Smokies Day 2

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I think it was like 7:30pm when I went to bed. Bean woke up cold at 6:30 and Heath brought her into our bed. She fell right back to sleep until 7:30am then she got me up. I had a glorious 12 hours of sleep and was done resting. We played peek-a-boo and giggled for a bit until Heath and Pumpkin got up. We all got dressed and packed up our backpacks. Our site was so nice I talked the family into a few family pictures.

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Then we headed back to the trail and hiked a ways into the mountains. Everyone got hungry so we stopped and cooked up another coffee and oatmeal breakfast.

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We also had some cheese and granola and other snacks. It was a cool spot where some big trees had fallen on the path and crews had cleaned them up.

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Pumpkin was struggling with some constipation and her insides hurt to walk or ride in the pack. She could not go on and could not get anything out so her and Heath went back to camp to eat prunes and drink water.

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Peanut and I kept on down the trial and Bean took a nap in the backpack. It rained on us softly off and on. We hiked 2 miles to Henwallow falls.

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(we were really glad when we found this sign)

It was really tall and pretty. We took a bunch of silly pictures and Bean got up just in time.

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The way back was almost all downhill so we set as quick a pace as we could on the wet roots and rocks and hopped down the mountain.

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It was noon when we got back to the campsite and we were supposed to check out at noon. Our tent and some other stuff had never dried out but we needed to get going so we packed it up wet. Once the campsite was packed up we hopped in the van and headed from the East side of the National Park to the West side. It was a bit of a drive to Cades Cove and the girls got some naps after we all ate a bunch of lunch. We had jerky and cracker sandwiches and other stuff. We took one bathroom break on the way but could not solve Pumpkin’s problem.

Both girls were asleep when we got there so decided to drive “the loop” before going to the campsite. The loop was about a 10 mile loop through a valley where people often see wildlife.

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It was kind of crowded and a really slow drive. The girls eventually got up and we stopped ½ way through the loop at a visitors center. We wondered around an old farmstead and everyone enjoyed seeing a working mill.

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We were hot and ready for our site so drove the 2nd part of the loop and then found our campsite.

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These spots were smaller and more people were packed in but we were on and end and had a good site.

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We heard thunder in the distance but set up all our stuff and clotheslines for things to dry. We checked out the store near our site and saw they had giant icecream cones. I made a deal with Pumpkin. If she could get everything out and fix her tummy ache I would buy ice cream. A short time later Heath took her to the bathroom and she came back yelling “I got a surprise Dad, I got my poop out!” We decided to get icecream after dinner and decided to go for a swim before dinner. We put on our suits and rode bikes over to the creek. The water was shallow and spring fed cold but beautiful and we loved it.

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Pumpkin lost a crock in the water right away but still ran around in the water and had lots of fun. We worked our way upstream a way and when we got back to our spot her crock was back. We had a great swim then it was after 6 and we needed to get dinner going.

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We didn’t bother with a fire we just got some noodles boiling on the burner.

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We added, chili beans, corn and lots of cheese. It was kind of a late dinner for us, after a small lunch and a busy day. We unleashed on dinner and everyone got at least 2nds. Topping the cheesy goo with friotos made it pretty amazing.

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Pumpkin and Peanut wanted us to make this for dinner when we were not camping.

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True to my promise after dinner we walked down to the store and bought 4 giant cones. We all ate ice cream until we were nearly sick.

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It was nice and cool out and near dusk so we decided to drive the loop again and look for wildlife.

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We saw dozens of deer.

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We also saw a little fox. We really wanted to see a bear and we found spots were one had just been but was gone but we never saw a bear.

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There was still a lot of traffic and pretty late when we got through the loop and back to the spot. We got into bed just after 10pm.

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