Today’s blog post is a continuation of my blog post last Monday, https://janetswritingblog.com/2019/10/21/great-smoky-mountains-revisited-part-1-of-2/. It is about my recent trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is illustrated with pictures of several of the postcards included in my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and photographs I took on my trip in September.
Here’s a picture of one of the many black bear postcards in my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
And here are pictures of the bears I saw on this trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. The first picture is of a black bear, probably about two years old, after it crossed the road in front of our car. It completely ignored us, which was fine with us! (All these bear photos were taken from inside our car and using the zoom feature on my cell phone camera. As I stated in last Monday’s blog post, it’s against the law to willingly get within 150 feet of an elk or black bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.)
If the car in front of us hadn’t stopped, we might have driven right by this mother bear and her two cubs. The mother was down in a ditch. After a couple of minutes, her two cubs came running down the hill. It was difficult to get good pictures due to the trees and undergrowth.
November 2016 Fire Damage
One of the iconic places in the park is Chimney Tops. I was sad to see that the late November 2016 wildfires had engulfed this double-peaked mountain in Swain County, North Carolina. The “up side” is that today the granite folds and rough edges of Chimney Tops are visible because the trees on the mountain were destroyed in the fires.
Here, I compare the photographs I took in September 2019 with a 1936 real photograph postcard I used in my vintage postcard book:
Clouds in a Valley
We were in the right place at the right time for this photo of white clouds down in a valley in the park.
Why are they called the Great Smoky Mountains?
As I stated in my book, “The Great Smoky Mountains are called “smoky” due to the fog that rises from the valleys and mountainsides.”
These mountains were suffering under drought conditions when I visited the park in September 2019. August, September, and early October were very dry. My sister and I couldn’t help but notice there was very little of the typical wisps of fog when we were there a month ago. In fact, we only saw a little of it on our last day in the park. Here’s a photograph I took, but it isn’t a good representation of the multitude of wisps of fog that gave this sub-range of the Appalachian Mountains their name.
I hope you can hear the babbling brooks and smell the wildflowers of Great Smoky Mountains National Park sometime. It is truly a national treasure. In fact, it is a global treasure. I’m fortunate to live just a few hours from this national park.
Unlike many national parks in the United States, no admission fees are charged for entrance into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many families were displaced when the park land was purchased. Before agreeing to sell their land to the U.S. Government, those families (most of whom were poor farmers) made the government agree that no admission to the park would ever be charged.
Since my last blog post
Since my last blog post, my sister and I spent several days on the coast of South Carolina. We enjoyed fresh seafood in Calabash, North Carolina.
Until my next blog post
I hope you have a good book to read. I’m reading The Beekeeper of Aleppo, by Christy Lefteri.
If you’re a writer, I hope you have quality writing time.
Thank you for reading my blog. You could have spent the last few minutes doing something else, but you chose to read my blog.
Let’s continue the conversation
Have you visited the Great Smoky Mountains? If so, what were your impressions of it? What was the highlight of your trip?
As I stated in my blog post last Monday, https://janetswritingblog.com/2019/10/21/great-smoky-mountains-revisited-part-1-of-2/, I hate to “blow my own horn,” but I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to tell you how you can have your own copy of my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, published by Arcadia Publishing in 2014.
Don’t let the name fool you, it covers all the mountainous counties in western North Carolina and the three counties in eastern Tennessee that are partially in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Electronic and paperback copies are available from Amazon.com. Paperback copies are available from the publisher at https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/, at quality bookstores, or from me personally.