Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bears, graduations and mountains

Yep, that's a bear.  DH and I went to Gatlinburg last weekend and after spending two days hiking in the mountains and seeing only deer and squirrels, we try to take a detour around some traffic in Gatlinburg proper and drive up on this bear.  It walked down the street towards us, turned towards this condo, checked that the trash can was chained shut and then went back into the woods.  I thought it was pretty big.  DH said it was only a couple hundred pounds, so not very large for a black bear.  I still think a couple hundred pounds is large enough for a black bear.  We were probably only 20 feet away when I took this shot from the car window.  

But before Gatlinburg, my life was busy.  Finishing exams, I went to Atlanta for my sister's college graduation and to house sit for a friend of the family.  We are all so proud of my sister, who graduated with an awesome GPA.  She can do anything she puts her mind to, and is going to do great things!  Go Megan!

After I arrived home, class started, and I had a couple of those before we left town.  Friday we drove to Gatlinburg and spent the next couple of days hiking and viewing spectacular sites.

This is off Clingman's Dome, the obligatory self-taken photo.  Despite not having worn proper footwear and having aching legs, we climbed 330 feet in .5 miles to reach the highest point in the Smoky Mountains.  This is off of the side of the mountain, but was still pretty darn high.

This is a beautiful picture from Cades' Cove, a historic settlement that is now a living museum in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

This is Laurel Falls.  It is an easy 1.3 mile paved path off of the main road leading to Cades' Cove in the park.  It is named for the mountain laurel that was flowering while we were there.  Some nice man took a picture of DH and I at the falls, but I was wearing unfortunate shorts that day and appear about 30 pounds heavier than I actually am.  I'll be cropping those pictures.

Knitting wise, I kept things pretty simple.  I bought some new yarn at the spinning shop in town and cast them on.  After several false starts, I know have 30% of a pair of Trilobite Socks from Wendy Johnson's new book, Socks from the Toe Up.  

This is how far I was once we reached Georgia and were only an hour from my parents house. 

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