Ever woken up to the charming sounds of a whopping river, cascading a few feet down away from the glass doors of your cottage, which is remarkably closer to the fireplace? And even before you know it, you can feel your deep-seated gut jolting you to caper out there and go fishing or simply embrace the purity of the air encompassing you. If your answer is ‘No’, you need to pack your bags and speed away to The Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. If you say ‘Yes’, you need to head there anyway.
I had briefed about The Smokies, a part of the giant Blue Ridge Mountains which is shared by the two grateful states of America (Tennessee and North Carolina), in my earlier post. The sight of the screeching lands of colourful trees, while the sunlight sparkling all the way down, will only leave you enthralled during your drive into the interior of the mountains.
The Smoky Mountains are to adven(a)ture devotees just like the pit-stop, Gatlinburg is to commercialised city admirers. Here’s how to get your adrenaline pumped during your visit.
The Smokies offer a huge range of outdoor activities exclusively at the verge of Spring season. White water river rafting, zip-lining, kayaking, canoeing, rope-ways, hiking, trekking, and fishing. This is candidly the nerve centre for adventure enthusiasts.
White water river rafting
I cherish how I jumped into my wetsuits to go white water river rafting, mulling over a Granola Bar for lunch. I impulsively chose to take the back seat on the raft, which was next to the raft guide’s, for some reason I thought would get me more thrilled than the other seats on the raft (which apparently isn’t true). *Rookie Error*
After a short briefing that our absolutely friendly guide, Rusty, gave us, we finally pushed our raft down the fast flowing Pigeon River. This river flows swiftly round the corner of the Appalachian Trail.
“4 strokes forward…5 strokes forward…3 strokes backward…”, shrieked Rusty sporadically as and when he schooled us about the Smoky mountains. He mentioned that every high wave down that stream was named by the first set of people who rafted down all the way. I remember a few. “Roller-Coaster”. “Exterminator”. “Snap Dragon”.
*Chills down my spine* I memorize how insanely cold the water was and maddening, its depth. Albeit, at one point of time, we surmounted a hurdle of waves and kept gently floating down the stream, while the sounds of nature breezed into our ears making us cognizant of our existence at a place so angelic. If you asked me if I’d go rafting down the same stream for the same ninety minutes, I’d probably change to the seats in the front this time.
Sunset points at Clingman’s Dome
The finest stage of the day you might find to be is at dusk. Sunsets. The charismatic rays of the sun lyrically casting on the screaming hills full of trees, inclining behind the enormous mountains is conjuring. The mind becomes a martyr of evanescence.
The name ‘Smoky Mountains’ is conspicuously justified at this point. As artlessly the name suggests, your admiration towards the thick layer of clouds and fog, resembling smoke, during the sunset will stay an alibi forever in your memory.