Category environment

GSMNP Little River - photo by Julie Dodd

River views in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The sun was shining as we hiked the Little River Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on a cool fall day in a time before Covid-19. We carried tripods so we could try some slow motion water photos. Stepping from rock to rock, we walked out into the river. We set up our […]

vote pumpkin

Be sure to vote

Have you voted? In the 2016 Presidential election voting, only about 56 percent of the voting age population voted. In close elections, that means just over 25 percent of the voters are determining the outcome.  To find out election information, check out The League of Women Voters’ very helpful website of election information.  Here are […]

National Public Lands Day logo

National Public Lands Day and every day — hike safely

National Public Lands Day, on Sept. 26, is one of the five days when admission to national parks is free. Thousands of people will be in the parks on National Public Lands Day and millions will be in the parks this year to enjoy nature and perhaps look for a boost in spirit in the […]

Clingsman Dome in GSMNP

Enjoy and support our national parks

The Fourth of July is a time for those of us living in the United States to think about what makes this country special. The 62 national parks certainly are one of the country’s greatest treasures. I was fortunate to grow up less than an hour’s drive to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hiking […]

Mount Hood and Magic Mile ski lift

Hiking at Mt. Hood

If you’ve spent time involved in activities in nature, like hiking or boating, you know how the “same” nature experience can be so different from one day to the next and even from one minute to the next. The wind shifts, a storm front passes through, the day goes from sunlight to dusk to darkness. […]

hikers at Alum Cave

National Park hiking tips

A recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was a wonderful time of hiking and enjoying nature. I first started hiking in the Smokies with my parents and had my first camping experiences and backpacking trip with my Girl Scout troop. My time on the trails and in the Sugarlands Visitor Center on […]

Cliff Tops sunset photo by Julie Dodd

Hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park always is special for me. The wonderful views. The challenging hikes. The chance viewing of wildlife, from ravens to black bears. I experienced all of that during a recent hiking trip to the Smokies. I also enjoyed seeing so many people appreciating their time in the Smokies. […]

REI #OptOutside sticker

#OptOutside on Nov. 23 (and other days, too)

Explore the outdoors as part of #OptOutside, a national movement started by REI in 2015. Rather than open its stores on Black Friday (Nov. 23), REI gives its employees a paid vacation day and encourages them — and the rest of us — to get outdoors.

"I Voted" sticker

Prepare and Vote

When I was growing up, my parents didn’t always agree on which candidate they voted for, but they did agree on the importance of voting. We would have dinner conversations about the candidates and the ballot iniatives. Some of the issues were beyond my comprehension as an elementary school student, but I did understand that […]

Julie Dodd's photography at Satchel's Pizza

My photography on display at Satchel’s Pizza

What a treat to have some of my photography on display at Satchel’s Pizza, along with two friends’ pen, ink and watercolor art. Deciding which photographs to display provided me the opportunity to revisit photographs I’ve taken of many great trips. I included two photographs from a hike on the Bright Angel Trail at the […]