Why the Smoky Mountains are called “Smoky”

Smoky Mountain National Park

Look at the vista: nine horizons!

And all a bit blurred and foggy, which is exactly why the mountains are named Smoky. For the fog that fills the valleys. some say it’s because of emissions from the flora and fauna. I don’t know how all of that would work, all I know is that it’s a glorious place to be!

Sun through the trees at Smoky Mountain National Park

Sun through the trees

Come Rain or Come Shine
Tourist info asserts that it rains every day. I can vouch that it did during my week-long stay. But the rain is short-lived and adds to the adventure of driving curvy roads. What’s a little water when on a hairpin turn?

The weather can also vary 20 degrees across elevations. That’s the equivalent of going from Georgia to Canada. Hint: wear layers.

All Are Welcome, Casual Tourists May Not Have as Much Fun
SMNP is more for naturists (not naturalists (aka nudists)) and motorcyclists. It’s no really for casual observers. You have to hike to see the “destinations” and the curves are  a dream for riders. It was a dramatically different experience from the national parks that are set up with restaurants and hotels, shops and rest stops.

Bear at Smoky Mountain National Park

The tourists did have plenty to see with the bear. And were dangerously close!

How Does Your Forest Grow?
I couldn’t believe the volume and scale. Trees and leaves everywhere. Ninety-five% forested, it’s the richest and most varied forest in America.

Leaves at Smoky Mountain National Park

On Top of Old Smoky
Indeed I did make it on top of Old Smoky (oy, what a climb, even from the parking lot), and WAS covered with dew. Well, fog, but close enough!

Forest at Smoky Mountain National Park

Death and survival from forest fire and tree beetles

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