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The Gang Gets Smoky

Like many others, 2021 was a year that knocked me completely on my ass.

A lot of aspects in my life changed for the worse, and by the end of the year, I was in a pretty bleak spot. I ended up booking a relatively spontaneous “run away from home” trip that left on Black Friday for a bit of a…rejuvenation? Something along those lines. Something that was kind born out of a lack of international trips like Ireland or Spain.

What ended up coming out of a zoom meeting (with the same crew as the Iceland trip) was a bit of a jaunt for me in the end. But, in a good way. We would make a trip to see the Great Smoky Mountain area, including Gatlinburg, TN, and Asheville, NC. However, in order to make it more affordable, I would be adding an additional 4 days to the trip—in Minneapolis, MN.

  • Minneapolis, MN: day 1
  • Asheville, NC: day 2
  • Gatlinburg, TN: day 3-4
  • Asheville, NC: day 5-6
  • Minneapolis, MN: day 7-10

But, for the views that the Smoky Mountains would provide…well, it was already going to be worth it, and it went so far beyond.

panoramic view from a smoky mountain hike

However, ending a hiking trip with 3 days of sleeping on a couch was not the recovery I’d previously thought it would be, so it was a welcome sight to see my bed after a more-or-less impromptu 10-day trip.

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