This spring I took the big step of acquiring a car, thank you parents for helping with that project! I made it through 4 years of college and 4 years of post-college life without a car, and I’m proud of myself for that accomplishment, but it’s also time to be a bit more of an independent adult. So we luckily found a car that aligns with my eco-friendly life philosophy, and seems fitting for a member of the “Green Team” – a used Prius Hybrid! At the end of April my dad and I embarked for a BIG drive across the country, to get myself and the car from Montana back to Vermont.
I didn’t really want to take the quickest route back, because it would go through Chicago and/or Eastern Canada, and I’ve been that way before! Plus it’s northern and cold-ish and wouldn’t be springlike in April. So I directed us down south, and we planned to pass through the Badlands and take an extra day to hike, run and sight-see in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
After 3 days of solid driving, cruising along the highways and not seeing much other than rest stops, we arrived at the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee for an off day from driving and an on-day for some walking and admiring the green and growing things of this world. Over the course of the night-full day-morning we were in the Smokies, we found time for 5 separate outings from different trailheads, of various lengths, and we saw 3 waterfalls and many nice wildflowers like the ones below.
Wildflowers! Yes, this was one of my sideline reasons for dipping way down south, to see the flowers in the spring. Here are: Bluets (four-petaled purple-white with orange centers, they’re quite tiny), Tuliptree (circular orange and yellow flower, which grows on a tree), Yellow Trillium (not fully blooming, spiky yellow petals jutting out of speckled 3 leaves), Foamflower (spiky stalks of white flowers), Dog Hobble (white and like bunches of grapes) and Witch Hobble (showy but sterile large white flowers surrounding clumps of small white flowers).