Ever waken up to the charming sounds of a whopping river cascading a few feet down away from the glass doors of your cottage, which is remarkably closer to the fireplace? And even before you know it, you can feel your deep-seated gut jolting you to caper out there and go fishing or simply embrace the purity of the air encompassing you. If your answer is 'NO', you need to pack your bags and cruise to The Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
The Smokies are a part of the giant Blue Ridge Mountains, and is shared by the two grateful states of America, Tennessee and North Carolina. The sight of the screeching lands of colorful trees,while the sunlight sparkling all the way down, will only leave you enthralled during your drive into the interior of the mountains.
The Smokies offer a huge range of outdoor activities exclusively at the verge of Spring season. White water river rafting, zip-lining, kayaking, canoeing, rope-ways, hiking, trekking, fishing and what not. This is candidly the nerve center for adventure enthusiasts( like me ). So, quite obvious, I was out there all dressed up to take the flight, feet above the ground. Though it wasn't the first time I went zip-lining, it felt like the first. That feeling when you slit open through the air and let yourself free is Ah-Maze-ing.
White water river-rafting
Soon after zip-lining for an hour almost, I got dressed up in my wet suits to go white water river rafting, skipping my lunch. Oh yes, I don't mind skipping food for such thrills (mostly because I don't get famished). I impulsively chose to take the last seat on the raft, which was next to the raft guide's, for some reason I thought would get me amazed than the other seats on the raft (which apparently isn't true).
After a short briefing that our absolutely friendly guide, Rusty, gave us, we finally pushed our raft down the fast flowing Pigeon River. This river flows swiftly round the corner of the Appalachian Trail. We soon hopped on the raft, getting ready for yet another exciting ride, down the river. "4 strokes forward...5 strokes forward...3 strokes backward...", shrieked Rusty abruptly as and when he schooled us about the Smoky mountains. I was pretty surprised when he mentioned that every high wave down that stream was named by the first set of people who rafted down all the way. I remember a few. "Roller-Coaster" "Exterminator" "Snap Dragon".
Sheesh! I remember how insanely cold the water was and maddening, its depth. Albeit, at one point of time we surmounted a hurdle of waves and kept gently floating down the stream, while the sounds of nature breezed into our ears making us be cognizant of our existence at a place so angelic. If you asked me if I would go rafting again for the same 90 minutes, it'd definitely be a big yes. (But I'd prefer the front seat next time).
Sunset point at Clingman's Dome
Undoubtedly, the finest stage of the day was at dusk. Sunset. The charismatic rays of the sun mellowly casting on the screaming hills full of trees, inclining behind the enormous mountains is conjuring. It was that point of the time where everything else in my mind was a martyr of evanescence. I did find out something eloquent. I had figured why it is called as the Smoky Mountains. As artlessly as the name suggests, I could admire the thick layer of clouds and fog, resembling smoke, during the sunset. Enough said.
From this point forward, I can willing say that, yes, it still stands firm as one of the places in the world where you can be completely yourself and be in touch with your adventure side.