Last week J had a weekday off from work, so we decided to take an impromptu trip to the Smokey Mountains for a hike. We took the Little River Trail out of Elkmont, as it's flat and scenic, and doable with a stroller. Ian still loves to ride in the Bjorn, but at 22 lbs he kills our back and shoulders if we wear him for much longer than 20 minutes or so.
We have never been to Elkmont in the Spring before, and the main reason we wanted to go was to visit the abandoned houses to see what was blooming around them. There's just something about that place that is fascinating. How neat it would have been to be a kid and summer there. Although many of the houses are falling down in disrepair, they are preserving a section of it.
Anyway, we thought there would be azaleas, but were a little disappointed - not a single azalea bush to be found. There were lots of daffodils but majority of the blooms were already spent.
It was still pretty so we went on to the Little River Trail.
Oh my, how surprised we were! We expected to see some wild flowers, but there were SO many. I was like a kid in a candy store, an exotic candy store in which I didn't know half of the goods but they were all awesome. I think we picked the perfect week to hike that trail.
I wanted to take pictures of everything but alas didn't have enough juice in the camera. After taking a few photos of my two favorite boys I only had enough for a few flowers.
We saw so. many. trilliums. There seriously must have been thousands and thousands of them. Some of them were huge.
We even saw pink Trillium, which I didn't even know existed. But guess what? It's actually just the white trillium - it turns pick as it ages.
And also saw some yellow violets, something else I hadn't seen.
Some Showy Orchis - very cool looking little plant.
In addition we saw, foamflower, little brown jug, columbine, mayapple, spring beauty, wild geranium, yellow trillium, false Solomon's seal, bishop's cap, blue phlox, and probably many more.
Ian was quite the trooper - we had to alternate between the stroller and carrying him, but we were able to take about an hour and half hike. I know I've said it before, but it's so awesome to live close to this National Park!