By author Joseph J. O’Donnell and photographer Joseph O’Donnell
We decided to set our sites to the South and explore a gem of an area hidden in the Great Smokey Mountains . As avid hikers my son, Joe (our magazine’s photographer), and I have traveled extensively in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. A neighbor, and good friend, had told us that he had vacationed often in the Great Smokey Mountains just to our south, in Tennessee. So we decided to travel there to see what the area offered.
We drove the distance from Northern Virginia to this fantastic location in a drive time of seven and a half hours, taking turns at the wheel and stopping along the way for gas and meals. It wasn’t so bad as the majority of the driving took us along Interstate 81 giving us a mostly direct route with little traffic. (more…)