Category Nature

Llamas as LeConte Lodge

LeConte Lodge – cabins, llamas & mountaintop views

My recent hike to Mt. Le Conte marked my 51st hike there. I first hiked to Mt. Le Conte with my church youth group when I was in high school. I’ve been fortunate to able to hike Mt. Le Conte almost yearly – and sometimes several times a year – since that first hike. Most […]

Cable handrail on Alum Cave Trail

Rainy hike to Mt. Le Conte

Clouds, rain and thunderstorms. That wasn’t the weather I would have requested for hiking, but that was the weather we had for hiking Alum Cave Trail to Mt. Le Conte to spend the night at LeConte Lodge. And when hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, rain always is a possibility, especially in the […]

tree tops

Tree leaves provide different looks for nature trail

What a remarkable day in May for Florida. The weather system that caused the closing of roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park due to fallen trees and the possibility of snow on mountain tops brought a beautiful day to Florida. Cool temperatures and enough breeze to mean no insects. A great day to check out […]

Rhododendron in snow, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hiking in snow

I had planned to be writing a blog post today for the Friends of the Smokies blog about the March Classic Hike of the Smokies. But the hike was postponed until later in March due to inclement weather – with US Highway 441/Newfound Gap Road closed due to snow and ice and with other roads and […]

De-stress: Run, bike Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail

I just received my Hike 100 Challenge pin in the mail. The pins were sent to the more than 2,300 hikers who completed the Smokies Hike 100 Challenge in 2016 as part of the Centenniel Celebration of the National Park Service. I’m so glad I could be part of that hiking experience. I love hiking […]

Flooding impacts homeowners & University of Iowa

I’m at the University of Iowa for the annual board meeting of Quill and Scroll, the International Honor Society for High School Journalists. Before the meeting started, I had time to run on Edgewater Drive (in Coralville just outside of Iowa City), which is downhill from the hotel where the board members are staying. As […]

Hiking inspiration: Margaret Stevenson was a regular on the trails to Mt. Le Conte

Margaret Stevenson hiked to Mt. Le Conte 718 times. Most of those trips were day hikes, with her hiking up and down (at least 11 miles). She was the first woman to hike all 900 miles of trails in the Smokies — which she completed when she was 64. In my hikes to Mt. Le […]