Friends of the Smokies at Smokemont


I just unwrapped a Dove chocolate piece with a fortune or saying inside. It says:

You should charge for your great advice.

I wonder how many hikers would pay for advice that they could get anyplace.

Bring two quarts of water.

Don’t wear jeans on a hike.

Keep on climbing on an uphill.  And so it goes.

A few people did pay $10 to Friends of the Smokies to hike the Smokiemont loop yesterday. They didn’t pay me; I’m a volunteer. But they did pay to go on a guided hike. So what did they get?

Ten of us climbed up Bradley Fork Trail, crossed on a great new bridge across the stream and climbed up Richland Mountain. It was a steep climb. We had lunch at the top. There, we discussed Serena, the book by Ron Rash. It was inspired by Smokemont which was a large logging camp before the Park came. It is being made into a movie or maybe the movie is finished now.

FOTShike-SmokemontblowdownThen we walked down, down and down. There were several blowdowns blocking the trail, probably left over from Hurricane Sandy. But it was nothing that we couldn’t go under.

At the junction, we took a right to the Bradley Cemetery. One woman said, “if you didn’t know the cemetery was there, you wouldn’t find it.”

Well, that’s right. That’s why you go on a guided hike. I check things out to make sure that I can find all those points of interest before I lead a group.

We finished off by visiting the Luftee Church. Do you know where that is?

The next Friends of the Smokies hike will be on Saturday December 15. Sign up with Keith at 828-452-0720.

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