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WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

WH North America - The Tennessee Trio


Postby Stretch » Sun May 27, 2012 11:30 pm

Date walked: 27/05/2012

Time taken: 3

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 532m

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Friday morning I checked my email and noticed I had a private msg from a WH member. I expected it to be from Gammy Leg Walker who regularly checks up on me and fills me in on his latest hillwalking trips. Instead, it was from HighlandSC who several of us met at the Glencoe meetup in Oct 2010. As many of you know, Scott recently married my fellow American Michelle from this site and now lives stateside near the West Virginia/Maryland border. Undoubtedly, Scott found the secret to wife-bagging. Basically, you take single female up a munro, get lost on purpose, and then take shelter in a bothy bag. Next thing you know you're walking down the aisle. Brilliant.

I last walked with Scott in April 2011. Since then we've been joking about a WH North America Meetup. We figured we could get ChrisW to come along from Canada (or he could fly us all up there), and the Hudsons out in Utah could join us as well. We didn't have time to make all the arrangements this time though. Scott and Michelle decided to jump in the car and head to Tennessee for the extended Memorial Day weekend. They had rented a cabin in the mountains in a fairly touristy area about 50 mins from my hometown and invited me to come down for a hike. Scott informed me that he wasn't exactly up to munro bagging fitness levels these days so I chose a route that he could handle :lol: This route takes in a popular waterfall near Gatlinburg (Grotto Falls) and there is an option to continue another mile to Brushy Mountain which has a great view of Mt Leconte. There is a lodge at the top of Mt Leconte that I highly recommend to visitors - but plan ahead - it stays busy this time of the year.

We met up at 8am and made the short drive to the trailhead. I knew this was going to be a busy path, but thankfully the mass of tourists hadn't made it to the parking area yet. It's an easy walk to the falls which allowed us to catch up and reflect back on our Scottish hillwalking days. Once at the falls we took a few pics before the crowds arrived and then decided to walk on up to Brushy Mountain to get some views of the surrounding mountains. I was tasked with camera duties - this meant pics of snails, creepy crawlies, and mossy rocks for Michelle :lol: As we neared the summit the rhododendron were in bloom - these usually come out around the first of June. After walking through a tunnel of these plants we came to the summit and were rewarded with some fine views across to the higher peaks. It was a very hazy day, but I managed a few decent shots.

At the top we took a snack break and that's when Scott discovered that Michelle forgot to pack his turkey rolls. He had been thinking about them for an hour :lol: After a short break it was time to head back to the falls. I would say that there were about 25 people at the falls, and then we probably passed another 60-70 on the way back to the car. Certainly glad we got an early start! When we got back to civilization each of us downed a 1/2lb bacon cheeseburger at a popular place back near their cabin. We go big in the US you know.

Really glad Scott and Michelle were able to make it down for the weekend and it was great catching up. Hopefully they enjoyed their trip - despite the traffic and crowds - and got to experience the beauty of my neck of the woods. Thanks again for lunch guys.

WH North America Meetup One is now in the books! :clap:

Where will the next one be?

Getting started.jpg
Getting started


Slower traffic on the trail.jpg
Slower traffic on the trail


Grotto Falls.jpg
Grotto Falls


Walkhighlands America Group Shot.jpg
Walkhighlands North America Group Shot


Old habits die hard.jpg
Old habits die hard


Mossy Rocks - Michelle is a huge fan of such things.jpg
Mossy Rocks - Michelle loves such things


Pancakes or Fungi.jpg
Pancakes or Fungi?


Creep Crawly.jpg
Creepy Crawly


Interesting Frog.jpg
Peek a Boo


Crazy Shroom.jpg
Crazy Shroom


Flame Azaleas near the summit.jpg
Rhododendron near the summit


This way to Brushy Mountain.jpg
This way to Brushy Mountain


Hazy views back to Pigeon Forge TN.jpg
Hazy views back to Pigeon Forge TN


Flame Azaleas and Mt Leconte.jpg
Rhododendron and Mt Leconte


More flame azaleas.jpg
More rhododendron


Mt Leconte.jpg
Mt Leconte


Scott and Michelle on Brushy Mountain.jpg
Scott and Michelle on Brushy Mountain


A last look at Grotto Falls.jpg
A last look at Grotto Falls
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Stretch
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby ChrisW » Mon May 28, 2012 1:11 am

That's fantastic Stretch, though I'm left feeling like I missed out :( Great to see a North America meet up take place though, I wouldn't have made it as I picked up a beast of a chest infection the day after my last hike and I'm struggling to shake it off...it is so damn dry up here :roll:

Anyway, this lovely hike looks so similar to the Ozarks in Arkansas/Missouri that it made me miss my time in the North East corner of Oklahoma (from where we visited the Ozarks frequently) I really love the variety of the photos on this one and the tree frog in particular, great stuff...I'll try to take more notice when I next get out (hopefully soon)

If you all want to make the long trek north we have two spare bedrooms (and a large den with recliners in it which could make a third :wink: ) all welcome providing we don't already have guests :D

Would love to see more of Tennessee or West Virginia in this section & what happened to ND Hudson and that lovely Utah landscape
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby Gable Gable End » Mon May 28, 2012 9:53 am

Nice to hear from you Stretch and good to see you out walking!

Your FB page seems to have disappeared.
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby Stretch » Mon May 28, 2012 12:55 pm

Chris, I'd probably sleep on your front porch to be close to the scenery you subject us to each week! :lol:

Stu, I had to deactivate FB for a while, just too distracting at the moment. Once I get a bit further along with this final thesis write-up I'll come back. I wanted to turn it back on just to brag about the Chelsea victory but I figured nobody cared :lol: :lol:
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby monty » Mon May 28, 2012 1:28 pm

Nice report Andy. Good to see you Michelle and Scot again. Hope the thesis is coming along nicely. :D
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby mountainstar » Mon May 28, 2012 3:51 pm

I suspect that the 3 of you (well perhaps not Michelle :wink: ) have become so fat eating American burgers that
Slower traffic on the trail
actually passed you? :lol:
Good to see the 3 of you back on here....was...."missing you already" :wink:
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby garyhortop » Mon May 28, 2012 8:00 pm

Nice to see another part of the world I have never seen before.....looks like WH is slowly taking over the world!!! :D
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby Stretch » Tue May 29, 2012 1:34 am

Thanks Gary!

Alan and Monty, I know you gents miss my daily hilarity on FB - I'll try to come back in the next couple of months and entertain you some more. You should have seen Scott. Poor guy has barely lived in West Virginia a year and he's already wearing camo. :lol:
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby HighlandSC » Tue May 29, 2012 4:41 pm

Great report, Stretch :clap: Was great to meet up again and thanks for showing us a bit of your back yard. We loved the Smokies and will be back!

ChrisW wrote:That's fantastic Stretch, though I'm left feeling like I missed out :( Great to see a North America meet up take place though, I wouldn't have made it as I picked up a beast of a chest infection the day after my last hike and I'm struggling to shake it off...it is so damn dry up here :roll:

If you all want to make the long trek north we have two spare bedrooms (and a large den with recliners in it which could make a third :wink: ) all welcome providing we don't already have guests :D

Would love to see more of Tennessee or West Virginia in this section & what happened to ND Hudson and that lovely Utah landscape

Chris, I was going to message you actually but this trip was so last min I barely had time to contact Stretch. Also figured you're a bit far away to nip down for a quick morning hike! We were talking about you though- with jealousy over your mountain playground. We'd love to get up there sometime- may take a couple of years (these yanks don't give much holiday time!) but I hope it happens.

mountainstar wrote:I suspect that the 3 of you (well perhaps not Michelle :wink: ) have become so fat eating American burgers that
Slower traffic on the trail
actually passed you? :lol:
Good to see the 3 of you back on here....was...."missing you already" :wink:

I'm not quite needing a scooter to get round Walmart yet....but yep, you don't get any thinner living here!

Stretch wrote:Alan and Monty, I know you gents miss my daily hilarity on FB - I'll try to come back in the next couple of months and entertain you some more. You should have seen Scott. Poor guy has barely lived in West Virginia a year and he's already wearing camo. :lol:

Camo is a way of life in WV! :lol: You should see the DIY camo paint jobs on some of the redneck trucks here.
They even do their mowers and mod them to fire skeets
camomower.jpg
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby jonny616 » Tue May 29, 2012 8:48 pm

Nice one guys 8) . I care about the football :lol: :lol:
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue May 29, 2012 9:14 pm

Nice one Andy,good to see you out & about once again & posting on WH.
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby ChrisW » Tue May 29, 2012 9:40 pm

HighlandSC wrote:Chris, I was going to message you actually but this trip was so last min I barely had time to contact Stretch. Also figured you're a bit far away to nip down for a quick morning hike! We were talking about you though- with jealousy over your mountain playground. We'd love to get up there sometime- may take a couple of years (these yanks don't give much holiday time!) but I hope it happens.

No worries mate, it would have been a hell of a road trip down to WV for a morning wander. I would be happy to 'host' a meet up if you guys ever get the right vacation time (though I know what the US is like for that....rubbish :roll: ) though you'd have to fly up or all your vacation would be gone on journey time :lol: Maybe we can meet half way :think: though I'm not sure how much hiking is to be had in Minnesota :lol:

The offer will stay open as long as I'm up here and that should be a few years yet :wink: :D
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby Michelle » Wed May 30, 2012 3:48 pm

You chose a fine walk for us Stretch, so glad you could join us on such a short notice. The next day Scott and I both felt as though we'd climbed a munro :lol: ...we had best shape up for when next we're in Scotland!

In truth I'm a bit glad for my camera battery fail, as your pictures of creepy crawlies etc are far superior to what mine would have been!

On behalf of the mossy rock appreciation society.... thank you :clap:
Looking forward to the next time- we'll be back for sure.
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby Lenore » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:04 pm

Nice report! love the pictures of creepy crawly things!! :clap: The mushroom looks a bit dubious though :lol:

ChrisW wrote:
Would love to see more of Tennessee or West Virginia in this section & what happened to ND Hudson and that lovely Utah landscape


Can't give you West-Virginia, but how about Virginia?

DSC07659.JPG
Shenandoah National Park


DSC07645.JPG
Fog spilling over the ridge.


Now aren't these some shapely hills? :D
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Re: WH North America - The Tennessee Trio

Postby HighlandSC » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:41 pm

Shenandoah :D
We have been along a bit of Skyline drive there and done a few short walks, like Stony Man Mountain. Nice place :)
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