Hiking the Great Smoky Mountains

Hey there, readers! I know it has been almost a month since my last post on the blog… I have been incredibly preoccupied with wedding planning, traveling, and finishing up a class for graduate school. Thanks for being patient with me!

For my birthday (which was Feb. 26), David and I took a mini road trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee! Why Gatlinburg? Well, this may sound silly, but I have always wanted to visit the city after hearing a song by Jason Aldean. He briefly mentions the city and how he heard it was “pretty.” That was all I needed to know it was somewhere I wanted to be! I figured this song would make a good song of the week, too. So enjoy “This I Gotta See” by Jason Aldean below!

Boy was Jason Aldean right! Gatlinburg is absolutely stunning. We chose a relatively warm weekend during the off season, so it wasn’t nearly as crowded as I am sure it can be in the summer months. One thing I wanted to do, for myself, was to hike part of the Appalachian trail. When I, hopefully, heal and am comfortable with long distance hikes, David and I are going to hike the entire trail together from start to finish.

With a leg that isn’t fully healed and requires frequent breaks when hiking, 4 miles of the trail had to suffice (8 miles there and back). We chose to hike to Charlie’s Bunion which offers panoramic views of the North Carolina and Tennessee state lines. It is truly breathtaking. I contemplated if taking pictures was something I wanted to do… but I decided that I deserved to document an amazing feat for myself.

In 20 days, it will be a full year since the day of my surgery. Hiking part of the Appalachian trail was the best birthday present a girl could ask for. I am so grateful to be alive and to have had an opportunity to see such an incredible view of the Great Smoky Mountains. It will forever be a memory burned into my brain. Not to mention, I was able to share the memory with my best friend and almost husband.

Below are some photos that David and I took during our hike. I want to thank David for being an AMAZING support system while hiking that trail. He was such a good sport. The hike was strenuous and he never made me feel like I was slowing him down or being a burden to him. Every step of the way he guided me and cheered me on. What more can you ask for in a partner for life? I am so blessed.

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