Da Bears

Since my Dad and I knew how refreshed we would be after hiking the AT, we decided it would be a good idea to do some day hiking with Mom on Saturday and Sunday in The Great Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  After all, we couldn’t let her miss out on all the hiking.

On Saturday morning, we drove to Schoolhouse Gap Trailhead and took the trail a short distance to a little used side-trail that leads to some old cave and mine shafts that have been barred off from the public for safety and because white-nosed syndrome has been found in the area.

Dad and I by the waterfall/cave entrance.

Dad and I by the waterfall/cave entrance.

The waterfall.

The waterfall.

Pretty butterfly.

Pretty butterfly.

After our hike and a lunch break by the river, we headed to an area in the park known as Elkmont.  The area used to be a summer camp for the rich, and there are many remaining run-down summer camps to explore.  After a while, it started to rain on us so we headed into town for some shopping and barbecue.

A caterpillar I found on the rocks.

A caterpillar I found on the rocks.

Pretty cool sky.

Pretty cool sky.

Since it continued to pour all night, we couldn’t drive around Cades Cove at dusk as we would have liked to, so we decided to get up really early and drive the loop at dawn.  We made a wise decision – partway around the loop we encountered 3 bears, a mother and two younger cubs.  They were all up in cherry trees eating the fruit when we encountered them.  We stayed around and watched for a long time, and they eventually made their way down the trees, walked through a field, before finding more trees to climb.  It was so cool.

Slightly larger baby bear.

Slightly Larger Baby Bear

Mama Bear

Mama Bear

Little Baby Bear

Little Baby Bear

Mama and Little Baby

Mama and Little Baby

Mama Bear

Baby Bear

Mama Bear

Mama Bear

Larger Baby Bear

Larger Baby Bear

Larger Baby Bear

Larger Baby Bear

Mama Bear

Mama Bear

Mama and Little Baby

Mama and Little Baby

Larger Baby Bear

Larger Baby Bear

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Published in: on September 1, 2013 at 9:36 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great post and photos of Da Bears! I take it none of you were up to joining them in the tree to pick a few cherries!

  2. WOW, how special to be up close and personal with the bears!!!!!!!!!!
    Super pictures and description of your hike. We love to curse Cades Cove when we go south to TN.

  3. Oops! I mean, “cruise Cades Cove” not “curse Cades Cove!!” We love Cades Cove and have been there over a dozen times through the years. We only saw a bear on one occasion.


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