With the state of the world today ie. Economy, Stress, High Blood Pressure the list goes on we often neglect or just simply forget taking care of our health or we go in the opposite direction and over do it at the gym. Our bodies are under constant bombardment from our surroundings and from the mental beating we allow our minds to give us. What we need to do is take a walk or should I say Go take a hike ?! The beautiful Smokey Mountains are a great place to get away too and refresh and renew our bodies and our minds. It's a stress reliever to be out amongst nature walking the trials at our own pace and breathing in the fresh clean mountain air and exhaling the stress and tension from our minds and bodies. Anytime of year is acceptable to explore the Smokey Mountains with each season bringing a new face to the forest. Go, Laugh, play and explore the calmness that is hiking in the Smoky Mountains.
In my mind there can be no more serene a place on earth than outdoors amongst mother nature and no place is more attuned to what we as creatures of this planet need. I remember as a small child riding in the back seat of my grandfathers 1953 Buick from his house near Pioneer, Tenn. down through Knoxville, Tenn and into Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. We slowly began our adventure of exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Mother Nature at her best! We would stop at one of the little cut offs and eat lunch (Not many fast food places back then) and play along the edge of the stream that bordered the road. I remember how peaceful and calming the sounds were and even if I fell and scraped my knee the cool mountain waters would always seem to wash away my pain and I would return to playing like I did not have a care in the world.
I am always at peace when I'm hiking back to those places in the Great Smokey Mountains. In a time when stress is something we all seem to go to bed with and wake up with we need to be able to find a calm place for me it's when I think back on those days as a little boy and remember the winds blowing through the trees and the sounds of the streams rushing by slapping against the rocks as it flowed down hill. After work or after a hard day I think of those sounds and images in my head and let stress of the day take one path while I take another.
Most of the summer I can be found hiking or camping in the smokies with my wife and children, I think we know the park better than some of the rangers since I have been going there for over 50 years. A lot has changed since I was a little boy playing along the stream but one thing has never changed and that is this, I always find peace of mind, calmness of body and spirit and I always leave my stress in the mountains with mother nature.