Walker Samuel: Welcome to the Great Smoky Mountains


Your pack will be light and your stride shorter than mine.
But I will adjust my speed to give you plenty of time.
To catch a butterfly, or check out a flower or rock.
Because when we are on trail, we won’t possess a clock.

We will awaken early on Saturday, and pack the things we need
And get a shuttle from Steve Claxton, who will take us at boat’s speed,
To an adventure on Bone Valley and to Campsite eighty six
Where we will pitch our tent, set up camp, and get our mountain fix.

Our first backpacking trip will be my delight,
As we cuddle in my Big Agnes and bring on the night.
A red and orange campfire blazing in our ring,
My new hiking partner will be my favorite thing.

I will watch with wonder as you explore our amazing Hazel Creek,
Knowing the gentle earth is beneath your perfect feet.
We will head up Bear Creek on our way to High Rocks,
Enjoying the view, the climb, and the branch rock-hops.

And make our way to Raven Fork where the true “Wild Things” thrive
Knowing God has blessed this place, and we are fortunate to be alive.
On a mossy rock by Straight Fork, we will enjoy our apples and trail mix,
For a long day with nothing to do, this will be our fix.

The Wonderful Cataloochee, as we investigate the elk,
Seeing it through your youthful eyes will make it new to myself.
We will trek the lush green trails, as your ancestors did before,
As I fill you in on their history, traditions, and folklore.

You will learn to treat your water and to always “Leave No Trace,”
To exit with only memories, pictures, and God’s Grace.
We shall stop to examine a tortoise, or check out a centipede,
Or possibly take a little nap beneath an old Oak Tree.

The Great Smoky Mountains, what a benefit to live only miles away
Where we always find peace and is accessible every day.
Mother Earth is so giving, comforting, and true…….
I cannot wait Walker Samuel to show all of this to you…….. Love, Meemaw

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