I hiked to LeConte Lodge this weekend to see some friends and spend some time in the woods. Whenever I take a day or two to go out to the Smoky's I am blown away by how much I benefit from spending time moving my body, smelling the fir trees, seeing the way the light plays on the leaves and hearing running water. I got so excited I put my whole head in one of the streams. After working at the lodge I understand nature's role in our mental health. Man, it is just so good. Here are a bunch of vertical photos (I guess that is just how I was seeing things) and a couple of horizontal ones too.
I got to see Matt who was on crew with me last year at the lodge. Actually he was the cook and I was the assistant cook. He still works there, so sometimes I go to see him and the new crew because when you live with someone for eight months in the woods they take up a big place in your heart. In general though, the mountain just calms me and slows me down so going there gives me a lot of energy. Matt and I bonded pretty hard over the joys and struggles of learning how to cook for big groups of people who are also your friend/co-workers (it is a unique job). He is one of the strongest, kindest people I know and I am so glad that I get to see him still.