Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ramsey Cascades

In keeping with my theme of hiking new trails this summer, my pal Seth and I made a jaunt over to Ramsey Cascades this past Saturday. I hear tell it's the tallest waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains so I had to see for myself.

We entered through the Greenbrier area of the Smokies and made the four-mile trip to the falls. It was strenuous at times but worth it. The water drops 100 feet over rock outcroppings and sprays as it splashes. Good thing I brought a long-sleeved shirt as we sat on a rock to eat our lunch because it got a bit chilly.

This shot doesn't do the falls justice.
Craziness! Sign as we approached the falls.

The eight-mile round trip hike was pretty fun and we saw some cool things along the way. Most of the hike going and coming follows rushing streams and rivers.

I can listen to this sound all day!
This section of the park is perhaps the largest old-growth forest remaining in the Smokies. It's one of the few sections of the park unaffected by the logging industry many moons ago. As such, it contains some of the tallest and largest trees in the Smokies, like this big guy:

Don't judge me. You know you would, too!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Peru preparations, Paddington Bear style

I'm just weeks away from the Inca trek! Last night, I received a special gift from a young friend -- a Peru travel kit, if you will.

The tag reads in English and Spanish: "Wanted on Voyage"
"Please look after this lady. Thank you."

My young friend Peter recently read about Paddington, a young Peruvian bear who immigrates to London after his Aunt Lucy goes into a home for retired bears. He stows away on a lifeboat with nothing more than a small suitcase and a jar of marmalade so he isn't hungry. Around his neck is a label that reads, "Please look after this bear. Thank you."

In my special Peru travel kit, Peter gave me a copy of the book and my very own jar of marmalade. I'm ready to go!

Peter's serious face. Look after this lady...or else.