The Great Smoky Mountains

We hadn’t planned on driving through the Great Smokey Mountains, but then again we didn’t have many plans at all. We kind of just made the decision during one of our many stops at McDonalds to use their free wifi. We’d ponder over our big fold out map on which way to head next, and this little detour turned out to be one of our best.

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As we were heading into the mountains, we came across a family owned apple orchard that had a little restaurant and market attached to it. Hungry and curious, we went in and had a delicious apple themed feast, drank some fresh apple cider, and shopped for more campfire food at their market. We paid a few dollars for a whole bag of potatoes and other miscellaneous veggies, and a giant jug of apple juice for the road.

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View of the orchard from our table

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We found and walked along some waterfalls to burn off the food, then hiked into a gorgeous natural pool called Midnight Hole. The water there was ridiculously cold. I swear my toes were numb as soon as I dipped my foot in to test it. There were a fair few people there though including an old lady who dove right in so I wasn’t about to chicken out. It was worth the instant brain freeze! The water was so invigorating I swear I could think clearer afterwards.

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Midnight Hole
These beauties were everywhere

We hiked back and because it was late afternoon, had to start looking for somewhere to stay for the night. We had a fair bit of daylight to play with so wanted to take some time to find a good spot, and drove past at least five or six campsites in half an hour before finally committing to one. There weren’t too many other campers there and we scored the most picturesque site right on the fork of a rushing creek. John wrapped some potatoes and veggies in foil and cooked them over the fire for dinner. The camp vibes were next level.

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Waking up to the sound of the creek set an immediate good mood for the day. We packed up and headed out of the mountains towards the coast, stopping only to grab some fresh organic blackberries for the road.

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The perfect end to a spontaneous two day detour to the mountains.

Posted by

zookeeper, van-dweller, herbivore

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