We decided to spend the first half of the vacation hiking and chose to try a loop hike our first day leaving from Abrams Creek Campground and hiking down the Rabbit Creek Trail. Unfortunately, we got about a half mile down the trail and found out that the bridge had washed out over a rather wide river with fast moving water thanks to it being early in the season. Had it been just Matt and I, we probably would have walked across holding hands, but with the boys... we lose some balance and don't want to slip with them attached to us. So we went to plan B and just did an out and back hike along the Cane Creek Trail that left from the other side of the campground. It was a bit of a bland hike in terms of views, but the company was great with all of us getting to be together. And Micah loved all the silly songs Grandma knew and made her sing them over and over as we hiked. Poor Grandma!
Day 2 started off with us getting to the park to drive the Cades Cove Loop only to find that it was closed for bikers until 10 AM... so we killed some time at a picnic area with a great wading place and let Micah play in the stream before driving through Cades Cove and parking at the Abrams Falls trailhead for our hike. On the drive we saw 4 black bears (2 adults and 2 cubs), which was pretty cool! The Abrams Falls hike went much more smoothly than the previous day's hike and we reached the falls in good time. Micah had a blast throwing rocks into the water at the falls and getting his feet wet along the edge. We were glad we were one of the first to start the trail though, because by the time we left the falls it was packed and there were a lot of people on the trail.
Our third hiking day was cut a little short because Aunt Caroline hurt her foot on the Abrams Falls hike and wasn't feeling up to much. So we all drove to Clingman's Dome but Grandpa and Aunt Caroline didn't climb up. Fortunately, it was a clear day and we got some great views! We also did a short little hike along the AT while there which brought back some backpacking memories... can't wait until the boys are big enough to backpack!
In our downtime that afternoon we played a family game of Catan (I won!) and the boys got to relax at the cabin a bit. We indulged in some hot tub time and Trivial Pursuit games in the evenings after the boys were in bed as well. Next up, Uncle Trent and Kelsey arrive!... see Part 2