Well, we're gearing up for our first camping trip since our jaunt down to DeSoto Park near Tampa. This time we're headed much closer to home and into the high country. I'm hoping to test out the knee some more on some trails and will do my best to get to the top of a mountain or two and find some waterfalls. The area where we're headed is supposedly packed with great waterfalls.
I'm looking forward to the trip, as we have never visited this specific area of the southern Appalachians. I hope to bring back some good photographs. But, in a way, I feel I'm really mining the dregs of what this part of the country has to offer. I've hiked and scrambled and bushwhacked all over my native mountains, and it's time to start venturing farther afield more often. I repeat again that there's nothing more beautiful than a southern Appalachian cove forest, but I'm past ready to experience other habitats and other vistas.
Our initial goal for this summer was to head up to the Adirondacks. But my surgery put that on hold, as did the soaring price of gasoline. Since I wasn't likely to be able to hike up the larger of the high peaks in the Daks, we fell back on more local options, thus our plans to hit eastern Tennessee instead of New York state.
For next year, though, we're going to aim much farther afield. We're thinking of one or more of the western parks, again. We're looking at a range of them. Everything from Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, to Lassen Volcanic Peak, or Yosemite, or Sequoyah-King's Canyon. We'll know more, but as with our trip to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons, we want to set everything in stone before we head out.