|Grace aka Brown|
|Chuck Hates to Leave the House; Grace is Ready|
|Approach Trail from Snicker's Gap to AT|
|Sign the AT and the Approach Trail|
|Route 7 and the Valley from Bear's Den Rocks|
|I Love the Pines on the Rocks|
|Bear's Den Rocks with Bands of Quartz|
|Close Up of Quartz Banding|
Whatever you call them, these hills are a really good workout and while each hill is not that strenuous on its own, at the end of the day, you will know you have been on a hike. Because the park corridor is so narrow through this section (we passed two houses backed onto the trail and heard guns and chainsaws blazing all around us), the trail doesn't really have the option of making wide sweeping S curves around the sides of hills; it really does have to go straight up and over for the entire section between Snicker's Gap and Ashby Gap past the Mount Weather complex.
|Only Color of the Day|
|Cool Shelf Fungi|
|Boulder Wearing a Crown of Ferns|
In honor of Thanksgiving and as a surprise for Ann, I made sandwiches of turkey breast, cranberry relish, and a traditional dressing so we could have a little mini celebration trailside. Not having any breakfast to speak of, I was famished and demolished my sandwich while both dogs begged for (unforthcoming) handouts. Ann seemed to be pleased at my little surprise.
|Turkey, Cranberry, and Dressing Sandwich|
On our hike back, we passed a couple and three singles coming south, including two SOBOs. It strikes me as very late in the year to be thru-hiking with snow looming in the Smokies, but hey, more power to them. I hope they get to Springer without too much bad weather and without having to bypass the higher peaks for snow.
|The Dogs Seemed to Like the Rocks|
|Sleepy Brown Dog, Where's the Eagerness Now?|
After getting cleaned up, we decided to cap off our Thanksgiving by seeing Allied (a really well done movie) at Alamo and having some drinks at the bar beforehand. For a movie theatre, they have a pretty decent selection of craft beer including rotating Brooklyn and Dogfish Head taps. In spite of this, I seem pretty much to gravitate to Bell's Two Hearted Ale when I am there.
|Cobbler Mountain Cider for Ann|
|Bells' Two Hearted Ale for Ed|