Another year, another Elkmont camping experience.
Going to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park each summer has been a habit for more than 40 years. And a good habit at that.
The campground's the same, well, yes it has aged. But I fear the aging is more on my part. Hiking to Mt. LeConte was usually an every other year challenge.
Laurel Falls was done each year -- it is only about a three-mile round-tripper whereas LeConte is an all-day experience.
But this year we didn't do either one. Well, we haven't done LeConte for about 10 years or more. There is something about one's stamina and desire. They're fading as the years add up.
But there are still traditions that hold strong -- the traditional picture at one of the park's entrances, the ice cream stop in Townsend and the chili supper at Cades Cove picnic area prior to taking the 11-mile one-way jaunt.
|Cades Cove's 11-mile one-way trip offers beauty and - now - heavy traffic|
And we manage to make it into Gatlinburg for breakfast once a week and now tradition has us going to Starbucks in Pigeon Force toward the end of our visit to get our fix of the Internet. Over the past five years there have been a number of suitable coffee shops sprout up in Gatlinburg only to apparently die off from lack of enough people wanting the experience.
We love the traditional and look forward to the new.
But there's nothing like the mild days and cool nights in the mountains that offer a temporary respite from Mississippi's stifling summer heat and humidity.
Next post: Aug. 13, 2013