It's January 17, 2011. East Tennessee has already seen 3 snow storms this year, and 5 total this winter including one on Christmas Day for the first time in many years. To say the least, we've seen a lot of winter weather this season and more is expected this weekend. Chief Meteorologist David Aldrich says we're expecting 2-4 inches in the Valley this Friday.
My husband and I decided to drive up to the Smoky Mountains this past weekend to see how much snow was left. When we got to the base of the Smokies there was still snow on the ground. Then we started driving up the mountain and there was still snow on the ROADWAYS!! We put the car in 3rd gear and continued to climb, even though I was a little scared (mostly about the drive down). About 4 miles up, everything was WHITE! The trees were covered with about 3 inches of snow on the branches. The road was icy and the car was getting colder inside. We finally got to the top at Newfound Gap and there were dozens of out-of-towners stopping to take pictures of the huge icicles and the 3 feet of snow that they've probably never seen before! I've never seen that much before.
We decided to go over to the road that leads to Clingman's Dome. The road was closed, but people were walking the snow covered trail. So we set out on the trail. It was COVERED in snow. There was a small trail that was packed down from where others had already trekked. But if we got off that trail we SUNK in about 2 feet soaking our socks and jeans (yes we wore jeans, well my husband wore jeans. I wore cargo pants). We continued to trudge through the white powder taking in the magnificent sight of the blue sky against the snow white landscape. As we continued, cross country skiers were coming down the path huffing and puffing. Hikers with snowshoes on their feet were making their way down, too.
On the way back down the mountain, we only slid on the ice twice. So that made me happy. We also stopped and hiked a little of the Chimney Tops path. That was really cool because the river was covered in snow. All the huge rocks were blanketed with white.
It was a great way to spend the weekend. If you are wondering what to do this weekend, head on up to the Smokies, although we are expecting some snow down here come Friday. At this point, I'm hoping Meteorologist Aldrich is right and Spring will come early :)