Running with Russell! :)

6 Jul

So, when I went on vacation with Russell, Amy and the kids Russell really wanted to take me on this run through the mountains…I was game…buuuut, in this shot deep down I was freakin’ scared. I mean here you have my brother who can run without training, me who has these short legs, and there is SNOW! It was freezing and I feared letting my brother down…like, we would take daaaays rather than the few hours we planned. I imagined search parties having to come and find us desolate on the trail after dark…

…but Russell was so calm, cool and collected before we even got to the top he’s having us pose for pictures:)

We started out at Clingman’s Dome the highest point in TN…WOW! Was it beautiful…you can see like 7 states from there on clear day (something like that).

This is how you get to where I had taken the above picture…because of the cold and snow we literally were able to slide down some of this…kinda fun…ok, alot of fun:)

Here’s the proof of the cold!

Here we go!

Russell posing like he’s a rock star…no biggie…I’m just going to die on this run:)

We saw so many beautiful sites! This tree with the ice frozen on it was just breathtaking!

I was so happy Russell had the backpack because I don’t think I could have ran, taken pics and carried that on my back:)

We saw caves…well, this one cave…Russell decided he shouldn’t go in…it went pretty far back and there are bears roaming around with their cubs that time of year.

We climbed waterfalls too. Literally, pics do not do justice to the beauty that surrounded us…around every turn it was like a photo op just waiting to be taken!

Another waterfall.

Russell was a great brother and never went too far ahead of me…I swear I heard bears all around just waiting to attack:) And, they would have gotten me since I was behind:)

We made it to our first marker!!! It was a lovely site…I was starting to feel the burn by then.

We had to cross this creek and we decided to stop for lunch as it was about halfway I think and it was beautiful here…

…this was my view at lunch…I could have stayed forever!!!!!

Russell found a log and moved it across the creek so I could cross without getting wet so I wouldn’t freeze. It was getting warmer the further we got down, but with sweating and then getting chilled, well, that wouldn’t have been too smart and I couldn’t quite jump as far as him:)

Aaaannnndddd, we’re off again! Man, once you stop and then start up again, well, my 35 year old body had to loosen up again…I could really feel my hip joints at this point!

This was just another breathtaking spot…I just need to build a little cabin here and never leave:)

More beauty!

We got a little slap happy I think as time went on…Russell pretending to “study” the growth on the rock:) It was neat, but his expression just killed me:)

Russell said when we got here we weren’t too far from the end…it was still miles though…we did a total of 15 I believe that day. I was happy to see this bridge knowing that, but also it was bittersweet knowing we would be back to civilization…being out in the wild with just the wind blowing, smelling the earth, well, you just can’t beat that!

Russell broke out the snacks at the bottom of the bridge…wonderful break!!!

Another trail marker past the bridge:)

And, we’re off again…”Slow down, Russell!” That break really got to me…:)

Now the trail is wider, we started seeing some people, and Russell jumped for joy off the rock…whew!! Watch those ankles now:)

Russell checking out the rapids…still so beautiful!

I thought Steve, Gage, and Garret would love getting onto this island:)

As we near the end we come upon an old log town…pretty cool! The houses are abandoned now, but there is a project going on to restore them!

We made it!!!! Not ashamed to say I look HORR-I-BLE!!! But, the memories made on this run will never be forgotten and what a cool experience to share with Russell, the best brother ever!!! He knew I could do it, he encouraged me along the way, and he never left me for the bears:) Thank you, Russell!!! Next year, baby!!! Next year!!! 🙂

We then walked a short way to the campground where Amy and the kids were coming to get us…unfortunately, I thought I would take FOR-EVER so we told Amy not to get us until 6:00pm….well, I didn’t go that slow and we made it back by 2:00PM…we were able to scrounge up some quarters and call her on a pay phone, but the kids were taking a nap…of course, we didn’t mind and kept ourselves busy…

…we checked out the river…we could see fish from the bridge…

…we checked out the campsites…we thought the one on the left there would be so perfect…!

We were told in this area a mama bear and her two cubs would come roaming around right around this time…we didn’t see her, but maybe that’s best:)

I think we drank about 30 cups each of hot chocolate and mocha from 2 to 6pm:) It became quite comical to us…the campground wasn’t full, but the folks there I think thought we were homeless, lost, or strange:D LOL:) Everyone was very friendly though:)

Seeing this site was such a site for sore feet!!!!!! We couldn’t have been happier:D Thank you, Amy, for letting us go on this run, for getting up at the break of dawn to take us because I was afraid if we started too late we would be running in the dark, and for picking us up! I want you to do it next year too and I’ll watch the kids…we’ll just make Russell run two days:) Hehe:D

This sums up the night…Millie chillin’ with Russell’s hat on he wore on the run:) She had a lot to say without saying a word! No…really…I have no idea what she was thinkin’, but I think she was thinkin’ she was pretty cool in that hat:) Love it! Love her:)

2 Responses to “Running with Russell! :)”

  1. ma July 6, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    Love the pics, looks like a beautiful place!! Love you guys!!!:)

  2. sms77S July 7, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    Thanks, Ma:) Love you too!

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