Sunday, June 21, 2015

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Curry Mountain, Meigs Creek Loop

I got a late start hiking today, due to Noelle and Sierra making me a Father's Day breakfast. It was rainbow waffles and bacon. After my delicious meal and a little bit of playing with Sierra I hit the road. it was about 10 am when I left Greeneville. I arrived at the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area at 11:45 to start my hike on the Curry Mountain Trail.
Curry Mtn Trailhead
The roadside and trailhead area were loaded with day lilies.
day lilly
The trail started a climb through tunnels of blooming rhododendron.
rhododendron flowers
I watched as an interesting looking insect flew around, and then promptly got caught in a spider web.
insect stuck in web
I saw some other insects: butterflies
butterfly
and found a nice looking turkey feather.
turkey feather

After a little more than an hour on the trail I turned onto a section of the Meigs Mountain Trail which I had hiked back in March. I revisited the cemetery I had stopped at 3 months ago,
Huskey Cemetery
and then continued on my way on the trail, which was loaded with grape vines.
tree and vines

Soon I found myself at another trail junction. Here I made a right and started a descent on the Meigs Creek Trail. A few wildflowers lined the path,
bee balm
but mostly the upper section of the trail was lined with ferns.
ferny trail
As I continued the descent I crossed Meigs Creek several times. I found a very large beech tree
big beech
and the interesting Meigs Creek Cascades.
Meigs Creek Cascade
Shortly after the cascades the trail began an ascent. I climbed to a dry and somewhat open section of trail and noticed a few fence lizards scurrying across the trail.
fence lizard

Eventually the trail began to descend again. Before I knew it I could hear the sound of auto and motorcycle traffic and rushing water. I was approaching the infamous Sinks swimming hole. There were lots of swimmers taking advantage of the cool water on this hot day.
Sinks 2
Some of the people were jumping off of rocks.
flip off rocks
I wanted to cool off, but the scene at the Sinks was just not me. I headed over to the road and noticed a faint path leading down to the river on the other side of the auto bridge. I made my way down to the river at a series of small cascades
Upper Sinks
and had the place all to myself. I soaked my feet in the water
cooling off
and then submerged my entire body to cool myself off for the 2 mile road walk back to the car.                  

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