I've had a bit of cold lately. However, when I awoke this morning I was feeling a bit better and decided it would be okay to go for a hike today. I headed over to the Smokies so that I could add over 100 miles of new trail miles hiked in the park for 2014. Before today's hike I was just under 100 miles at 99.2 for the year. I drove to the Cherokee Orchard Trailhead where I found my car was the first to be parked in the lot for the day. I hit the trail hiking on the lower reaches of the Trillium Gap Trail
Eventually the trail stops paralleling the road and becomes a wide, well-trodden path that hundreds of hikers use every day in the spring, summer, and fall to reach Grotto Falls. On this particular day, I had the trail all to myself though. I soon found myself approaching Grotto Falls.
As I ascended higher, limited views opened up through the leafless trees.
It was a fast descent. I saw one other hiker high up on the mountain. He was wearing a running singlet and running shorts while I was bundled up with my fleece and mittens. He told me he had seen a large bear a mile down the trail, but the bear never did show himself to me. I stopped briefly at Rainbow Falls