This weekend I took a trip down to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The plan was relatively simple; Hike to the summit of Mt. Leconte (via the Alum Cave Trail) and make a video for the Youtube channel in the process. In the days leading up to the trip, I packed my gear, watched the weather, and paid attention to the daily conditions up on Leconte. The weather forecasts were calling for snow.
The prospect of snow excited me, but I was worried about the possibility of Newfound Gap Road being closed due to the snow and ice. Because of this, I came up with several backup plans. One being to do a winter ascent of Mt. Cammerer and the other being to photograph Cade's Cove and possibly hike to Abram's Falls. I was, or so I thought, prepared.
Not So Fast
I thought by having a number of backup plans, including one that was at lower elevations, I would have no problem doing a hike of some sort and getting a video out of it. There's just one thing I didn't count on... every road in the park being closed.
Yes, pretty much every road in The Great Smoky Mountains was closed due to ice and snow. This meant that none of my plans were going to work out at all!
Mini-Hike up Newfound Gap Road
I really only got to have one experience with the National Park itself, and that was on Saturday. I decided to walk a few miles up Newfound Gap Road and at least check out some of the overlooks.
Despite initially being pretty bummed about not being able to do what I wanted, the mini-hike up the road (which totaled about 8.2 miles) was actually pretty fun. It also provided me the unique opportunity to see and photograph the road without any traffic.
While this trip was still fun in its own way, the fact of the matter is that I did not complete what I set out to do: climb Mt. Leconte. This can only mean one thing, a redo is in order! Hopefully, next time will go more as planned :)