Tag Archives: Elk

Oh April-50th Anniversary Part 1

29 Apr

On the porch

Onisha Ellis

April 9, 2021-Day One

Our daughter arrived the previous night. She drove up from Florida. We made the decision over supper to not rush around in the morning to get an early start. We would be spending 5 nights at a time share in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee that our friend generously gifted us and check in was after 4 pm. The drive would take two to two and one half hours, depending on how often we stopped while driving through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

After coffee on the porch, a leisurely breakfast and some last minute packing, we loaded our daughter’s Toyota Rav 4 and set out. (Remember from last week, our car’s check engine light was triggered on our trip from Florida.) Over the years we have spent many happy hours in the GSMNP, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. In our younger days we would day trip with my husband driving late a night, back to our rented cabin in Franklin, NC. Often the fog was swirling thick, but my husband handled the driving well. Many nights I held a sleeping, exhausted child in my arms. Sweet memories. Since we are well past our younger days we haven’t been able to explore our favorite places on the Tennessee side. We would have 5 days to visit favorite places and maybe find some news ones.

We were almost to the Oconoluftee Visitor Center when we saw cars parked alongside the road. This usually indicates elk in the fields but we didn’t see any. Our daughter spotted the elk in a river partially hidden by trees. We had seen pictures of the elk in the river but never witnessed it. My daughter and I grabbed our cameras and strode across the fields. They were beautiful.

The ducks enjoyed the water as well. There were more elk on the opposite shore but we didn’t get them in the pictures or the video.

This website

Where to view elk in the Great Smoky National Park has helpful information should you be planning a visit.

When we arrived in Pigeon Forge, we easily found our holiday retreat. We weren’t sure what to expect, as the property had several room options.

At check in we learned that we were assigned a Pedestal townhouse. I was thrilled.

The stairs were a bit of a trial, hauling our suitcases, coolers and the assorted things we felt we just had to have. After settling in, we were ready for some supper. In Pigeon Forge the main highway is called The Parkway. It is lined on both sides with every kind of business and restaurants. We decided our first holiday meal would be at Cheddars. It’s a chain restaurant but one we don’t have in our small town.

Our meal was excellent. A good choice for our first night. We returned to our rental and discovered the wi-fi surpassed our expectations. We brough out our Roku and settled in for television streaming.

Next week, day two and the hunt for wildflowers.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Gunnison Adventure~Part 2

26 Aug

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

One of the most beautiful trips we took, and one I always anticipate, was up to Paradise Divide above Crested Butte at about 11,500 feet. This is one of our favorite places to go, and we hid a geocache up here years ago, which is still there. We get many great comments about the Paradise area on our geocaching site.



There are several rare flowers on this trip and some of them only bloom for a very short time, if conditions are right. For instance we saw Glacier Lilies that only grow near the snow banks for a short time after the snow melts;


Moss Campion (moss in bloom, with the sweetest smelling little pink flowers you have ever seen); Monument Plants which only bloom once, then are dormant for 20 – 60 years, then will bloom again. Rosy Paint Brush with its different shades of bright pink to pale pink, grows at this altitude. We saw a multitude of Lemon Paint Brush and the bright red Indian Paint Brush, too. Then there is the fluffy little Bistort that is soft and pleasing to the eye, but smells like dirty socks. These are just a few of my favorite flowers. There is a wonderful waterfall on the road up that cascades down 1000 feet this time of year, and a beautiful pristine Mirror Lake at the top. Also at the top, a large red mountain above timberline dominates the scene. You never see a lot of people up here.

Going down the other side, a few miles down you see many more people, as it is a popular area. You pass the Biology Research Center located in beautiful Gothic. They established research plots in this area years ago to study the gorgeous flora here. It looks like they are expanding their research, as they are building a huge new building up here. Also as you come down this side, you pass Emerald Lake, which is very deep and is the color of emeralds. This is a favorite fishing, hiking and biking area, with many bicycle trails in use here in the summer. One popular trail passes the famous Maroon Bells and leads you into Aspen on the other side of the mountain to the east.

We saw a lot of wildlife during our stay in the area this year, including several deer, a couple of herds of elk (mamas and babies),a family of raccoons climbing a tree to spend the night, and 3 deer being stalked by a coyote.



We were parked by the road watching the deer right above us. They were not spooked by us, but kept looking over our heads into the meadow below. So we looked down there and saw the coyote. He was watching them and looked like he was going to try to go around and maybe get behind them. However, we don’t think he would attack on his own. We also had our own little resident doe that stays close to our condo


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