We hadn’t made any firm plans (except for horse riding) for our time in the Smokies so on the second day we headed out to explore with no real destination in mind.
Taking the scenic (and somewhat slippy) route down the mountain. I’d have been a bit less nervous on this road with a driver who spent a bit less time admiring the view…
…but then again it was pretty spectacular so who can blame him?
When we reached the valley floor we were greeted by this handsome chap.
Elk don’t usually appear during the daytime (we were very lucky!) but they can sometimes be seen on the meadows at sunset/sunrise.
After bidding adieu to the Elk we made our way to the Boogerman trail (thanks to the advice of a friendly mountain ranger we met en route).
Walking the Boogerman trail is a pretty magical experience – with all the different coloured butterflies dancing on the breeze you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a Disney movie.
Our walk was cut short a few miles in (one of the log bridges was out due to recent flooding) but as we turned to head back we came across this little gang. I’ve never seen butterflies flocking together like this and would love to know what caused it!
We returned to the car just as the rain started to pour. So the afternoon was spent in the Museum of the Cherokee Indian (very interesting if you like learning about Native American history).
Luckily, the sun came out again just in time for our last evening on the Ranch…