Week 11: “And he was covered in tattoos!”

How to properly deal with allergies.

Step 1. Be all nasty and snotty and coughy for several days.

Step 2. Spend several days inside binge watching Orange Is the New Black and recovering.

Step 3. Feel better.

Step 4. Be outside in the woods for 8 hours inhaling pollen.

Step 5. Be all nasty and snotty and sneezy.

Repeat.

youre-doing-it-wrong

In other news, my knee has been holding up quite nicely but I’ve also been neglecting the Gallon Challenge since I dropped my gallon jug in a parking lot a few weeks ago and broke it.

Tuesday: 3 mile trail run

Thursday: 3 mile walk

Sunday: 13 mile hike

—–

Weekly total: 19 miles

TOTAL total: 145.5 miles

 

I returned to Ross Marble Quarry this week. I started off doing Flow out and back to make up for not being able to finish it last time. There was quite a bit of traffic on the trail; I probably saw a dozen bikers and trail runners. The tiny ups and downs and sharp turns make Flow a really exhilarating experience.

I tacked on Tharp Trace for the last mile.

IMG_3337

It circumvents the rather pretty quarry that’s in the park. There was a group from the Boys and Girls club kayaking that day. I was jeals.

IMG_3335

This trail was a treat. It was definitely a bit more technical than what I’ve been doing, because the first half was very steep uphill and the second half a similarly steep downhill. It still amazes me that these trails, which feel like they’re in the middle of nowhere, are actually nestled inside the city limits.

IMG_3331 IMG_3332 IMG_3333 IMG_3334

This weekend was my last in Knoxville, BOO HISS.

So of course I had to make one last trip to the Smokies to laugh at the tourists and try not to trip over rocks. My friend Emam and I woke up too damn early (for a Sunday) to drive to the Rainbow Falls trailhead. The plan was to do a loop consisting of Rainbow Falls up to Mt. LeConte and Bull Head trail down.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.38.56 AM

From GSMNP trail map

Until we saw this…IMG_3394

Those damn aggressive bears. We thought about trying to use the Trillium trail for the second part of the loop, but we would have run out of time, so it just ended up being an out-and-back of Rainbow Falls. Most people only hike up to the falls themselves, which are about halfway up the trail.

IMG_3384 IMG_3385 IMG_3391

We went all the way up to the lodge on the top of LeConte though. According to Wikipedia, it’s the “highest inn providing lodging for visitors in the Eastern United States.” I’d believe it. Visitors have to hike up and supplies are brought up with llamas because there are no roads to the lodge.

IMG_3387

As you should expect by now, it was humid as balls. Not only did I have swamp ass, I had swamp body, and left this nice mark on a bench at the lodge.

IMG_3386

There was also a short area on the trail that seemed to have been affected by a wildfire. It apparently smelled strongly of burn, but I couldn’t smell a damn thing because of the aforementioned allergies.

IMG_3389IMG_3388

It’s really hard to say goodbye to the woods of Apppalachia. As scenic and magnificent as the mountains out west are, they aren’t yet accompanied by the warm, comfortable memories of the green forests for me.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s