(I am to visit India next month. Going to meet my family and friends after two years :). While am there, I also have to go on a seven days hiking expedition to Himalayas with two of my close friends which I am forced to do it to re-establish my intimacy with the beautiful nature the mountains in Himalayas have got to present, which the last time I did was 3 years back. Only this time though the summit sits at 20000 feet, 7000 feet more than my previous one. Can’t wait…)
Continued from previous post
From Chattanooga we drove to Tennessee back for the night, hoping that we’ll make it in time for the fireworks. But then the heavy rain didn’t really help our cause. As we entered the city, the fireworks began.
Next day morning we checked out from the home-stay accommodation and drove to Gatlinburg, around four hours drive from Nashville to explore Ramsey Cascade falls in Smoky Mountains. On the way we stopped by in Knoxville to meet our friend Nandini.
Ramsey Cascade falls is the tallest falls in Smoky Mountains, whose trailhead is around 11 miles from Gatlinburg. To explore the falls one has to hike for 4 miles through the forest, which happens to be one of the few forests left unscathed in the region by the logging industry. The trailhead starts at an elevation of 2100 feet and the trail elevates an additional 2200 feet to the falls, that is 100 feet tall with water dropping through several tiers.
The trail had many tiny waterfalls, rapids that line the water stream, tuliptrees, yellow birches and also the tallest black cherry tree standing at around 150 feet.
Walking through the trail, it just hit me of the fact that, no matter where on the planet one is hiking, be it developed, developing or under developed nation, the nature always presents itself as it is, irrespective of the place. There were instances while walking through the woods, when I was reminded of the dense monsoon forests in India.
Two miles through the hike, we reached a long narrow footbridge spanning for around 20 feet above the creek. We climbed rock steps, boulders and roots before reaching the falls at around 4:00pm.
With water dropping down through several tiers, the falls is the not the best you would have seen, but the hike to the falls is the best part. Unfortunately just when we reached the falls it started raining heavily and we had to start our walk back to the car immediately. I had a American couple carry my camera in there backbag 🙂
We then drove to our super cool and expensive cottage (without other option) that we had booked for the night to stay in Gaitlinberg.
To be continued…