Snow on the Smoky’s and Daisy Town
After a week on the Eastern side of the Smoky Mountains, we made the decision to jump over the National Park to get at least one day’s adventuring on the East side of the park on our way into Kentucky. As luck would have it a storm was passing through the area that day and as we popped into the National Park visitor’s center (for Kerri) we got word that the NPS “just opened the road over the park”. It was closed due to debris in the road, but now passable. We jumped back in the truck and started to haul over the Smoky Mountains, only to be met with snow at the top. Not enough to bother us, but enough that the NPS had re-closed the road within minutes of us passing through.
We had barely made, by chance, the smallest of windows to get over the mountains to our destination; Elkmont Campground inside the park still. It continued to rain the rest of the day, but by morning things had calmed. With checkout time at noon, we only had a few hours to explore so we chose a simple hike from the campground. There are cooler places to hike too on this side of the park, but we did not have the time.
Our trail lead us through the old abandoned town of Daisy of the early 1900’s. Daisy was once a vacation community for the “Appalachian Club” who built small cabins here for summer use. Some of these very folks were those that started the movement to create the National Park. The cabins have all since been abandoned for many decades and the properties are now part of the park. I could not help but to envision just how peaceful it would have been to live all the way out here in a small community of like-minded people.
We left by checkout time, just at the very moment the next occupant of the campsite was pulling up. We drove North West-ward into Kentucky, on our way to the Bourbon Trail area where we had plans to stay for two full weeks to experience it all. As usual, that plan would change.