Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Wessy and the Oconaluftee River Trail

A trip to Oconaluftee is always fun. It's all about getting away and enjoying the lifestyle of the mountains. This area borders Cherokee, NC, home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. A little history about this nation within a nation— "The Cherokee were hunters and gatherers, foraging the Great Smoky Mountains and the lowlands [...]

A Few Firsts for Wessy

First time up to Waterrock Knob this year. We usually visit whenever the Blue Ridge is open but in the winter, those times are next to none. But it's spring now and most of the Parkway is open! On this day, showers were threatening, but we have stopped worrying about rain in these mountains. Any [...]

Clingmans Dome via the Forney Ridge Trail and AT

A few months ago, I struggled with this trail—the Forney Ridge Trail—as we hiked to Andrews Bald, but this was a different day! One hiker wrote that we all have good and bad days on "the trail." Some days we don't have as much energy and others we have lots! He had a bad day [...]

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 [...]

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