Every year we try to go hiking on Christmas Day and this year's hike was in Cades Cove along Cooper Road Trail.
It was a nice day in the Cove, temps in the low 40's with cloudy morning skies that cleared in the afternoon. A little drizzle did not dampen our spirits but recent rains had water levels up and we did have minor difficulty crossing Arbutus Branch along the way.
Stopped by the pond to check out the water level.... not a lot, but for winter pretty good I guess.
I always enjoy visiting the little cemeteries in the open fields. Feels so good out under the sun when it's chilly.
There was a lot of traffic in the Cove on Christmas. Despite the fact that bear madness is done for the season we were still caught up in multiple deer-jams, especially on the notoriously clogged far end of the loop. Inevitable. Not sure what goes thru people's heads once they get on that side..... maybe they are desperate to see a bear before they leave the Cove (because you always hear "Cades Cove is THE place to see bears!!") and they are scanning the forest as they roll along at 0.2 miles per hour.
All in all, it was a very nice Christmas in Cades Cove!