I spent my long weekend alongwith Sujay, Amit and Deepika at the great smoky mountain national park in North carolina. The Smokies straddle the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. We had booked a small area in Smokemount camp grounds. Almost all of us were first time campers and we were really excited about the experience. We reached the campground at 5:30 on Sturday evening. Just 50 miles before North Carolina we had to face bad traffic. Without wasting any time we began pitching the tent. The clear and simple instructions helped us to pitch the tent quite fast.
Tamboo ke saath
We were not very well equipped as it was the first camping experience. We headed to a nearby city to get some lamps, firewood, etc. When we came back to the tent the scene was quite different: dark forest with tall trees, chirping of crickets and other inscets alongwith the sound of a river flowing closeby. Since we were tired of the journey we quickly got into the tent and started playing cards…29..yes we played 29 in the tent. It was good fun. Just before we were about to sleep Sujay started with some ghost stories. Everyone started to add their own stories. Deepika had a little tough time but the rest of us had fun.
The next day all 4 of us were quite fresh. We headed to the Deep Creek for hiking and tubing. The sight was very beautiful with mountains on one side a river flowing on the other. We walked for sometime enjoying the beauty of nature, waterfalls, clicking snaps, etc. till a point where a huge tree had fallen and we couldnt go any further. There was one huge waterfall on our way which attracted Amit and he entered the fall and went till the top of the fall. I tried to accompany him bt then the water was so chilled that I backed off..Sujay and I returned walking while Amit and Deepika enjoyed the tubing.
Amit & chilled waterfall
In the Woods....
From there we went to the Clingmans Dome, highest point in the Smokies abot 6600 feet. A beautiful sight awaited at the top of the tower. It was an amazing view with pleasant breeze. On a clear day one can see 5 states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia & Kentucky) from the tower. It was an amazing sight. We waited for a while to see the sun set but then the clouds covered the sun leaving no hope for us. Nevertheless, we had some special plans and so we headed to our campground for a Barbeque night. On our way back to the campgorund we halted at the Newfound Gap road which again has beautiful views of the smokies and to our surprise we saw a baby wild bear on tree busy eating the leaves. It was a good sight and we along with other tourists were hoping to see the mother of the bear but, we didnt get that lucky.
Once back to the camp we lit the firewood and made barbequed panner, capsicum, onions, tomatoes, etc. Stuffed our stomach’s and then back to 29 and few more ghost stories. That night, around 3:30 there was some animal just outside our tent. Sujay woke me up and we were continously listening to the animals movements for atleast 30mins. I was damn scared at that time. Did’nt knew wat to do but, I guess I fell asleep after sometime.
Deepika busy eating....
Next morning was the time to leave. We left the Smokemount with great memories and a new experience. It was a great trip and I will definately plan more trips for camping.
A few Recommendations:
– Smokies require atleast 4-5 days so as to cover most the the attractions and activities.
– Camping should be done for atleast 1 night.
– Clingmans dome is a “must” of all the attractions
– There are quite a lot of activities in Gatlinburg (Tennessee) as well. Check for some activities that attract you. e.g. cable car ride, go cart, etc.