Firefly Extravaganza


A picture could never do justice to the breathtaking display Jerky Mike and I witnessed Saturday night.  Wave upon wave of encroaching lights would envelope us as they started cacaphonously from one end of the water to another. Then, as suddenly as it began, the whole spectre would end.  For two seconds, the forest was dead silent as the next wave of lights pulsated contrary to the flow of water , swallowing us as it past through our beings ennervating our bodies with electricity as we accepted natures charge until the next volley.  Stepping into this marvel is  a private invitation and I could think only of a quote by the Great John Muir.  At that moment,  "All, was divine harmony".     (thanks Chuck)

Our plan, simple enough, was to sneak into a place where we could access the firefly extravaganza.  At 9 am Saturday morning, Jerky Mike and I hit the trail to avoid the mid day heat.  In less than two hours of beautiful walking, we were established in the backcountry.

We modified our game plan continuously througout the week because we are, fluid, dynamic and dynamite.  Some details were not squared away until we arrived in the park.  At the last minute, we decided to take an alternate path.   Just another spoke of a greater wheel where two roads diverged in a yellow wood.

Maximize the day.  Carpe Backpackery!

Arrive in time for luch and some kindling.  And I'm not referring to firewood gathering as Jerky Mike demonstrates his literary appetite is not constrained by any backcountry limits.

We had plenty of company.  This button buck we named Festus.  Festus was among us all day and all morning Sunday.  Very little fear.  We had another visitor that also had little fear, unfortunately.  A bear cub came wondering into our midst as our camp neighbors began making noises to chase him away.  I do not have any pictures and he was very small.  I thought they were shooing a skunk at first.

We weren't bugged by anything, including this fish-eyed fool, Dave.

It was all a bed of roses.

For this SouthernHighlander crew of two.  Yes, Mike has a curious rapid hand movement and he looks angry but he is not.  Okay, maybe he is a little perturbed.  You see, several folks no showed us.  One of which was GD Jack.  The other two were High Speed and Sarah and lastly were Ricky Bobby and Grady.  Turns out that RBobby and Grady had an automobile break down in route to the trailhead.  They had to nurse their vehicle back home, so we give them a pass.  There is a sanction for the rest, however, and let's just say it will involve some extra weight in their pack next time around.  (We will give them a choice of voluntary of involuntary weight)  Since Sally Dumplin was not in attendance, ( he has a fear of flying insects, especially ones that light up) Jerky Mike served as acting president when the campfire counsel was held.

And no, I am not going to divulge the name of this place or route for obvious reasons.  I like having everyone ride the trolley to Elkmont and think they are in the only place to see this wonder.  This one we keep for ourselves.