Smoky Mountain Attractions Open

Smoky Mountain attractions open after COVID-19 closures.
Smoky Mountain attractions open after COVID-19 closures.

Smoky Mountain attractions open after two months of covid-19 fears.

Smoky Mountain attractions open after two months of covid-19 fears. Beginning Friday, May 22, 2020 popular Smoky Mountain attractions will open with new social distancing guidelines.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee remarked, “Tennesseans have worked incredibly hard to do their part and help slow the spread of COVID-19 so that our state can begin to reopen. Thanks to their continued efforts we’re able to allow restaurants and retail businesses to operate at greater capacity and large attractions to open in a safe and thoughtful way.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Opens

Great Smoky Mountains National Park opens with much anticipation.

The Covid-19 virus pandemic forced the closure of Great Smoky Mountains nearly two months ago and the public is itching to return to their favorite places in the park. The opening will be done in phases over the coming weeks beginning May 9, 2020.

We are excited to return to our favorite national park,” said Reba Miller. ” Our family loves the Smoky Mountains and our plan is to picnic in Cades Cove!

The following roads and facilities will open May 9, 2020. The remaining closed facilities are scheduled to announce their opening dates in the coming weeks.

Karen Pence Gets Outside Smoky Mountain Style

GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash welcomes dignitariies. Photo credit - GSMNP
GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash welcomes dignitariies. Photo credit – GSMNP

Karen Pence gets outside Smoky Mountain Style. Second Lady Karen Pence and Deputy Secretary of the Interior Katherine MacGregor met with park officials at Clingmans Dome recently to talk about the mental health benefits of being outdoors as the next phase in the park’s plan to restore public access to more roads and picnic areas was announced. 

Karen Pence opens Clingmmans Dome.
Karen Pence opens Clingmmans Dome. Photo credit – GSMNP

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for us to pay closer attention to our mental health and emotional well-being,” said Second Lady Karen Pence. “Our amazing national parks offer many mental health benefits and more than ever before, we must ensure that we are taking care of ourselves and each other.”

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Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe

Smoky Mountain Tamale's are yummy in my tummy!

Smoky Mountain Tamales are yummy in my tummy!

Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe. Homemade tamales are always a Smoky Mountain special event! Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are on the edge of the historic tamale trail? That is right.  Delicious Latin food and culture migrated through this area as it progressed to the North Eastern United States from the Mississippi Delta. The city of Knoxville is still heavily influenced by this cuisine today. Tamales are highly portable and easy to make so it is no wonder they were just as popular then as now.

The Smoky Mountain Cherokee are no strangers to the delights of tamale consumption either! Their version was called bean bread or broadswords and were made with hominy. They boiled corn with wood ashes to make the masa. They stuffed the masa with beans, wrapped them with green corn leaves, cooked and chowed down. Could you imagine creating this simple dish in the vast wilderness of the Smoky Mountains by an open fire? We hope you enjoy this Tamale recipe and feel free to send us some pics especially if you make them on your next Smoky Mountain trip!

Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe.

Marco’s Coca Cola Pineapple Pork Recipe Ingredients:

Twenty ounces of Coca Cola

Three pound pork roast

Salt and Pepper

Fresh Pineapple slices

Chili flakes

Four tablespoons Worcestershire (Wooster) sauce

Masa Ingredients:

Two cups masa harina

Ten ounces of beef broth

One half teaspoon salt

One teaspoon of baking powder

Two-thirds cup of lard (Yes lard, because it makes them so delicious!)

Eight ounces of corn husks

One cup of sour cream (optional)

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Phased Opening

Wildlife braces for the return of humans to GSMNP.
Wildlife braces for the return of humans to GSMNP. Photo credit – myvetcandy

Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces phased opening. Beginning May 9, 2020 many roads and trails the Smokies will reopen. This follows the April reopening of most Tennessee State Parks. Health and safety of employees, partners, volunteers, visitors, and local residents remains the highest priority when making park reopening decisions. Park managers work to ensure park operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. Park managers will also continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for all users.

We recognize this closure has been extremely difficult for our local residents, as well as park visitors from across the country, who seek the park as a special place for healing, exercise, recreation, and inspiration,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We are approaching this phased reopening with that in mind, as we balance our responsibility to protect park resources and the health and safety of everyone.

Hartely is one of the many bears rescued by Appalachian Bear Rescue.
Hartely is one of the many bears rescued by ABR.

Black Bears and elk, wandering where tourist used to tread, and can possibly lead to a beary scary situation. Black Bears are reclaiming territories due to the recent Coronavirus shutdowns which banned humans from state and National parks.  Visitors to these areas are encouraged to use common sense, and more than a little social distancing, when encountering bears. According to biologists, there are some 2,000 black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone. Male black bears can weigh in at about 250 pounds. A record weight for black bears is up to 600 pounds. Although the bears are omnivores, about 85 percent of their diet consists of berries, plants and nuts; black bears also eat insects and animal carrion. They are generally wary of people, but can be dangerous if provoked, and it is illegal to approach black bears within 150 feet.

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