So, here’s an idea for those of you who are casual hikers. You know the type — I’m up for a few hours, but not for days. I love the walk, seeing nature, the challenge of a hike. But what I love more than anything is a picnic lunch in a perfect, out-of-the-way spot. I love to sit beside a little stream or overlooking an amazing valley. Nothing compliments a great hike so well as a picnic lunch.
This can be easier said than done, however. Groceries are a bit hard to come by, especially in the immediate Gatlinburg area. And who wants to buy a whole loaf of bread if you only need two sandwiches…
Worry no more — I’ve perfected this!
Here is Kendra’s fail-proof way to get a perfect picnic lunch while in the Smokies:
1. Drive toward the Entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
This is very important — if you’re coming from Pigeon Forge, don’t take the Gatlinburg bypass, no matter how tempting it is to do so (I know, the traffic is atrocious. But we’re talking the perfect picnic, here!). Head right into Gatlinburg.
2. While the driver is sitting at Stoplight 6, have two people hop out of the car.
This won’t be dangerous — the pedestrians have the right-of-way in Gatlinburg and people are always walking in the streets, getting from one side to the other. Send one person to the Subway on the left-hand side of the road and someone else to Aunt Mahalia’s Candies on the right-hand side of the road.
3.Have the sandwich-getter grab plenty of sandwiches.
I recommend the $5 variety. Also, this person should get plenty of bottled waters. (Make sure you have plenty — for more about this, click here.) Maybe some chips if you crave the salty. Have the Subway people cut the sandwiches into quarters instead of halves, so people can try different kinds.
4. The lucky person gets to pick out dessert.
Because it is a treat just to walk into Aunt Mahalia’s. Really. It’s known for its various brittles, but the old-fashioned candy sticks are what my kids crave. Have this person pick a variety of desserts that will hang together well in a backpack.
5. Meet back at the car.
Knowing Gatlinburg traffic, you should be able to catch up with your party at Stoplight 7 or 8!
6. Finally, load your backpack, find a good trail, and start an invigorating hike.
As for the perfect place for that picnic? You’re on your own!
But let me know what you find! I’d love to see a picture of your perfect little picnic spot! Good luck!