We love the Smoky Mountains. Wish you were here!

Archive for August, 2009

“Reflects our collective happiness and joy at being in the Smokies”


Fifty years ago, Carlton and Gloria Parker began taking their young family camping at Deep Creek. It was the beginning of a family tradition that continues today. Granddaughter Erika Anchors, who contributed this Postcard, says the annual camping trip is “an unofficial family reunion of sorts”.

“This year we had over 20 people attend,” she explained. “We spend one glorious week every year immersed in the beauty of what is Deep Creek. We tube, hike, play in the creek, throw rocks, eat s’mores, and sing old Beatles songs around the campfire.  Afterward, there’s nothing in the world like going to sleep listening to the sound of a roaring creek. The Smoky Mountains have a special place in each of our hearts. It truly feels like a second home to us.”

So what about the photo? Erika explained, “We are definitely unique, and all have unusual senses of humor. A few years ago, we inadvertently began a ‘tradition’ of sorts. We always go to Miss Sue’s store to get ice cream, and then someone had a brilliant idea to take a picture outside the store.” Erika’s caption explains the silliness of this year’s family photo: “Reflects our collective happiness and joy at being in the Smokies.”

Photo by Sue Miller, Smoky Mountain Campground

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We’ll Have a Cuban Sandwich and a Bag of Oats, Ma’am


The Lone Ranger and Silver were recently photographed ordering take-out from Helene Tetrault of The Filling Station Deli and Sub Shop in downtown Bryson City. The masked man is currently enjoying his second visit to the Great Smokies this year as a guest of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. After his last appearance this weekend — August 29 and 30 — he’ll most likely ride off into the sunset, with a cloud of dust and a hearty “Hi-Yo Silver, away.”

Photo by Paul Crawley of Soda Pops Ice Cream Parlor

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A Boat Cruise Where You’re the Captain and Crew

Family outing on Fontana Lake

Looking for a memorable family outing when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains? How about packing a picnic and exploring beautiful Fontana Lake in a rented pontoon boat? Several marinas rent the covered boats for full-day or half-day outings which can include fishing, swimming and sightseeing. With the entire north shore of the 35-mile-long lake protected by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, wildlife sightings are common, including black bears and bald eagles. You even may catch a glimpse of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad’s scenic excursion crossing the trestle (above).

Photo by J.R. vanLienden

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Couple Celebrates 50th Anniversary With a Return To Bryson City


At just 19 years old, Robert Rybak and his fiancé Evadean drove all the way from Columbus, Ohio to Bryson City. Too scared to ask their parents for permission, the couple made the trip to North Carolina to secretly get married. February 22 marked 50 years of marriage for the couple.

Robert, who was in the Air Force, and Evadean, an operator at Ohio Bell, met at a popular restaurant near the Air Force Base.  She was there with a friend, and he showed up after a USO dance.  Evadean’s friend teased her saying she wouldn’t be able to get a date with Robert.  She proved her friend wrong. The two met and soon fell in love.

Robert and Evadean made the trip to Bryson City from Ohio again recently to rediscover the place that holds so many special memories.  The wedding took place at the Swain County Courthouse with Justice of the Peace O Neal Muse and witnesses Odis Sitton and Percival DeHart.  The couple was very excited to find the courthouse and both remarked, “It looks so much smaller now!”

Photo by Jennifer Wilson

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Happy Trails in the Smokies


An easy way to trek miles of backwoods trails in the Smokies is on the back of a horse. It’s definitely easier on the feet, although possibly not as easy on the seat. Three riding stables offer guided horse rides in the North Carolina Smokies — one is near Fontana Dam, one in the Nantahala Gorge and one in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee.

Photo by J.R. vanLienden

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