This is a great, longer article on the species being found in the Smoky Mountains. There are more species found here, than most other places on earth. There are a number of species that have been found only in the Smokies. If you have a couple of minutes, it would be well worth it to spend that time reading the article below.
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So far this year, the number of visitors to the Smokies is about the same as this time last year. According to the article below, about 54 more people have visited since this time last year. Considering last year more visitors visited since 2000, that means the Smoky Mountains are extremely popular. With the economy in the tank, the fact that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is free probably means many people are vacationing there to keep vacationing. I think that’s a great thing. There is usually something good in everything if you look hard enough. While the economy may be tanking, just think of the people who will learn more about the Smokies because of that. My guess is, many of those folks will be back for years to come.
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Billions have been spent to clean up the air around the Smoky Mountains. Here’s an article for the folks over at Knoxnews.com that shows the air quality in the area IS INDEED improving. When we were in the Smokies back in the Spring, we spent time at the look-rock tower, which is near the live webcam that is used by the park to monitor the air quality. You can see the live view from Look Rock at the link below…
The full article has lots of great info, as well as a video from Look Rock. Check it out.
You can always check our full line of live webcams from around the smokies here… https://gosmoky.wordpress.com/smokies-webcams/
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This is one of our favorite roads in the Smokies. We found it on our honeymoon, when one of the worst rainstorms/floods to hit the are hit the area. I saw the road on a map, and thought it would be a nice “bypass” around the strip in Gatlinburg back to our condo. It was raining hard, and lightning every few seconds. Oh, and it was already dark out. Needless to say, Roaring Fork is difficult in those conditions. I forgot to add that the water in the rivers throughout wasextremely high. It was so high under one bridge that it was splashing up onto the road slightly as the river flowed under the bridge. Anyhow, after driving about a 3-5 miles per hour for an hour or so, we made it out. While we were scared of THAT drive, we could see via lightning flashes that this was definately a place we wanted to come back to visit. It has become one of the “to do” things every trip we take to the Smokies (when the road is open). Normally it is open all spring/summer/fall. However, it has been closed since early this year, and it looks like it will not be open again anytime soon. The park is having problems with the Florida-based contractor repaving the road. I’ll let you know here on the blog when I hear about when it will reopen. Check out the link below for more…
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Another great read below, from the folks over at Knoxnews.com. This time, they talked to volunteers who are there to help you learn more about the beautiful Elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The majority of Elk can be see in the Cataloochee Valley area. That’s where many of the volunteers work, answering questions, giving information and advice on the Elk who are flurishing in the Smokies. Personally, I’ve never been to Cataloochee (something I’m not proud of :). That is definately high on my to-do list for the Smokies, but as many times as I’ve been to the Smokies, I’ve yet to visit Cataloochee. It is a more remote area of the park for most visitors. That’s one reason when the Elk were reintroduced, they were reintroduced to the Cataloochee area. On a recent trip, back in March, we DID see Elk outside of Cherokee in the park. They are magnificant. I highly recommend looking for them when you’re in the area. Ask where to find them at the visitor centers. They may be able to point you in the right direction. Once you get there, one of the many volunteers in the “Bugle Corps” may be able to point out things about the Elk you never would have known. When I retire, I can see myself moving to the Smokies, and volunteering to do something similar, so I suppose that’s part of why this particular article hit home for me. Enjoy!
***Brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com. THE place to stay when you’re staying in the Smokies. I went to Hardees here in Charleston earlier this week, and the smell of coffee and bacon coming from the drive-through window took me back, if only for a moment, to the breakfasts I made early in the morning as I looked out at the beautiful view of the Smokies at the Smoky Mountain Tower back in March. You can make those memories too, at www.SmokyMountainTower.com***
This one seems pretty obvious to me. I have never seen fireflies flash together as the synchronized fireflies do in the Smokies, but I would assume it is related to trying to pick up a date. That’s exactly what scientists who are studying the behavior are saying as well. Here’s another great article from the folks over at knoxnews.com. Check it out!
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This is an interesting article, complete with video from knownews.com. A spotlight on the tiny tarantulas that live in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These little fellas live on Spruce Firs. That’s bad news, since the Spruce Firs are being killed off by the adelgids. Find more at the link below…
***This post, and the GoSmoky blog is brought to you in part by www.SmokyMountainTower.com. Dave and his daughter Angie are great to work with. Check them out for your next trip!***