By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
Who wouldn’t like to get away to the North Carolina mountains this time of year?
Count me in, along with my friend, Pamela.
It was no flight of fancy, mind you. We were on a mission to officially appreciate my brother-in-law, the Pensacola attorney, who’d been selected to portray one Horace Kephart in a production associated with the 150th anniversary of Kephart’s birth.
So, you’re asking, who in the heck is Horace Kephart?
Kephart was a solitary figure across many years in the Smoky Mountains around Bryson City, N.C. He’d left his wife and six children for the solace of higher climes, and kept much to himself.
He kept meticulous journals about his life in the woods, and much of what he learned was integrated into the Boy Scout handbook.
Kephart also wrote books about his experiences and lobbied staunchly to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The production was very nice and we were very proud of my brother-in-law, as well as my sister, Suzy, who did not throttle anyone while she spent 10 days dealing with the theatrics as a dutiful spouse.
My sister really loves to float a creek, which she once did with great regularity when she lived in Pike County.
But now, in the Florida Panhandle, she hasn’t found any floating companions – well, not the creek variety, anyway.
So one of her hubby’s friends kindly took her on a fabulous, beautiful float of the Little Tennessee River last Saturday.
All that while, Pamela and I shopped and ate our way from Bryson City to a fabulous international white-water canoeing competition in the Nantahala River gorge.
Bryson City is quite a nice little place between mountain ridges.
We took full advantage of getting there two days before the Kephart performance, checking out the local cuisine and clever offerings in the shops.
Lots of regional craft items are in the stores, especially beautiful jewelry, painted gourd receptacles and long-leaf pine woven baskets.
In the spirit of hiking, Pamela bought herself a fine, carved walking stick so she is able to maintain her way through any thicket and fend off any wild animal smaller than a bear. I think she’s good here in Tupelo.
I bought myself a T-shirt as I picked up souvenirs for my children and their significant others.
One activity we didn’t have time for – the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, which takes passengers on a 44-mile trip through the Nantahala Gorge and back along the Little Tennessee and Nantahala rivers to beautiful Fontana lake and other sights.
I can imagine how gorgeous that trip will be in about two weeks when the leaves start to turn.
When we departed early Sunday morning, it was 48 degrees.
Grandpup Bonnie, who was kept in the bosom of doggie daycare, was mighty happy to see me back home in time for Sunday football. Me, too.
Patsy R. Brumfield writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.