Great Smoky Mountains

This post, I'm going to take you away from the Small Town, but we're going to stay in the same county.  I'm very fortunate to have grown up (and to come back to live) in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  I've worked in a school that is very close to the Park's entrance, and currently work in a school that is close to it.  The Small Town's Alma Mater starts out with these words:
"At the foot of Dear Old Smoky"

Growing up, we didn't have air conditioning in our house.  On exceptionally hot weekends, we would load up the car and drive up to the mountains.  We would go tubing in the river, swim, and have picnics.  I didn't find out until just a few years ago that the reason we did that was because Daddy couldn't stand the hot house.

When we get together at my parents' house and look at slides from our growing up years, we notice something very suspicious.  The family will be in the mountains, and then there would be a baptism!  Gotta love that mountain air!

There was a place in the road that we would always look for:  the Indian Head.  (At least, I think that's what it was called.)  I think time & weather have worn it away; I don't think it's there any longer.

An obligatory picture at the entrance is a must:

To me, one of the most beautiful places is Cades Cove.  It doesn't matter how many times I've been there, I take at least 20 pictures each time!
My dad's picture in the late 60's-early 70's:
My picture from 2011:
The Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited National Park, with 8-10 million visitors/year.  Tubing has become a big industry, although you have to time it when the river isn't low.  And, you have to be careful where you get out of the river:  some of the residents (and businesses) aren't happy with people trespassing.
There's plenty of hiking, waterfalls, wildflower watching, and wildlife watching.  From time to time, there are "bear jams" on the roads.  There is a picnic area as well as a camping area.
The camping area is wooded, and only has toilet facilities...no shower.  Also, there is no electricity or water at the sites.  
If you've never been, the Great Smoky Mountains are a beautiful place to visit!


  1. I've driven a part of it in NC, and it's so gorgeous. Not much to compare for mountains where I am!

  2. I totally love Cades Cove. Hubby and spent several hours there in March.

  3. Love the Smokies, Townsend, Cades Cove....it is my favorite place in the world to be in the fall and spring....who am I kidding...anytime of the year.

  4. Hmmmm I've heard "On top of old smokey" but never "at the foot of old smokey" before. GREAT post. Also read your post about prom night. I am convinced that kids today are as good as ever.

  5. They are absolutely gorgeous! We haven't been in years. I really enjoyed your pictures.

  6. How beautiful! And I enjoyed reading your childhood memories about the hot weekends and heading up to the mountains! The pictures that you showed to compare (yours and your father's) are really neat!

  7. I desperately want to go camping but I'm afraid I'm too much a city girl to do it well. That, and I don't like bugs. AT ALL!! But those are just such beautiful pictures, I can't help but think I'm missing out by being so prissy. One day, I will go! Thank you for sharing!

  8. I've been there dozens of times and the scenery never fails to amaze! You really are quite lucky to see the splendor every day!

  9. I think I've heard my mom talk about Cades Cove. The Smoky Mountains are gorgeous. No doubt about that.

  10. How lucky you are to be so close to such beauty :)
    Lucy from Lucy's Reality

  11. The GSMs are my favorite place in the world. So many memories. I too always look for the Indian Head over the road. I too love Cades Cove and will never tire of it EVER! Was just there last week and wish I were there now.

  12. Another place to add to the growing list of places to visit. We are doing Tennessee in May but no time for camping on this trip. We have eight days to do family history research and all the touristy things in Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis.

  13. I would love to go back to the Smokies! We went thru that area on our honeymoon. Beautiful area!


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