Greetings from Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

The Smoky's have always held a special place in my heart and that of my family's. As a girl whose Cherokee heritage discovered that her family had hidden in these mountains to escape certain death from the Trail of Tears reinforced the inescapable draw they have to our hearts. My mother in her 60's, my sister and I hiked the Rainbow Falls trail and somehow convinced our mom to skinny dip in the stream. My son at age 8 and I got lost hiking only to be rescued by a Canadian artist who shared our campsite giving us two of her beautiful paintings of a couple of the park's treasures - Trillium and Cades Cove. My grandson at age 10, my son and I have hiked Clingman's Dome, as well as camping in several area as well as backwoods along Forney Trail with many adventure stories. Last but not least, my husband and I hike Graveyard Fields as well as Mt. Pisgah, Mt. Mitchell and my favorite story...after camping in Cades Cove, I convinced my New York husband to take some video of a bear who was feasting on berries along the Cade's Cove loop. He strode toward the bear and stood alongside a local Tennessean who gave him some wise advice, "if you want a good picture of the bear who's buried in the berry bushes, you have to snort to get their attention, when they look up, then snap your picture" . A proud husband felt like he had really connected with the wild life as well as the local life with that snorting....Pictured here is from yet another waterfall hike with my New York husband in the fall of 2010....as stated earlier, my fondest family memories were made in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Sincerely,

Susan

P.S. I support the parks because… they are a sacred part of our national heritage that must preserved for generations to enjoy and protect for their children. The nature that exists in these national parks can be a living history for all when man has buried himself in his own madness can escape to the only place where he can rediscover his real place in nature.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park.

  • States: North Carolina and Tennessee
  • Established: 1926
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