Great Smoky Mountains & Gatlinburg

This past week Cheryl and I watched, with the rest of the nation, in horror as the place that we’ve come to think of as our second home was in many places reduced to ashes. For the past 17 years we made an almost annual pilgrimage to one cabin or another around the Gatlinburg area. Over those same years we’ve spent countless hours enjoying the magnificent beauty in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. img_0919-1.jpg

Whether we’re driving around Roaring Forks Motor Trail, Calm of the waters watching deer run through the fields in Cades Cove, hiking on one of the numerous trails IMG_0561.JPGor simply enjoying a picnic in the park we are left to always enjoy our time spent in the park. IMG_0574.JPG

That is why watching the Chimney Tops 2 fire go from a small brush fire to a raging firestorm was heartbreaking. According to the latest news reports over 700 homes and building were destroyed and 13 people lost their lives. I doubt we can ever quantify the impact to the ecosystem with the loss of plants and animals.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts almost 10 million visitors per year. The park and areas around the park need our help more than ever. If you can please consider donating to one of the following organizations.

Friends of the Smokies – Chimney Tops Fire Relief

http://www.sevierhumane.org/home/donate

Dollywood Foundation (Dolly Parton) “My People Fund”

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