I was lucky, I suppose, and learned about the beauty of nature at a young age. I was 3 years old when my family moved from Kentucky to East Tennessee, and since my father was a botany teacher and a naturalist, I was taken to some awesome places as a child. Roan Mountain and Unaka Mountain immediately come to mind, but there were other places–some places that I don’t remember where they were even.
Obviously things have changed alot since I was 4 years old, and some of those places we used to drive to in the ol’ VW bus are now inaccessible to vehicles, or require a 4-wheel drive, like much of Rich Mountain.
Unaka Mountain was my playground, and Sunday picnics at the Unaka overlook were quite common for us. I have many memories of picking blueberries where the Appalachian Trail used to descend into Limestone Cove. That is the first time I recall being ‘on the trail’. (more…)