Of course, the lead up to the hike was a beautiful jaunt to the back side of Cade's Cove to the trail head. The Cove was just waking up, in its magical way, sun greeting earth, and the animals were out in force. We saw many deer and turkey on our way out and also spotted a bear finding breakfast in the weeds on Forge Creek road.
|Black Betty crossing Forge Creek.|
At Rich Gap, we joined the Gregory Bald Trail for a quick and easy 6/10 of a mile jaunt to the top.
So really, all this fuss is about a beautiful 10 acre, open, grassy bald sitting on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It is covered in a world famous stand of wild native azaleas, which were in prime bloom while we were there on June 19th. The fragrant display was in various shades of bright reds, oranges, creams, yellows, whites, and pinks. It is pure nature in all of its beauty, and no, you can't drive a car up there. You have to put the effort in to see it and reap the reward.
Black Betty was impressed, to say the least.
|The obligatory "selfie"|
|View from the top, looking down into Cade's Cove.|