I had an interesting hike today near the Bandy Creek Campground in Big South Fork Park. Went with the Great Smoky Mountain Hiking and Adventure Group for the first time. Turned out to be a group of really nice people who just love being in the outdoors and feel that there's safety in numbers when hiking. This trail was a 5.9 mile loop through the forest with only a slight elevation change. It was rated moderate but I think only because of the two ladders you have to use to climb down two separate areas where the descent is just too steep to do otherwise.
The most interesting part of this hike today was these massive outcroppings of rock! Wish I knew more about geology--I'm sure there is quite a history behind these formations. There were many of these on the first half of the hike. It wasn't raining today, but water from last night's rainfall was making a bit of a waterfall over the rock in this picture as the trail passed under the outcroppings.
About 3 miles in we came across a small but pretty waterfall in the creek that ran alongside much of the trail. It was very pretty, but I must say, the scenery today wasn't as beautiful as the vistas you find in the Smokies.
We took a short break at the farm, ate a quick snack and snapped a few pictures. There was a pretty reflecting pond near the farm buildings and we were looking at that when a young hunting dog came out of the woods--lost and hungry. We fed her much of our food and then decided to lead her out. One of the ladies on the hike decided to take her home and leave her contact information with the ranger station in case someone was looking for her.
I don't know if it was the excitement over the dog or what, but coming up from the farm, we must have taken a wrong turn. We turned a 5.9 mile hike into a 7 mile hike by following a GPS into a dead end trail. We were "temporarily unsure of our exact location on the planet" became the joke of the day. We weren't "unsure" for long, but it gave us something to laugh and talk about.