Category Archives: GSMNP

Thomas Divide Tunnel

We found a new lost thing this weekend. Most folk will drive over it without even realizing it’s there.

From visitmysmokies.com:

The Civilian Conservation Corps was created in 1933 to provide jobs to young men who were skilled in masonry, engineering, architecture, landscaping, or simply hard work. They built hundreds of miles of roads and hiking trails, bridges, buildings, campgrounds, and more in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The CCC most commonly used stone to build the structures. Some of the most well-known structures they built are the original Oconaluftee Visitor Center, the tower at Mount Cammerer, and the four-arch Elkmont Bridge. However, some of the accomplishments of the CCC are less well known, like the secret tunnel under Clingmans Dome Road!

The Thomas Divide Tunnel is less than a mile west of the junction with Newfound Gap Road. When Clingmans Dome Road was finished in 1935, there was a trail that closely paralleled the upper section of Newfound Gap Road on the North Carolina side. It connected to the Appalachian Trail on the far side of Clingmans Dome Road. Instead of routing the trail to cross Clingmans Dome Road, the engineers chose to build the tunnel under the roadbed. This old hiker’s tunnel kept the hikers from having to cross over Clingmans Dome Road


We usually visit The Road To Nowhere and a tiny cemetery on Independence Day. The. We head over to Nantahala. This year we added in Clingmans Dome because we found this online. It’s harder and harder to find something we haven’t done that’s regular tourist stuff. Occasionally you have to dig a little deeper.

Trying out the DJI Mimo for the first time on the trail.

It’s not hard to find. Just after the turn onto Clingman’s Dome Road, there’s a pull-off to the right. Park there and make your way to the bridge and down along the side. Watch your step.

And there you are.

It’s a neat place to find, and you certainly won’t have to deal with many people. If I’m heading out to Clingman’s, I will visit again. Maybe take a little picnic lunch and sit at the end over the parkway.

I have many other vids and pics to download and edit from the last five or six days. At least I have material to post.

That’s it. That’s the post.

Seegars

Lightning Bugs

The Lampyridae are a family of insects in the beetleorder Coleoptera with more than 2,000 described species. They are soft-bodied beetles that are commonly called fireflies, glowworms, or lightning bugsfor their conspicuous use of bioluminescenceduring twilight to attract mates or prey. Fireflies produce a “cold light”, with no infrared or ultraviolet frequencies. This chemically produced light from the lower abdomen may be yellow, green, or pale red, with wavelengths from 510 to 670 nanometers. Some species such as the dimly glowing “blue ghost” of the Eastern U.S. are commonly thought to emit blue light (<490 nanometers), although this is a false perception of their truly green emission light, due to the Purkinje effect. (From the Wikipedia article.)


All I know is there’s a bunch of bugs in the woods ready to get it on.

If the weather stayed pretty much like it is right now, I would be perfectly fine. It’s just right.


From learnreligions.com:

There’s an Apache legend in which the trickster Fox tries to steal fire from the firefly village. To accomplish this, he fools them and manages to set his own tail on fire with a piece of burning bark. As he escapes the firefly village, he gives the bark to Hawk, who flies off, scattering embers around the world, which is how fire came to the Apache people. As punishment for his deception, the fireflies told Fox that he would never be able to use fire himself.

And this I found really interesting:

Want to know something else that’s pretty cool about fireflies? In only two places in the entire world, there’s a phenomenon known as simultaneous bioluminescence. That means that all the fireflies in the area sync up their flashes, so all they light up at exactly the same time, repeatedly, all night long. The only places you can actually see this happen are Southeast Asia and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

As I’ve mentioned before we vacation pretty much only in the GSMNP. I’ll be watching for this to happen.

Sorry. I couldn’t help it.

That’s it. That’s the post.

Seegars