Flashback Friday: Smokey Mountains National Park June 2017

Starting a new thing– Flashback Fridays! I’ll take a few moments to talk about a hike, trip, or adventure. I can think about warmer days and get into a habit of posting every week.

It’s a win, win!

For my first Flashback Friday I’m going to talk about probably my favorite trip ever…so far…

Those mountains!

It was my second trip to Smokey Mountain National Park but the first long distance trip with my husband, then boyfriend, Wade. We had a few adventures to Wyoming, South Dakota, and Oklahoma by this point. But this was the first that crossed the Mississippi.

The Smokey’s were a secondary part of the trip and where we’re camping. The main reason was a family reunion in Maryville, Tennessee. While I was working at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery as a Environmental Education Intern in 2014 I took a weekend trip to visit my uncle and aunt.

I had a fun trip to the national park. Wade and I were talking every night I was living in Kentucky. Gotta love long distance relationships. I told him how beautiful I found the park and how I didn’t get to see any bears.

I like bears. Or wildlife in general. Any place I visit (Yellowstone, Smokey, etc.) I always try to find the wildlife. I usually miss out.

This trip with Wade I saw bears!

He really is my lucky charm.

We had a fun weekend of family, food, and …fun…

I need to work on synonyms.

We camped because I like camping. I had just gotten a tent cot that I really like and it’s handy for car camping. It’s easy to set up and it folds up nice. Even though it was a front country campsite it was surprisingly quiet– which is what I like about National Park Service sites.

Low key camping

We had a plan to do the drive through Cade’s Cove and maybe hike a little bit… but I was enchanted watching bears. It kind of cut into our hiking time.

Plus, Wade had a little surprise for me.

I found this little valley along the Cade’s Cove drive and decided I wanted to get some shots of the trees and a panorama of the area. I had just set up my camera and was working on attaching it to the tripod when my darling boyfriend started poking me on my butt. Well, upper left hip, in his words.

My favorite valley in Smokey Mountain

I was getting a little grumpy and said just a second…

I finally turned.

He asked to make him the happiest guy in the world.

Some random car drove by… “OMG! He’s asking her to marry him.”

He blushed.

I said yes.

Engagement Valley!

Keep Wandering,


P.S. If anyone knows the actual name of “engagement valley” I would love to know the name. I’ve either forgotten or never wrote it down. It is probably one of my favorite places and I would like to get the right name.

P.PS. Before we went I told him if he asked me at the actual family reunion I would have a panic attack (I hate being the center of the attention in a large group setting) or my family would have us married before the weekend was over.

Published by BJ

I've always enjoyed the outdoors; I love camping, kayaking, and canoeing. However, I decided to break out the hiking boots for longer than a day or two and dive into the world of backpacking.

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