The Return of Rick Steves  11/23-11/25 2012

This is a publicity photo compliments of his production company.  We were glad to have him join us again.

Our usual Eagle Creek extravaganza was thwarted as a result of someone booking the entire campsite at 90.  It’s okay, though.  We developed an alternate plan that worked like a charm.  Heck, we may even start going here annually.  It’s a lot easier to get to and we had a large turnout as a result.
I am not going to tell you where it is though.  Then, no one can book the whole thing up and displace us in the future.   We were re visited by Rick Steves and Frank Whitehead.  Also making cameos were Luke, Mandy and Jonathan, .   But most pleasant was the attendance of the ladies, in particular Highlander First Lady, Cindy Lou Dumplin.  We also had Jenny Howe and Jessica Hendricks-Fisher.
Uncle Larry was unable to attend for the second weekend in a row.  He has decided that this next year will be his year to hit the woods and he will make a New Years’ resolution to go backpacking sometime, just as soon as Apple develops a Preservation App.    He said something about riding with George.

Here are the highlights of the two night event for me:
1.       Dave making pork, lots of pork, for everyone
2.       Mike making steak, lots of steak, for everyone
3.       Mike providing beverages, lots of beverages, for everyone
4.       Frank providing a change of wardrobe, lots of wardrobe, for everyone
5.       Grady judging the fashion show put on by Frank, for everyone
6.       Rick Steves providing color commentary for the travel channel
7.       Dirt naps by Luke
8.       Me forgetting my camera battery
9.       Jessica telling us that Grady attended a fashion show with her last week in Nashville
10.   Will taking us to Newfound heights of laughter
11.   Completing 6 miles of new 2nd ink
12.   Discovering great new potential outlaw spots
13.   Creekside sleeping, outta sight!
14.   Kool and the Gang, again
15.   Stars and Moon, Dave barking at the moon.
These pictures are compliments of JMike.


Here's a little side information for you that I personally found interesting.  As you may know, Leconte Lodge management has been very vocal in their support of the backcountry fee.  I tried to obtain the figures from the NPS regarding how much cash they were pulling down up there in a year.  Of course, Ditmanson tried to stall me so I couldn't spread that information publicly.  However, I prevailed and discovered, much to my own surprise, that they pulled in 1.76 MILLION dollars up there last year.  That's just last year.  Sounds to me like they need to be kicking in some more money to offset this fee for us, doesn't it?  Next I'm going to find out how much the other vested interests are making on this public land.   I'll bet we will be in for some revealing figures.