A night at the Smokies

After driving from Raleigh for a few hours I arrived in the late afternoon at the stunning Smoky Mountains. A place known for the local black bears and the beautiful views.

drive into the Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the only national parks that doesn’t charge an entrance fee, you just have to pay for any other services. I had planned on camping there, so I found a backcountry camp site that involved a mile hike… but due to me arriving at 6:30, after all visiting centers and park ranger offices were closed, I couldn’t find my camp trail… and the thought of hiking in the growing darkness in black bear territory made me improvise my stay.

Sunset at the Smoky Mountains

So after finding a hidden parking spot I spent the night in what felt like freezing cold. Eventually I ended up wearing all winter jackets I brought with me and a pair of warm leggings, but regardless of my best efforts I couldn’t stay asleep, so at 5 am I got ready to drive around the Smokies.

the Great Smoky Mountains

For two hours I drove through the curving roads, making stop after stop so I could take in all the incredible beauty in front of me. The blue mist that comes out of the mountains early in the morning is breathtaking.

Watching the Smoky Mountains

Eventually I had to force myself out of the mountains out of fear of running out of gas in the middle of it all. I left with a feeling of “ah”… all the beauty that one place can offer is incredible.

The Smoky Mountains

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