The last day in the Smokies we visited Laurel Falls. The falls were 1.3 miles away on a steady but short ascent along a partially paved path to the falls. The falls were busy and beautiful.
My four fellow hikers went on to Cove Mountain Tower while I meandered back down to the parking area to relax and sit my tired rump in the car when I got a surprise. A BEAR! Yes, a real live bear. I’ve traveled to the Smokies lots of times and never seen one but always wanted to. This young lady was a yearling who was creating her den right there under a big fallen tree.