Since everything is dry and parched outside I decided to show more photos of the cool and green Smokies. As I mentioned we hiked several miles while there. One of our favorites was the hike to Mt. Leconte Lodge. There are a few trails to choose from to access it, but our favorite is the Alum Cave Bluffs Trail. You can only access this lodge by foot, sorry but no cars.As you can see by the sign, it was 5 miles to the lodge. When walking this trail before we always stopped at the bluff and never continued on to the lodge. So this was an exciting and new experience for us.I love seeing shrubs and flowers in their natural habitat. Rhododenron was blooming everywhere.There were beautiful sights everywhere and this interesting rock formation. It's called "Eye of the Needle". You can see the opening thru the rock.This is the bluff area. If you enlarge you can see my honey standing over there. Little squirrels greet you here with hopes of a nibble or two of a snack. Unfortunately for them, our snacks would be going with us on the rest of the hike.The hike from the bluff was pretty tough. Lots and lots of uphill. We ran across a couple of guys who pointed out to us where we were headed. See the little notch at the top of the mountain? That is where we were headed. Trust me, it looked like a long way off and it really, really was. You had to be very careful walking on this trail or take a wrong step and hello, you'd be seeing the trail from a completely different view.There was lots of rocky, wet and slippery edges. Thanks to the National park for putting up these cable guides to hang onto. We were oh so glad when we finally came upon the lodge. As you can see, it's a bunch of small cabins grouped together. The views up there were really incredible. You can see how high we were by the elevation posted on the dining room. There's several interesting tidbits about staying here. First off, you have to book a reservation 6-12 months in advance. They serve a wonderful dinner and breakfast to their guest. There is no electricity or running water. It is only open 9 months(I think) out of the year. Last year it never reached 80 degrees up there. When we left the lodge we decided to take a little jaunt out to Cliff Tops. I think it was the highlight of the whole day. I can't relay to you how peaceful and gorgeous this was.When I look at this photo, to me, the background looks like a backdrop. I could have sit there all day taking in God's glory. Whenever we find ourselves in the Smokies again we will definitely take this trail again.
Hope you enjoyed this segment of our trip.