began to fight with one another. Everytime I reached a big rock my left foot used to cuss at my right foot and ask the right foot to take the difficult step upwards .. But my right foot just stood there and cussed back.. My first experience with internal mutiny..


Blogger Golu said...

Do u know that Panda and Nips were also at Smoky ...round abt the same time as u were

2:32 PM  
Blogger leens said...

Man sounds like you had loads of fun...I had gone on a similar excrutiating hike last weekend....even tho I complained and stuff all thro the hike in the end I definitely wouldnt hesitate doing it all over again. Anyway will go thro the pics in the evening!!

11:06 AM  

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