Today is a hiking day. There are more than 150 trails to choose from in Great Smoky National Park. After some careful thought and the advice from a volunteer ranger we chose the Charles Bunion Trail. It is a 4 mile in and a 4 mile out hike (about 12 km in total). The trail is actually part of the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail, is a hiking trail in the Eastern United States, extending almost 2,200 miles between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine, and passing through 14 states. This is a trail that is definitely way beyond something that Ed and I would ever do but now we can say that we hiked part of the Appalachian Trail.

Ed says I swing my walking sticks about too much so he prefers to hike in front of me, which is good as now there are photos of the front of me not just my backside. The uphill started right away.

A view along the way.

At the 3-mile point is a shelter that overnight hikers use. I don't know how well you can see it but there is a pully system for suspending your food so bears can't get it.

The shelter. The Appalachian Trail was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) members and the US Forest Service between 1927 and 1937. Many of the shelters were built during that time period. You can also camp along the trail but only in designated camping area. We talked to several other hikers along the trail. Some of them have been on the trail for about 5 months and are down to the last 10 days or so. Another fellow (who retired this summer) did the northern section of the trail, took a bit of the break and is doing the southern section now. He's planning on taking the winter off and will finish the trail next summer. I really respect the people that can hike this trail. I was pretty tired after my short hike and can't image hiking more than 20 miles most days. The guys we talked to told us that they do have 0 mile days when they go into town, stock up on supplies and maybe even sleep in a real bed.

We really need to practice selfies. We made it to Charles Bunion.

The bump of rock is the actual "Bunion" The next three photos are ones we took when we climbed onto the "Bunion".




There's more hill above Charles Bunion, which we climbed. Looking down you can see the "bunion". There's a hiker sitting at the bottom of the rock.

Ed enjoying the view.

Back at the trailhead. We tried to take another selfie but a wonderful person saw us struggling and offered to take a picture for us.

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Would you believe we did another hike? Yup, we did. There was a geocache Ed wanted to find and it was on a nature trail by the information center. It was fairly flat and less than 2 miles return. We saw this funky tree and a lot of wild turkeys.

Including this white one. After I googled it, I found out that there are several types of white wild turkeys but it takes 2 recessive genes so there aren't a lot of them.