My crazy work travel is almost done just one more upcoming trip!
Last week I was in Chattanooga for a campaign meeting, we are working to protect parts of the Cherokee National Forest. I have been working on the campaign for 4 years and have never seen any of the areas, it was time. We flew down there early Monday morning and got in around 10am. The campaign organizer picked us up and we headed for snacks and then the trail head. We were going to hike the Upper Bald River Wilderness Study Area, a place I had seen numerous beautiful photos of and was excited to experience for myself.
We got to the trail around 12:45 and met up with some others who would be joining us. The area was so much different then I was expecting. I have hiked through National Forests before but this one was covered with Rhododendrons. They made it feel almost like a jungle, forming canopies over the trail at some points. About half way through the out portion of the “out and back” trail we had to cross a stream. The options were to walk across a large fallen tree or take on the knee high water yourself (ford the river for all you Oregon Trail fans). I know my lack of balance and opted for wet feet rather than an entirely wet body. For the rest of the hike I had soggy feet, but that was fine because when we got to the turn around point we saw what makes this hike totally worth it, a beautiful waterfall.
We hurried on the way back, hiking quickly to beat sunset. When we got back to the car, I promptly removed my shoes and defrosted my feet before a stop at Sonic for slushies and ice cream.
It was a great day out in the forest.