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Unfortunately, my Halloween was made sad by the death of our family cat on the day before, so to soothe my spirits, I take to the trails in the Smokies. I always wanted to see Abrams Falls and figured that although the trip to get to its trailhead would be crowded with leaf peepers through Cades Cove, it was better than staying home to mope.
I got to the trailhead at noon. The sky was overcast and the temp was 57. Although there was a long line of cars on the loop, I was surprised to find relatively few people at Abrams Creek. The trip is 5 miles roundtrip, with only an elevation gain of about 600 feet - not bad. Despite my old knees, I got back to the parking lot at 2:40 pm, and that included a 30-minute stop at the falls to eat my lunch and kick back.
Click on any image below to see a larger size.
The trail is typical of East Tennessee: roots and rocks. I did not see any bears - at one point, I heard something big in the brush, only to have a girl walk around the corner and say, "It's okay - it's just my brother taking a pee!" I occasionally stopped when I was nearer the creek to look for movement by the water, hoping to spot an otter, but did not see one.
I can always tell when I am nearing the trailhead on the way back - I started running into people who had started their hike. One woman asked me, hopefully, "I'm about halfway there, right?"
No, ma'am, you're not - but take your time and hike your own hike.
Rest in peace, our Ronnie. You were loved, little girl.