Smoky Mountains Minute #1 (SMM) – News and Tip of the Day

Smoky Mountains Minute #1:

Hello everyone!  I know you are likely confused by hearing me in the middle of the week, but I have decided to start a new mid-week segment, the Smoky Mountains Minute.  In this short series of shows, I will give you the News From Around the Mountains, and any other breaking stories or spotlights that I didn’t have time to cover in the regular show.  This is also the area that I will start doing a lot of our listener feedback and questions.  So with that out of the way, let’s get to it.

  1. Close to the Smokies, a man was arrested for deciding to live and build a cabin right in the heart of Cherokee National Forest.  Yeah, that is against the law.  I’d love to live right in the middle of it too, but you can’t do that.
  2. In the show this week, we talked about the upcoming closure of the Heintooga Ridge Road.  Just as a reminder, winter is coming….as the game of thrones folks will tell you.  And with it comes the closing of the popular Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail at the end of this month.  This road gives you access to the Trillium Gap Trail, Baskins Creek Falls, and easier access to Rainbow Falls and Bullhead.  Check those out soon if you want to do them before next year.  There are also several roads scheduled for closure in November
  3. There are still bear warnings in effect on several trails in the Smokies.  It is not hibernation time just yet.  Use caution at Gregory Bald, Rainbow Falls, and basically all of the the shelters along the appalachian trail.
  4. We are coming to the season where temperatures will soon be dipping into the freezing range after the sun goes down.  Be sure to dress in layers and have an emergency plan in place in case you get stuck in the elements.  Check out episode 9 for more details on that one.
  5. Since it is cold at night, don’t forget that if you want to build a fire at a campsite or shelter, you have to do it in the approved locations.  AND….do not chop down live trees and branches.  Gather fallen and dead wood. They burn better anyway, so this should be a no brainer.
  6. A hotel employee got a noise complaint on Historic Nature Trail Road this past week.  When he investigated, he found a bear in the stairwell.  Wow.  They do actually come that close.  That will wake you up in a hurry.  So, what evidence do we have of this happening?  That’s right, the employee stuck his camera in his face and took a couple pictures.  The guy was lucky.  The bear was startled and went right past him and took off to safety.  Like i’ve said before, they are more scared of us than we are of them, but putting a camera right on a bear and popping the flash could have made the bear aggressive.  Not a smart move.  He lives there and should have known better.  Oh well.  Either way, an interesting story that ended up with no one hurt.
  7. And guess what?  That is not our only bear story this week.  A couple was awoken in their home in gatlinburg to their dark barking like crazy.  That’s right, there was a bear in the house.  The dog basically ended up scaring it away.  No one was hurt.  It is that time of year.  The bears are looking high and low for food to get ready for the hibernation season.  We will see more bears around in the next several weeks around towns and roads than we will the rest of the year combined.
  8. Sadly, one person will killed and three others hurt in a single car crash on the spur in the smokies that connects pigeon forge to gatlinburg.  The crash occurred at 2:30 in the morning.  No cause was immediately known.  Be careful on those mountain roads…especially that time of night.  slow down and make it okay.  Even the low elevation roads can be tricky and dangerous.  There were also fallen trees and limbs over the last day and a half as storms and winds have moved through the area.  Keep it slow.  The mountain will still be there if you take a few more minutes to make it.
  9. On lighter news, a very unscientific poll reported by WBIR reports that Gatlinburg is the 8th highest honeymoon destination in the country.  only vegas and Hawaii and the hawaiian islands ranked higher.  And I think this is absolutely true.  It can be a great place for honeymoons.  My parents honeymooned here back when they lived in Illinois.  They must have loved it, because they kept coming back and bringing us with them yearly until we all finally moved to Knoxville.
  1. TIP OF THE WEEK:  Our tip of the week comes from Lou in Bakersfield, CA.  Lou says, be sure to check your laces before you take off on a hiking trip.  It stinks to get 5 miles into a hike and have a lace break on you without a way to fix it.  Consider bringing a spare set of laces.  Thanks for that tip Lou. And I think it’s a great one.  I’ve never had a lace break in all these years somehow, but I have had a show separate from the sole.  It is not a fun walk down the mountain.  If you have a tip you’d like to share, send it in to me at
  1. Thanks to everyone that has liked the show and followed us Facebook and Twitter.  As a reminder, be sure to subscribe to the show in I-tunes and Stitcher.  Reviews are a helpful way to get the word out about the show and website, so please take a minute to leave us a review.  Spread the word about the show with your friends, so let them know about it.  And as always, I love hearing from all of you, so send me a message or call the listener line.  All that information can be found right on our website at Smoky Mountains
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