I grew up surrounded by cornfields in Michigan. Then we moved to Houston, Texas. I don’t know if you’ve been to mid-Michigan or Houston, Texas so I will just fill you in: they are wonderful in many ways but they are FLAT. Flat flat flat.
When I moved to Knoxville, TN I learned one very important thing about myself: I. Love. Mountains. I love to drive through them, I love to walk up them, and most of all, I love to stand on top of them and see the tops of other tree-covered mountains for miles and miles into the distance until they fade into wavy blue lines. It’s indescribable.
This year I vowed to go to the tops of as many mountains as possible. I’m doing better than last year where the final count was: none. High bar, people, high bar.
So I grabbed my friend Monica and we drove out to the Smokies. Yes, that’s as far as we planned. Once we got to one mountain that ended up having a closing time (weird, right?! I thought so too) we typed “Mount LeConte” into Google Maps to hike instead. Why did we choose Mount LeConte? For this well thought-out reason: I had heard of it before.
That’s what adventuring is all about right?! Hitting the open road without plans or knowledge? Good, I thought so.
Anyway, we drove until Google Maps told us to stop and then we climbed up a mountain.
Who knows what mountain it was? Google Maps told us it was Mount LeConte. In no world is Mount LeConte, the highest peak in the Smokies, a two and a half hour hike. Maybe it was part of Mount LeConte? Maybe. We don’t know. But whatever dumb mountain it was, it was one of the most stunning hikes I’ve ever been on, complete with beautiful views peeking in the whole time, rivers, rocks, everything. It all culminated at the end to a literal peak that you could climb up at your own risk. When I say peak, I mean tippy top narrow don’t-trip-because-you-will-fall-to-your-death peak. I did not go all the way to the top because I value my life, y’all. Sorry bout it.
Even without getting to the very tip top look, just look at those views from very nearly almost top! Here, I’ll remind you.
So here’s the consensus: you should go on this hike. I suppose you can type “Mount LeConte” in your Google Maps too and hope for the best.
It was an almost entirely vertical hike. It was only a couple miles up, but the incline made it exhausting anyway. (Granted, I am speaking as someone who had pizza rolls and ice cream for dinner last night. Keep this in mind during talks of any type of physical difficulty.) The views are worth it. And the climb up the rocky peak was fun and exciting and quite the adrenaline rush if you ask me. One wrong move and you topple down the side. That’s my kind of mountain! Well, that’s 99% my kind of mountain. I did skip out on the last 1% of the top. Life happens.
Five out of five stars. I’d hike you again in a heartbeat, you nameless mountain, you.
**EDIT**: It’s totally Chimney Tops XD