Sometimes Mother Nature has a way of deciding things for us.
Among a few options we had in mind for travel in December is now a no-go.
Well, a goodly portion of the area we had planned on visiting is suffering from one of the worst fires in years.
For those who keep up with happenings in the Great Smoky Mountains, the past week or two has brought news about wildfires and destruction around the towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN.
Each year we visit this area, sometimes more than once.
And it is somewhat distressing to hear about all the damage that fires in the area have caused.
Relatives of ours were there during the Thanksgiving week. Their schedule got them out of the area before the worst hit.
They said they went into Gatlinburg during Thanksgiving and found the town, at that time, crowded with more holiday-goers than they have ever seen, who were enjoying the visit.
But that changed over the weekend. Numerous fires, I believe, are still burning and there have been fatalities reported.
We will now bypass the area this December as they recuperate and begin building back.
Gatlinburg’s Friday night Christmas Parade has also been cancelled.
Our thoughts and prayers have been with those who live and work in the area including national park personnel.
We are members of the Great Smoky Mountains Association, an organization that helps provide funding to the national park through operation of visitor centers and the sale of merchandise.
They are also requesting donations to assist park personnel in rebuilding burned out residences.
Any help will be appreciated.
Next post: Dec. 6, 2016