Today was a lovely spring day in east Tennessee, and My Darling Husband had the sudden urge to go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So away we went, up to the entrance road to Clingman’s Dome. Alas, the dome is closed until March 31, so we went across the road to the Newfound Gap trailhead.
Alas, no dogs allowed! We then read that pets on a leash are allowed on only two of the trails in this national park. That is highly disappointing, because we had planned to take CutieDog on most of our hiking excursions here and we want to work our way along all of the trails in this park.
We loaded the dog and ourselves into the car and headed back down the twisty mountain road to this path that we spied on the way up. This path is called the Quiet Walkway and there were not any No Dogs Allowed signs to be seen.
Along the Quiet Walkway is this cemetery from the 1800s. The tall headstone on the right is a newer replacement stone for one of the old graves.
We then came to this river, which I think is the West Prong Little Pigeon River. You can see the native rhododendrons in this shot. Our mountain goat of a dog rambled and jumped from rock to rock right along with us. We sat on a rock here for a bit.
We had met two exiting hikers at the head of the Quiet Walkway, but no others. Not being able to hike with the crowds on the first two trails was rewarded by having the Quiet Walkway and this spot on the river to ourselves, the birds, and the sound of rushing water. Bliss.