The Real Florida

This is our eigth winter camping excursion into Florida.  The first year, it was all about finding great spots near the water and seeing standard destinations that were “must-see’s” for snowbirds.  fullsizerenderOver time, though, we learned to scratch a little deeper under the surface.  We discovered, among other things, that there is more than south Florida and beaches.  Most of all, we discovered Florida State Parks. Continue reading The Real Florida

Newfound Gap: The Great Smoky Mountains

One of our favorite rides on our trip south is the trip over Newfound Gap across the Smoky Mountains. It is different each time we do it.  This trip the ride was punctuated by the damage left by the November fire. It was above freezing when we left Riveredge Campground in Pigeon Forge, but the temperature dropped quickly as we climbed towards the peaks and it started to snow.

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Continue reading Newfound Gap: The Great Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountains On Fire

This past November, right after Thanksgiving,  I was watching the morning news and a quick alert flashed across the screen about fires in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee. It caught my attention because we love the Smokies, we love Gatlinburg, and we even have a certain affection for the craziness of Pigeon Forge (ever heard of Dollyville?)
A day later, the wildfires in the National Park had exploded into a full-blown emergency and flames were licking at the mountain village Gatlinburg itself. The town was evacuated.  Vacation housing and resorts in the area were at risk or, in several cases, consumed by fire. Continue reading The Smoky Mountains On Fire

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