Bookings are now open for my three 2020 residential writing retreats, co-tutored with RNA Chair Alison May. Details can be found here.
Steamed up over Great Smoky
There’s bears in them there hills. Seriously.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park – which straddles the Tennessee / North Carolina border – claims to have bears. About 1700 of them.
That was all I needed to hear and we were off, cameras poised, on a bear hunt.
Entering the park, we stopped at the ranger station, to be assured that there were indeed bears to be seen. In fact, we were given advice on how to behave if we were to come across a bear doing what bears do in the woods.
A few minutes later – a mile or more further into the park, we saw a crowd of excited photographers…
This had to be it – bear photo op… We grabbed our cameras and stomped through the grass.
Undeterred and keeping my bear hopes high, we then started an exploration of Cades Cove – a beautifully preserved historic settlement.
There was so much to discover… fascinating stuff about barn design.
About how to build the foundations of your shotgun shack…
And – sadly – a few not so nice things to learn about people.
These buildings are not old shacks – they are a piece of history. These buildings have been a national monument since 1940 – but for some reason people seem to think they have the right to carve their names into the walls. It’s unpleasant when people do it on public toilets – it’s criminal when they do it on a national treasure.
And this was the final straw for me……
Mom – if you really loved your kids, you would preserve their heritage, not destroy it!
We spent a lovely day in the park. We didn’t ever meet a bear, but that’s not what made us sad.
However, I was soon cheery again – back in a favourite place – listening for voices from beyond the grave. More on that next week.
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