Land of The Blue Smoke

The first inhabitants of the area now known as the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the Cherokee Indians, called the area “Land of the Blue Smoke” because of the misty clouds that routinely settle in the gaps and valleys of the Smokey Mountains. I missed the “perfect” photo-op on our first morning when I woke at daybreak for a bathroom break. That historic iconic blue mist stretched across the mountains and valleys in thin lines right before my eyes as I peeked out of the cabin. But it was cold. Okay, maybe not freezing, but chilly for this Hawaii girl so I just crawled back in bed. Oh well, we’ve got several more days and maybe I’ll be able to redeem myself.

Once we got up and moving around we headed for the park and what a relief to get out of town (Gatlinburg) into the park. Gatlinburg is a zoo!  (think Myrtle Beach’s garish mini-golf venues, tee-shirt shacks, fudge vendors and restaurant after restaurant and promising “All You Can Eat” gourmet fare at the best price). Cheap, glitzy tourist shops cram both side of the main road through town and we both breathed a sigh of relief when we left all that behind and entered the cool, dark forest of slowly winding roads following the Little Pigeon River. This is more like what we came here for.

Busy as the Park is with lots of visitors, cars, hikers, etc., we did see 2 bears the very first day we were in the Park. The first one was fairly small and crossed the trail about 15 yards ahead of where we were hiking. My initial thought was, if that’s a baby where’s the mama? But he kept moving up slope and didn’t bother us, and his mama never showed up! The second bear sited was quite a bit bigger, but we saw it from the car, so it was no threat to us at all.

fall colorsThe fall colors are beautiful in the Smoky Mountains, so I recommend you give it a visit some October in the future!

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures. 

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