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Sugar Fork - 5/24/2008
Hazel Creek, Great Smoky Mountains Natl. Park

This trip was our first camping adventure of 2008. We had a pretty busy 2007, so we didn't get to go camping as much as we would have liked. Granted, we did get to go camping in Colorado, but we only came up to the Smoky's once in 2007. This trip set a new distance record for us, with a round trip distance of 10.4 miles! The weather was great for the entire trip, peaking in the upper 70's and getting down into the low 50's at night. The marina was pretty busy, so we didn't get out onto Hazel Creek Trail until around 1:45. It took us 2.5 hours to make the 5.2 mile hike to the Sugar Fork campsite, including a couple breaks along the way. Josiah has grown so much since we first started camping and he was able to handle the hile much better than previous trips. He was a real trooper. The only down side to the trip was that it was a holiday weekend, so Hazel Creek was packed with loads of fly fisherman as well as college kids and other families. We usually like being alone when we camp, so the crowded campsites were a little frustrating but I think we made the best of it anyway by striking up conversations with friendly fisherman and hikers along the way and at the campsite. Our campsite, Sugar Fork, was completely full so we were lucky to find a place to put our tent down. I think this will be the last trip to Hazel Creek for now. We've pretty much explored it as much as possible, so it's time to move on to bigger and better places. Enjoy the pics!

Danny ferries us from the marina out to Hazel Creek. We had to drop off some hikers at Eagle Creek first, so it ended up being about a 45 minutes boat ride.
Josiah takes over at the helm.
All geared up and ready to hit the trail!

At a about 3 miles we took a break...
A view of Hazel Creek as we cross of the 5th of the 6 bridges we crossed during our hike.
Finally there! Campsite #84 (Sugar Fork)
Camp is set up.
Josiah goes for a swing in the hammock.
Completely bushed, Eric rests in the tent for a few minutes.
Dani prepares a delicous dinner of spaghetti and meat sauce!
Beautiful morning light falls on us as we prepare to leave the next morning.
Dani cooks up some chicken & rice for breakfast, plus some egga and bacon for Josiah.
All geared up and ready to hike back down to the lake.
Back down by the lake, we waited for the ferry to come take us home.

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