Monday, June 8, 2009

Last week and Mt LeConte

Last week I had a pretty good week of workouts. Last Saturday, I did my 30 mile ride, and Monday and Wednesday I did 3+ mile runs. On Thursday I did a nice spin class and on Friday I played Basketball for about 1.5 hours. By Saturday, my legs were a little sore, but not really that bad. On Saturday, we climbed a mountain!

Mt Leconte is the third highest peak in the smoky mountains and about 1.5 hours drive from Knoxville. So we loaded up the minivan with the kids (6 and 2) and the backpack carrier and headed off. The kids were fine for the first hour (Thankfully, we have a DVD player), but the last 30 minutes they were complaining about the curves and when will we be there. Next time, we are going to leave the 2 year old with my aunt and just take the older one.
So, we finally got there about 10 am and proceeded to try to get everything ready for the trail. We met my father-in-law there since he loves to do the trails in the smokies. So we headed off. The first thing we get to is a nice stream that we will follow for the next mile.
I thought the girls would love this, but they were still tired from the trip and my 6 year old started having a screaming fit. This lasted about 10 minutes and after that she was fine. She did much better than I thought and I think she could have made it all the way to the top. My 2 year old was having fun riding in the backpack. I just wish it would have lasted!

Of course, they had to get out and play in the creek. Several Times! The water was cold, but I do not think the girls cared. They were just enjoying playing with the rocks and sticks.

So, we mostly carried the 2 year old up to the Alum Cave bluff about 2.2 miles up the trail. The last part of this climb was pretty steep and carrying her and the backpacks was pretty tiring. Now it was Lunch time! For some reason, when you are out in the wilderness, nothing tastes better than a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
So, after resting for a while, we left my wife and youngest here and proceeded to try to get to the top. About another 3 miles. Unfortunately, my shoes did not want to cooperate. At about the 3-3.5 mile mark, my boots started to disintegrate.

Here is what it looked like. If you can't guess from my pants, it was a very wet muddy day on the trail. There was alot of rain the night before. So after a little agonizing, we decided to turn around and head back down. It was probably a good idea since my heels were starting to get a little raw also.

So we hurried back down anc caught up to my wife and of course they had to stop and play in the creek on the way down also! They found where a tree had fallen over the creek and the girls just had to cross over it. Several times.
All in all, we had a good time, but next time I will definitely make it to the top. Hopefully my new hiking shoes will last until after I get done with the hike! We will try again on the July 4th weekend.


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Lori said...

That scenery is gorgeous!