Smoky Dragon Way

Boundary Line marker, Great Smokies

This epic Road Trip of 2013 has many stops in its 10 days, but only 2 that get more than one night’s attention. The first place to get such special treatment is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Why? I had never been there before, it was a vast national park full of hikes calling me forth, and it was right on my path west on I-40.

Unfortunately, it rained the 2 days I was there and I left all my winter coats hanging in the closet when I left DC.

BUT! I drove to Fontana Dam to hike a piece of the fabled Appalachian Trail (the ‘AT’ for the in-the-know).

Island in Fontana Dam reservoir

As it was going to be raining soon, I didn’t venture too far. Also, I just didn’t seem to be ‘feeling’ it. I wasn’t getting that flow of energy from being in Nature that I usually do. It felt more like a slog to beat the clock. So after an hour I re-evaluated and turned back, content with that and ready to explore a different type of activity.

I had to ask myself many times whether that was what I really wanted to do, wanting to make sure I didn’t regret the decision. When you see you’re not realizing your potential, how long does it take to switch course, and what do you do to ensure you’re making the right decision?

I drove to Cherokee, NC to see The Museum of the Cherokee, since I realized I associated the Cherokee Indians with Oklahoma, which wasn’t their native area at all. I learned about the Eastern Band, those that hid in the Smoky Mountains to avoid the Trail of Tears.

Smoky Mountains and their Hair

Ever notice how mountain ridges with trees look like skin with hair?

I wound my way through the “Tail of the Dragon,” an 11-mile stretch of road in the Park containing a purported 318 turns. Twice.

For some reason, I left feeling a bit unsatisfied. It could have been the rain. So I was glad that the forest gave me one of my favorite things as a farewell: fog.

Foggy Mountain Road

Maybe I delight in fog so much because it reflects uncertainty, radiates romance, invites mystery… it’s a hard-working meteorological phenomenon! And one I’m sure to get my fill of in Portland…

The other thing the forest left me as a ‘farewell’ was not as much to my liking. I’ll give you a hint: it went ‘bunk-a-chunk-CRUNCH.’ More on that sound in the next post…. stay tuned!

Feel free to leave a comment if you have something to share about the Smokies, love/hate fog, or have an awesome decision-making process- share with TLT!

4 Responses to Smoky Dragon Way

  1. Pingback: Not All Daisy Chains and Day Hikes | Taste Life Twice

  2. Yeah, sometimes it’s tough to decide what to do when something you thought you’d connect with – or something you normally connect with…doesn’t – do you keep pushing, or do you let it go?

    Good for you for honoring the moment and realizing it just wasn’t working and letting it go. After all, you might have met with that crunch much later, otherwise. No?

  3. Maybe it was the leavelessness??? Or maybe it was just not what you needed that day. I try to pay more attention to that these days too. Actually, I wrote about one of such decisions in my letter which still needs to be posted!! Short version: There is a networking event for entrepreneurs in my town once a month on Fridays. I went once and it was nice. End of January, I just did not feel like it. I really questioned myself of the why and concluded that networking in big groups is just not my thing. I prefer to network on an individual level, via via, or because you meet people “doing” something together. So I did not go and what happened that very morning I did not go? I got in touch with a project I really love and passed them an idea I had, and they loved it. I told them I wanted to work it out with them, and they agreed. And I ended up being contacted by the director of the organization. All in one morning. There was absolute flow. And all because I did not go to something I did not feel like going to :-) So, continue listening to yourself!! And I will do the same.

  4. Pingback: Victory… and the end of a Great American Road Trip | Taste Life Twice

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