My husband and I decided to take a drive up into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this weekend. Since we live within a half-hour's driving distance you might think we do this often. We don't. Because of the beauty and majesty of our mountains, it is one of the top vacation destinations in the country. We locals are proud of our mountain heritage and it is the rare East Tennessean who takes the privilege of living here for granted. That being said, most of us rarely visit our precious National Park because of the traffic and the tourist-trap kitsch.
But we decided to take advantage of a beautiful late summer afternoon and headed up with a small picnic. What a blessing! The cool air and curvy roads brought us back to why we are so proud of our mountain home. As we rode with the sunroof open and the wind in our hair, we laughed and talked and made plans for the future just like we did so many years ago. Life is far from perfect but it is still good.
photo credit: flickr/ben pierce