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August 17 - Great Smoky Mountains NP - Chattanooga, TN

Alan made breakfast for us all and I finished packing the truck up. I left around 09:15 to Abrams Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where I planned to do a quick run (mostly to say I went there) before finishing the trip to Chattanooga. 

The park was very pretty, but because of my slow morning I was a bit worried about timing and thus did not appreciate the full beauty of the place. When I arrived to the trailhead I threw my shoes on and started toward the trailhead. Like my time in Shenandoah the trail was packed, but people were very friendly and courteous when I passed them. I guess its the southern hospitality. The trail was pretty smooth the whole way through with a bit of rocky technicality toward the turnaround point at the falls. I anticipated a steady climb and then fast descent but the trail was surprisingly rolling. My enthusiasm / anxiety got the best of me about halfway through where I was opted to walk for some time. The falls were beautiful, but after dunking my head in the water I turned right around (there were so many people hanging out there anyway) and ran back. The entire run was about 5 miles and I am very glad I did it. The strava link can be found here.

When I returned to the truck I took a baby wipe bath and got back on the road. However, thanks to my Garmin that found a "shortcut" I found myself on a 16 mile winding one-way and incredibly narrow road that though beautiful, ate up a ton of my time. Ultimately it worked out so I am glad I did it, but it was a nail biter both technique and time wise.

I arrived in Chattanooga around 18:15 where I would meet Corey and his vegan meet up group at the restaurant Cashew. The food was incredible especially as I love southern food, and the company was nice. One of the folks who was there was a head chef in NYC and has worked at some of my all time favorite places there.

Afterward it stormed harder than I had ever seen so Corey drove me to my truck and I then followed him to his apartment. We hung out and talked running and cameras for a while before we both settled in and I edited photos before sleeping. I wound up sleeping at around 00:00.