Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Camping in the Smokies...

Hello everyone! We are into our fifth week now at Look Rock Campground in the GSMNP. The following are a few photos we have taken during day trips out and about in the beautiful Tennessee and North Carolina mountains.

I can’t seem to blog without photos of bears. We came across a bear and her cub as we were driving along Flats Road just below our campground. Both bears ignored us as they climbed a tall oak tree and starting munching on acorns.

Here’s mama bear scooting up the tree. Donnie said she reminded him of lineman climbing a pole, and he should know!

She doesn't look very happy with us at this moment, but the bad mood only lasted a minute then it was back to lunch.

The cub climbed to the top of the tree, balancing on limbs so small we wondered how they supported his weight.

Last week Donnie and I walked to the top of Clingmans Dome which is the highest spot in the Smokies at 6643 feet. After a fairly steep half mile we reached the observation platform on the mountain top, with great views of the park. We also stood on the Appalachian Trail but I was too pooped to walk it very far.

We drove through this covered bridge which is all that remains of Harrisburg, TN (in Sevier County). It was built in 1875, and restored in 1972.

Just a few examples of the fall foliage on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We drove twenty miles or so on the southern end of the parkway near Cherokee, NC to Waterrock Knob Visitors Center. Beginning near Waynesboro, Virginia and ending near Cherokee, NC, the parkway covers over 460 miles of beautiful scenery.

While driving through the park yesterday on our way home we noticed a sign for the Little Greenbriar School. We turned off onto a narrow one lane (but two-way!) gravel road which ended in a little cove. We found the school house which was built in 1882. Classes were taught there until the school closed in 1935.

Fontana Lake in North Carolina, on the southwestern boundary of the GSMNP, covers 10,230 acres. The Fontana Dam, at 480 feet, is the highest in the eastern U.S. It was constructed in the early 1940s to supply the growing need for electricity in the area.

A more recent view of a maple tree near our Look Rock site. We plan to leave next week and travel west to do a little more camping and exploring.

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