Great Smoky Mountains National Park Blog by Richard Weisser of SmokyPhotos.com

To traipse afoot through copse and hell!

Appalachian Trail near Clingmans Dome by Richard WeisserTo traipse afoot through copse and hell*,
As toes go numb and ankles swell,
The throbbing legs chastise the brain,
Can all this “fun” be worth the pain?

      (R Weisser 2014)

On paper it seemed like a reasonable plan. A fourteen mile hike from the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the campground in Elkmont near Gatlinburg Tennessee.

Most of the hike was downhill. Substantially downhill. And making the hike on one of the longest days of the year allowed for plenty of daylight from start to finish.

I used to run up and down the trails like a mountain goat. Now I am just an old goat with circulation problems that make even the shortest walks painful.

Goshen Prong by Richard WeisserSo I was expecting a challenge. And I got it! Since we left a car in Elkmont and were shuttled up to Clingmans Dome, once we started there was no turning back. The most challenging uphill climb was the first half mile of the hike which was easy.

As most experienced hikers know, severe downhill trails offer a unique obstacle. You have to retard your momentum with every step. If you do it for a mile, you are hurting. If you do it for seven miles, your body makes its objections override any other sensation!

But the rewards are immense. First, you have the pleasure of seeing things that you would have never seen otherwise, and there is satisfaction in that.

Little River near Goshen Prong by Richard WeisserBut the biggest prize is knowing that you met a challenge head-on and conquered it! It may not have been “fun” in the ordinary sense, but a tremendous amount of pleasure in the achievement will last indefinitely.

Are there bigger physical challenges in my future? I don’t think so.

But you never know, do you?

 

* A “hell” is eastern mountain dialect for a rhododendron thicket, purportedly because they are “hell” to get through!

Follow Me on Twitter Follow Me on Facebook Lets get Linkedin My Outside Blog Watch my Videos on YouTube


We Need Listings! Call 770-827-6225

All content, including text, original art, photographs and images, is the exclusive property of Coweta Fayette Real Estate, Inc., and may not be used without the expressed written permission of Coweta Fayette Real Estate Better Homes and Gardens Metro Brokers, Newnan Georgia. All information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted, Copyright 2003-2009. Richard Weisser REOS, E-Pro. licensed Auctioneer. 770-827-6225.
Learn more about Coweta County and Fayette County Georgia Real Estate, and to search the entire Georgia MLS for free with no registration required. Visit CowetaFayetteRealEstate.com! Photos of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. North Georgia Photos.

 

North Georgia Photos

8 commentsRichard Weisser • July 06 2014 06:59AM
To traipse afoot through copse and hell!
share
To traipse afoot through copse and hell*, As toes go numb and ankles swell, The throbbing legs chastise the brain, Can all this “fun” be worth the pain? (R Weisser 2014) On paper it seemed like a reasonable plan. A fourteen mile hike from… more
What is snow, after all, but frozen water?
share
Through sluice the rushing torrent churns, The turbine squeals, the pulley turns, As wheels and belts lurch to and fro, All pressed to life from melting snow! (R Weisser 2014) Winter storms can be disruptive and dangerous But they are… more
And Fall defers to Winter’s reign!
share
On muted crimson frosted peaks ‘Neath tousled wind blown umber sheets, ‘Tis time for rest as dusk now wanes, And Fall defers to Winter’s reign! (Richard Weisser 2013) It's that time of year again! As the last vestiges of Fall… more
The siren tempts from painted hill
share
The siren tempts from painted hill Blows windy notes and whistles shrill, To precipice the prey is lured, Most pleasant snare in all the world! (R Weisser 2013) As the North winds deliver the first hints of winter, the mountains put on their… more
Drenched by gold and crimson drops!
share
Drenched by gold and crimson drops From high upon the mountain tops, Sweet feathered, wispy, blazing strains Deluge the hills with Autumn’s rains! (R Weisser 2013) It’s the middle of October, and the evidence of Autumn is working… more
Our responsibility to preserve parks for future generations.
share
Over the last few years, our National, State and local parks have fallen victim to budget cutbacks, lower visitation, and abject neglect. For whatever reason, parks appear at the top of the list of nonessential government services and as a… more
Along the washed-smooth stones of time!
share
A chant of splashing, tumbling prayers, O’er gold-green beds and rocky stairs, The stream recites the ancient rhyme Along the washed-smooth stones of time. (R Weisser 2013) Constant is the baseline for change. Though technology seems to… more
Notes from a Smoky Mountain Daydreamer!
share
To walk the weather beaten trace. ‘Cross rushing stream, past rocky face, The woes of worldly stress dismissed And melt away into the mist! (R Weisser 2013) I have made many trips to my beloved Smoky Mountains. There was a time when I would… more
Testing our Mettle on a Daily Basis
share
The Sirens’ haunted chilling shrieks That beckon from the craggy peaks. Away from sheltered succor lure To summit from the valley’s floor! (R Weisser 2012) Why do we climb mountains? Common sense suggests that the rewards do not… more
Amicalola Falls State Park
share
Amicalola Falls State Park is one of the most popular destinations in the Georgia State Park system Amicalola Falls drop 729 feet from top to bottom, earning the distinction of being the tallest waterfall in Georgia. The name "Amicalola"… more
Autumn is here … for now!
share
The fireworks fizzle fast from sparks To embers on a cold stone hearth, If you miss the show let’s be perfectly clear: You’ll have to wait until next year! (R Weisser 2012) Yes, Fall is in it’s full glory right now. I love… more
It's Autumn and the Great Smoky Mountains are calling!
share
The ancient craggy guardian By age without comparison, ‘Twas old and aged as Alps were born And towered when the Rockies formed (R Weisser 2012) Did you know that the Appalachian Mountains are considered to be among the oldest peaks on… more
The black bears of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
share
As dark voids ‘midst the twigs and leaves Devouring mast of shrubs and trees, The black bears soon in den will lie, And fat they’ll sleep ‘till Spring draws nigh! (R Weisser 2012) The black bears of the Great Smoky Mountains… more
How do you find refreshment?
share
O’er tumbled rounded ancient rock With viridian velvet garments flocked, The spirit baptized, the soul redeemed, In the frigid splashing mountain stream! (R Weisser 2012) When the heat is turned up, and our energy seems to be ebbing with… more
Weather anomalies and the delicate balance of life.
share
In downy tufted cushions lain To soften Summer’s torrid strain, Refreshing respite, sweet relief In mountain-shaded groves of heath. (R Weisser 2012) It’s been hot the last several days. “Record-breaking” heat in many… more
The native Flame Azalea in the southeastern Appalachians.
share
As Moses tended Jethro’s flocks Ablaze it beckoned from afar A burning bush amongst the rocks, Never consumed and never charred! (R Weisser 2012) The native Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) puts on a spectacular show in the… more
Fall is fleeting. Take time to enjoy it!
share
O’ take me to my mountains Where crystal rivers flow And tumble past electric leaves That emit October’s glow. Sweet smells of Fall’s disrobing Awaiting Winter’s blasts 'Tis nature's hued full glory That merely weeks will… more
Where do you go to get away from it all? For me, it's sitting beside…
share
There’s a place that beckons us and seizes our thoughts. And try as we might to ignore it, it calls to us during our hectic lives and interrupts our busy schedule. It’s the stuff of daydreams and idleness yet we cannot push the… more
Andrews Bald in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
share
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers many diverse natural opportunities for visitors to experience. One of the more unusual phenomenons that occur in the high elevations is the grassy balds. Science is unsure of the origin of these… more
ActiveRainPhotoBloggerContest: The Streams of the Great Smoky…
share
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the jewel of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Known for its towering peaks and diverse flora and fauna, the Park attracts millions of nature lovers every year! But few first time visitors are… more