Tag: Publications

  1. A conversation with the authors of the new Kephart biography

    Book cover of Back of Beyond by George Ellison and Janet McCue

    Working with literary authorities George Ellison and Janet McCue to edit their new book, Back of Beyond: A Horace Kephart Biography, was like being a roadie for a dynamic singer-songwriter duo (imagine going on tour with Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell). George and Janet are so creative, so steeped in the literature of the Smokies region, and so attuned to all things Kephart that it was mesmerizing and magical to interact with them on a daily basis.

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  2. DLiA’s Science at Sugarlands Focuses on Fish Restoration

    Pat Rakes

    By Frances Figart

    Part of the mission of any national park is protecting and restoring species that were once native. Restoring native fish is an exciting area of Smokies science that goes unseen by those who are not swimming or snorkelling in park waters.

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  3. Cades Cove Story re-released by GSMA

    Cades Cove Story re-released by GSMA

    “No story of Cades Cove can ever be complete…” These humble words written by A. Randolph Shields in 1977 comprise the first line of The Cades Cove Story. The enduring legacy of this work continues to connect readers to the lives of the people who once lived in one of the most beloved places in all the national parks.

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  4. Smokies Life Redux: Rhododendron Revisited

    Rhododendron

    Did you know that there are more than 1,000 species of rhododendron in the world? Can you name the four species we have in the Smokies?

    I learned these things and more when I edited an article by Courtney Lix for publication in the current issue of Smokies Life. Courtney's story provides insight into this ubiquitous and resilient plant—one that might easily be taken for granted by locals and repeat visitors to the park.

    “The most common is the rosebay (R. maximum), which grows most abundantly at lower elevations but can be found nearly everywhere throughout the national park,” Courtney wrote. “Small-leaved rhododendron (R. minus) occurs frequently as well, although in smaller numbers than rosebay. The other two rhododendron species grow in mid- and high elevations, mostly above 3,500 feet: the Carolina rhododendron (R. caroliniana), and Catawba rhododendron (R. catawbiense).”

    A native of eastern Kentucky, I am most familiar with the Catawba variety, which was discovered in North Carolina by French botanist and explorer Andre Michaux in the late 1700s. Thanks to Courtney, I’m beginning to recognize the other types while hiking.

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  5. 2002 - The Year No One Died in GSMNP

    There is an old joke among history buffs involving realistic-looking plaques or historical markers that read, “On this site in 1884, nothing happened.” A similar joke could be made by park safety officers and law enforcement statisticians about Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2002. It would read, “In this national park in 2002, nobody died.”

    As you may have already assumed, it is very unusual to go an entire year in a national park that receives millions of annual visitors and not have a single person expire from natural causes, accidents, suicide or foul play.

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  6. The Smokies' Most Dangerous Places?

    Into the Mist

    One of the revelations found in the new book by Great Smoky Mountains Association and David Brill, Into the Mist: Tales of Death and Disaster, Mishaps and Misdeeds, Misfortune and Mayhem in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is that some places in the Smokies are much more dangerous than others.

    Not surprisingly, roads are the most dangerous places in the national park. But other sites, such as Abrams Creek and Abrams Falls, renowned for their peaceful, sublime scenery, have also tallied a shockingly high body count.

    Drowning is the leading cause of death at Abrams and is the #3 killer park-wide. In 1997 alone, Abrams Creek claimed three lives—two swimmers and one fisherman. The years 2004, 2006, 2009, 2016, and 2017 were also deadly along this seemingly benign mountain stream.

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  7. David Brill to speak at Hot Springs Trail Fest

    Into the Mist

    Among several upcoming public appearances for David Brill, author of GSMA’s recent release Into the Mist, is Hot Springs Trail Fest, where he will speak on Friday, April 20, at 7 p.m. at the Town Welcome Center in Hot Springs, N.C.

    Brill will recount his 2,100-mile trek across 14 states as he joined thousands of other men and women following the white blazes along the Appalachian Trail.

    “The annual Trail Fest celebration draws a large and diverse crowd of current thru-hikers, trail enthusiasts and nature lovers to one of the best-loved towns along the entire trail route," Brill said. "For the event, Hot Springs pulls out all the stops in providing great entertainment, food and music to celebrate the arrival of spring, when the weather's warm and flowering plants and trees are at their peak.”

    Brill, who thru-hiked the AT in 1979, has written articles on science, ecology, the environment, business, health, fitness, parenting and adventure travel that have appeared in more than 25 national and regional magazines, including Smokies Life. He has published five non-fiction books and has found a special niche of study in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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