Great Smoky Mountains

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Andrews Bald Conquered!

Click on photo to enlarge. I read the reviews for this 3.6 mile hike to Andrews Bald, and everyone, who seemed much younger than me, wrote things like: "Such an easy hike." Then someone my age popped in and said. "Moderate." LOL! It really is moderate—not strenuous but certainly moderate. Why, the rocks [...]

Time spent at Boyd Mountain

I found the Boyd Mountain cabins outside of Maggie Valley (near Waynesville, NC) several years ago, but I only stayed here once. As I recall at the time, I was feeling very burned out and wanted to get away for a few days. I talked the owners into letting me bring Cocoa! They have a [...]

Oconaluftee and the Elk

If you go to Oconaluftee, you have to see the Elk. I keep seeing them but don't "see" the herds as much as the people, who live in the area. By that I mean, there's a whole group of people that follow the Elk (and now the eagles) around and report where they are at [...]

The Elk at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center

After I started following photographer Deborah Scannell and saw her photos of the Elk in the southern Appalachian mountains, I was convinced that I could capture a photo of them, too. Not as nicely done as her, of course, but still I could make an attempt. A couple of weeks ago, I did just that [...]

The Great Smoky Mountains

Welcome to my Friday after Thanksgiving! I have hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail (AT) for years but never long stretches. Mostly, I have backpacked and camped on Cumberland Island where the temps are mild and there are no bears! But I'm the first to admit there's a true mystery surround the AT and that [...]