Grant, Brian and I skipped the dance competition in Knoxville Saturday and ventured, using a hike as an excuse. We had planned to hike Forney Ridge Trail out to Andrews Bald. Unfortunately weather and time didn’t cooperate. (It was imperative that we make it to Smoky’s ballpark in time for the light sabre give away.) With a heavy overcast we decided on Old Sugarland’s Trail. We caught the trail head at 441 just down the road from the Visitor’s Center and started up the trail. We quickly passed the old quarry where granite was quarried for the park bridges and hiked along the noisy West Prong of the Little Pigeon River. Everything along the trail was bright green from the grass to the tree tops. About .8 of a mile up the trail we approached a stream crossing. Grant has a long history of bad luck at stream crossings, so we took a side trail to the right. This trail took us up and back towards Gatlinburg. As we gained elevation the forest began to change from green to black. It didn’t take long and we were surrounded by charred and blacken trees and shrubs. The duff (top layer of forest floor) in some places resembled ripples of a sand dune. I suspect the fire burned hotter and deeper in some areas, or the ash was blown away by the high winds. We observed places where the roots had been burned away leaving what looked like dinosaur foot prints. There were also patches of green popping out. Spring is the time for new growth. On the way to the ball park we stopped on the Gatlinburg bypass to take a picture of where we had been.