Monday, August 03, 2015

streaming the old way

Natural streaming

Just finished a bit of road tripping. (funny how "tripping" had that other meaning during my youth) We visited family and got out into nature. The streaming we enjoyed was not the technological type.  Good streaming can be found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

my thumb - no actually my NP pass

On an earlier trip a nice park ranger at the entrance of a national park in Florida told me about the lifetime pass I was eligible for.  I bought it.  Ten dollars!!  For a lifetime pass to any national park.

Now my youngest adult daughter pointed out that lifetime for me was not the same length as it is for many others.  Remarks like that could shorten her lifetime but I took it as a funny joke.  You need to be 62 or more to be eligible for this great offer.

Of course the entrance fee at most national parks is very reasonable so this senior pass is comparable to a senior discount.  You can bring four people in with you too.

Having only used my pass the day I got it months ago, I was slightly excited (doesn't take much does it?) to use it again.

As I studied the route from my sister's place to the park I noticed the Blue Ridge Parkway connected to our planned route.  (oh this GPS Google mapping thing is the best app for a smartphone)  We had been on the Blue Ridge Parkway once in Virginia.  We hopped on it for a few very scenic miles (oh no trucks allowed on it too).

The parkway dropped us off on the road into the park.  We passed a visitor center after which I expected an entrance gate.  Mile after mile of following a beautiful mountain stream but no entrance.

Finally we reach the middle area of the park and turn on the side road for Clingmans Dome.  At this point I figure I just discovered a back way into the park.  Use the Blue Ridge Parkway and get in free.

We stopped in the visitor center/gift shop.  After picking out a t-shirt (my normal daily costume) I mentioned this lack of entrance gate to one of the staff.  I'm told that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is free.  I never knew that even though I had been there as a kid and with my kids before.  (ok I guess I completely forgot)  I was very disappointed.  I really wanted to pull out my exclusive club pass senior pass.  (if interested here's the history behind this park being free)

I just wish there were more national parks around northern Illinois.   


1 comment:

Lisa said...

haha adorable

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