Smoky Mountain Poisonous Plants. Don’t let poison ivy or its relatives scratch your summer fun. “It comes on like a rose, but everybody knows-it’ll really do you in, when you let it get onto your skin” – or so a song goes about poison ivy; and those who come into contact with one of the many plants that contain oils that can cause pure misery will no doubt agree.Continue reading…
10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. Packing the 10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains is like your insurance policy for a back country emergency. Ninety-nine percent of the time you will not need them but when you do, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The 10 Essentials were originally conceived in the 1930’s by The Mountaineers club based in Seattle, WA. For over eighty years the 10 Essentials were the standard until 2003 when the group updated the list to a “systems” approach instead of an individual items list. This systems approach categorizes necessities allowing a more thorough level of preparedness.
10 Essential Systems for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains:
1 Navigation (map/compass/GPS)
2 Sun Protection (sunscreen/sunglasses)
3 Insulation (extra dry clothing)
4 Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
5 First-aid Kit/Supplies
6 Fire (waterproof matches/lighter)
7 Repair Kit and Tools
8 Nutrition (extra food)
9 Hydration (extra water/water purification system)
10 Emergency Shelter (Mylar blanket)
Here are the many advantages to the systems approach to the 10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Navigation – Map and compass are viewed as a single necessity. Know how to use them. Unless you plan to walk an impossible to miss footpath, invest in a quality topographic map for the area you plan to explore. A GPS is great as long as the batteries last and you know how to operate it.
Sun Protection – Especially at the higher elevations in the National Park, this can be critical. There is nothing worse than a nasty sun burn after a great hike. Even on a hazy day, your skin is at risk for overexposure.
Great Smoky Mountains Hikes For Healing Program Announced. GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash is inviting the public to participate in a new initiative called Smokies Hikes for Healing. Ten people per hike can join the superintendent on eight scheduled outings. Hikes will be guided by facilitators who will provide opportunities for open conversation about diversity and racism while enjoying one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. The public can also participate by coordinating their own experiences using Smokies Hikes for Healing materials.Continue reading…
Dollywood Flowers And Food Festival. Dollywood has added a new festival to the mix during this season. The Flower and Food Festival kicked off when Dollywood opened on June 1, 2020. Visitors will enjoy over half a million new flowers and plants throughout the park. Many displays are Smoky Mountain turtles, frogs, black bears, and a tribute to “Coat of Many Colors” with a butterfly and scenic sculpture of Dolly’s mother sewing the coat. The tallest sculpture is Dolly’s mother, which is 14-feet tall! The sculptures are called “mosaics.” Mosaiculture is the art of creating larger-than life plant sculptures using thousands of plants to cover a steel frame. There are more than 6,000 plants in Dolly’s mosaics. The mosaics aren’t the only “flower” elements in the park! There are also beautiful floral carpet beds around the walkways and plenty of flowerbeds.Continue reading…