Hiking to the Walker Sisters’ Cabin!
By Rachelle Siegrist
Thankfully, Thanksgiving day brought gorgeous weather to the Smokies, filling a clear azure blue sky with abundant sunshine! So Wes and I put on our hiking boots and headed into nearby Smoky Mountain National Park, to enjoy the beautiful day with a hike to the Walker Sisters’ cabin. We chose to add the extra hike linking the trailhead to the picnic area in Metcalf Bottoms, where we parked, and I was so glad we did as we passed several beech trees in full fall splendor, perfectly illuminated by the sun!
Before long we reached the historical Little Green Brier Schoolhouse nestled amongst the trees. Built in 1882, and used as a school and church almost continuously until 1936. stepping inside takes you to another time and place where life was so much simpler. Leaving there we started up the trail leading to the cabin, and upon walking across one of the foot bridges, stopped to check for salamanders. And lo and behold upon closer inspection, there was a large one that had found a nice spot in the sun. He didn’t mind at all us taking a closer look as well as a few pics of him.
Leaving the enchanting salamander to enjoy his sunny spot, we continued along the winding path, shuffling thru and crunching leaves underfoot as we merrily went along. Rounding a curve in the path, the picturesque cabin came into view, and we were delighted to have the peaceful setting all to ourselves! We explored the surrounding area for awhile before sitting on a log and enjoying a Thanksgiving snack.
The walk back was just as relaxing as the hike up and when we reached the bridge crossing over to the picnic are, we spotted a fly fisherman taking advantage of the beautiful day as well! That evening we enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner at friends Sharon and Tom’s house, ending the day with games and laughter.
I was delighted to be able to eat my breakfast on the porch yesterday morning, with lots of my critter friends joining me! Several squirrels came and stayed as long as the peanuts were being handed out, while the Tufted Titmice, Carolina Wrens and Nuthatches enjoyed both the peanut crunchies as well as mealworms. Surrounded by squirrels, with birds landing on the table to grab nuts, my chipmunk decided to come join our feast. Upon inhaling all the scraps on the floor, she climbed up my legs and then sat in my hands for a few seconds, until she realized I wasn’t an empty chair . . . Ha Ha! At that point she descended my legs, climbed into the empty chair sitting next to me, where she crawled up onto the back of it and sat looking at me. I sat very still, so she jumped onto the table, ran over to the bowl of peanut crunchies and climbed into it, filling her cheeks to max capacity, before leaving! Needless to say, the magical encounters on my back porch never cease to amaze me!
Wes is a very happy camper, as the inflatable fishing kayak he ordered came a couple of days ago! This one will allow him to be able to fish easily, and since it can also be used as a double, we’ll both be able to use it while camping and going places where we can’t take our regular hard shell kayaks. We’re very excited to be christening it soon!
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Until next time . . .