Are you asking where are days 1-5? Pfft, those were easy. It has rained every day, which means laundry has never dried and the firewood is wet. We met another motorcycle camping couple that had an awning set-up over their picnic table. We’re definitely adding that idea to our kit. Great Smokey Mountains is a beautiful place, but nothing is ever dry and it’s getting to me.
I have a tendency to put toothpaste in my mouth and do chores. Eventually my toothbrush joins the party, but it can be quite a while. Today I’m doing just that when I start muffled screaming as spiders, a centipede, a mouse, a locust, and some unidentified bugs cross our path on the way to the bathhouse. Trish is looking around wildly trying to figure out what is going on. “Are you okay?!” Once I finishing brushing and explain then she’s concerned, “You are going to tell me if something large is charging me, right? Like use your words, not toothpaste mouth!” I harumpf off to the campsite to cook breakfast which is chicken with dates and olives. This is actually last night’s dinner, but it started pouring rain as we got back from a ride. We took refuge in the tent and fell asleep. It’s a delicious meal and I’m revived.
This is supposed to be fun so why am I so cranky? I take stock: I’m tired of being wet in the afternoons and evenings. There has only been one evening dry enough to enjoy a fire. I’ve tried just hanging out in my rain suit, but it wasn’t that much fun. I have no clean clothes and no dry clothes. The food has been great! We made double dinners for the weeks leading up to the trip and packed them in a Yeti. It’s worked very well. Adding some fresh local produce made it even better. Okay, I need clean, dry clothes including getting the sleeping bags dry. So we spent a few hours at the Laundromat and it was AWESOME! I was dry! The humidity was reasonable. Who knew doing laundry could be a highlight of a trip? But was humor and resilience truly restored?
We headed on a ride to hangout in Gatlinburg for a couple hours and our resilience was thoroughly tested. The ride was a beautiful, curvy road without too much traffic at first. The closer we got to Gatlinburg it became a slow moving traffic jam. We tried a couple places to park, but motorcycles were forbidden. We gave up and couldn’t get out of there fast enough. We decided on a hike instead. As we’re looking at the trailhead map I’m reading about the flora and fauna of the area and it says, “The Great Smokey Mountains is a temperate rain forest and it rains almost every day.” No shit! Well with this information I was better able to embrace the suck of constant wetness and we picked a mission to take pictures of as many types of mushrooms as we could find… and there are a lot!