|Some type of magnolia tree in bloom|
|Spring Beauty covering the ground at campsite 13|
From campsite 13 it is a short half mile walk (up hill) to the bald. We did not expect to find the azaleas in bloom and they weren’t. The bald was special nevertheless with its open expanse of grass and the 360 degree views. Clouds were moving in which obscured our view somewhat, but it was still spectacular. We took our lunch break here and would have tarried longer, but the thunder started to rumble.
|The space between the mountains is Cades Cove|
|Sharon and Gene enjoying a lunch break|
With a storm threatening we reluctantly headed toward the car. The trek downhill moved along a little faster. We stopped occasionally for one last look at some of the flowers, but kept up a steady pace. On the way down we met a couple volunteers on horseback. They had saws in hand and were cutting and removing the few blowdowns we’d stepped over on our way up. That made the downhill walk a bit nicer. A big thanks to all the volunteers who help keep the trails open.
We were back at the car by 4 PM and ready to start the trip home. I forgot to mention earlier, Parson Branch Road is one way. After a pretty tense 5 miles on that gravel road, we ended up nearly at the bottom of the “Dragon’s Tail”. That’s the nickname given by bikers for a very curvy stretch of US 129 as it crosses the TN/NC border. We “rode the Dragon” in a heavy thunderstorm back to Foothills Parkway which brought us over to Townsend. The 50 mile drive back to our campsite in Cades Cove took a couple hours. We’d had a full day.
That’s what happened on Tuesday. Thanks for tagging along.