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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 28.3467, -81.4801
My father always used to say that persistence pays off. And so it did. On 8/12/16, at 8:15 and 77 degrees we made our fourth attempt to see the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. In years past it was always hidden behind a thick curtain of fog and just driving safely through it to the other side was a challenge. This year it was sunny and clear and we saw it in all of its glory. The mountains, which do not rise above the tree line, are covered in a lush blanket of dark green trees. And the flatlands are teeming with wildlife. We saw a bear in a tree eating cherries and we saw deer grazing in fields of tall yellow grass. The drive took us through winding roads up and over hills and down into the valleys. And it was all very camera friendly.
After spending most of the morning in the park, we headed east to Raleigh to spend the weekend with Michelle, Brett and the girls. On Monday we made the 10 hour drive to our beach condo where we stayed the night and on Tuesday we finally made it back to the house in
Kissimmee. "Hey, It's Good To Be Back Home Again". (That one's for you, Phyllis.)
- We were away for 40 days and traveled 10,722 miles.
- We visited 19 US states, 8 Canadian provinces, 5 provincial capitals, and 3 US national parks.
- We visited with both of our children and all three of our grandchildren, and we visited with friends and family from Florida, Canada, Massachusetts, and Maine.
- And we said goodbye to the gracious 94 year old matriarch of the Mustard family, my daughter-in-law's grandmother, who passed away about a week after we saw her. May she rest in peace.
So far we have visited all 50 states, all 9 southern provinces of Canada, most of the National Parks and a few National Monuments and at this point it is getting difficult to figure out where we will go next. But, God willing, we will go again next summer and where we plant our feet is still a mystery to us. So, until next year…
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