There’s Smoke Coming Out of Them Thar Chimneys!
Having written about previous adventures in my beloved Great Smoky Mountains, I got really homesick for them. It’s something that I can’t explain to you, other than to say that when I get this way I’ll do whatever it takes to get there.
Charles agreed to take me there last weekend, for an overnight trip. As soon as I caught a glimpse of the skyline, those mountain peaks reaching for the sky, I felt my heart leap into my throat. I surely thought that I might suffocate if I didn’t roll down the car windows to inhale that fresh smell of Mountain Laurel. I leaned heavily against the car door so that I could hear the rushing whitewater of the Little Pigeon River. Those waters made their way straight to my heart, delivering refreshment to my soul.
I HAD to get to the Chimneys Picnic area, if only for a few hours. As solidly as those boulders are anchored in the river, the pleasure of sitting on top of them anchors my spirit and my mind. It is in this most beautiful of God’s creation, that I can find serenity and inspiration. I have found solace in this spot, as I sought relief from the pain and sorrow of losing my parents and brother. I could go there and visualize all the times we spent there as a family. I can see Curtis pulling pranks on all of us. Mother’s laughter and Daddy’s antics come alive as if it were yesterday. I connect with them in these, my beloved mountains.
Things have changed little in 57 years. Families still come to picnic and play in the river. The Chimneys was full on this day. Some were grilling burgers. The hearty aroma wafted its way through the valley, and the smoke drifted upward, dissipating in the air. You might not be hungry when you enter this site, but you will be shortly after. There’s something about open-air cooking that whets the appetite. Everything seems to taste better outdoors.
I took a few pictures to show you, presented in this slide show. I also took a little movie with my camera, so that you can hear the sounds of the rushing water, and experience a little of why this place is so dear to my heart. I hope that you enjoy them, and I wish for you all to get to visit my beloved Smokies.