All posts filed under: National Parks

Yes, they’re crowded tourist attractions but I still love our National Parks. Here’s a collection of posts from some of my favorite places in the world.

Hike 7: Juney Whank Falls

I decided to try another hike without Gus, this time up a mountain to a waterfall. It was an epic fail. But hey, it was in the mountains so I’m not beating myself up about it too much.

Advertisements

Going to the Sun Road

I do a lot of raving about Montana and Glacier National Park on here, but I promise it’s for a good reason. The place really is spectacular. The way most of the park’s visitors see it is from their car. But, for the love of all that is holy, if you have working legs and lungs, GET OUT AND HIKE THIS PARK. Do it. Do it for me. Do it for yourself.

What’s this Road to Nowhere?

In a complete coincidence, I’m bringing you another tale of controversy in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s history. Or maybe it isn’t really a coincidence, its just a throw back to my days of being a newsie. I don’t remember ever actually running around the newsroom screaming, “If it BLEEDS, it LEADS!!!” but knowing me, its entirely within the realm of possibility. Not that I seek out controversy for the sake of it; but it does make for a more interesting plot. Scene: Another tranquil place in the Smokies. Its late March, around 60 degrees and sunny. Not many birds are out yet, so the only sounds you hear are leaves underfoot and, of course, my breathing. A gentle breeze tickles your arms and makes you grateful for the sun’s warm rays beaming on your scalp. A short walk up a slight incline will take you to the deceptively-long tunnel. I didn’t think there was much to the tunnel, until I was in its belly. Devoid of sunlight, the center of the tunnel swallows any light – …

Ghost Town in the Smokies

As we’re rustling though wet leaves, its hard to imagine that this tranquil plot of land has been the subject of so much controversy. In fact, its pretty easy to overlook the community entirely. The only sound is some laughing teenagers somewhere around a bend in the road ahead, and, if you’re close enough, streaming water from the Little River.  If not for the leafless trees granting glimpses the near century-old vacation homes, you wouldn’t even know they’re there. Elkmont started as a logging base in 1908. Within a couple of years the logging company had a bunch of cleared out land and no way to make more money from it, so they started selling plots to hunters and fisherman, drawing outdoor enthusiasts out to the wilderness of the Smokies. Cottages and hotels started popping up on the mountain and an elite social club – the Appalachian Club – was established. But not everyone carried enough snobbery to get into this club, and the Appalachian Club rejects wanted their own fraternity as well. So, made their own group – …