Monday, October 21, 2013

Hiking with the Elk

   This fall has started beautifully here in Trail Dames with lots of hiking, backpacking and camping out!  The coolest thing we have done lately is go hiking in Catalooche Valley in the Smoky Mountain National Park.  This is a really gorgeous area full of 19th century buildings, including a school and two churches.

ElkAt the beginning of the weekend fifteen of us loaded up cars full of ice chests, tents and campfire makings then headed north.  After setting up camp, we were off to hike, enjoying the cool weather and views that only the Smoky Mountains can bring.

The coolest thing about this trip is the elk!  This time of year is rutting time, and the valley is full of herds of elk.  We got the opportunity to hike over at sunset and watch these beautiful animals interact with each other, the males posturing and bugling while they try to attract cows. It is really a neat sight.

Following this up with a campfire complete with good food and even better company was the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of fall.  The leaves aren’t changing yet, and the pumpkins are still on the vine, but we can see it coming and the view from the Smokies is a great one! 

Submitted by Anna Huthmaker at

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