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Travel Blog June 15, 2021

As I traveled throughout the southern states on my way to visit friends in Greenville South Carolina, I stopped at this beautiful town called Natural Bridge in Virginia.

Of course I was curious about this natural phenomenon that boasted that it was higher than Niagara Falls, so off I went.

I parked the van at the park and I was off with my travel companion Axl to go see the Natural Bridge.

As we walked down multiple natural stairs that followed a waterfall, I couldn't notice how beautiful the landscape was. I felt as though I was on a Tolkienesque movie set and any minute Golum would appear from a tree.

Visiting the site was amazing. Axl and I took the 2 mile hike that followed the river before we continued our journey to South Carolina to explore Greenville and see friends.

Before making it to Greenville I made a stop at another bridge in a town called Travelers Rest. the bridge was built in 1820 and it was the original road from Greenville to Ashville NC.

The structure of this bridge was amazing. The river ran under it and it was a great place to hike and relax.

After spending some time in the woods I made my way to Greenville.

I met my friends and they showed me around the city.

I really liked Greenville. The river ran right through the city and there was amazing sculptures and art exhibits throughout this young and vibrant city.

We walked through the parks and explored some shops and had some vegan ice cream.

We went to another park to do some skateboarding and generally had a great time. My goal was to visit Greenville but I also wanted to explore the Smoky Mountains.

So I ventured off to to get lost in the mountains.

Driving in the mountains took me from Greenville to Georgia and North Carolina and eventually making my way to Tennessee.

I ended up in Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg is a city in the mountains. It’s surrounded by the smoky mountains in Tennessee. The streets of Gatlinburg are crowded and busy and full of tourism. I’m grateful to see such a bustling city, one that is booming with business. It’s a strange environment it’s kind of like a cross between Las Vegas and Lake George. What brings people to Gatlinburg? There’s nothing really special going on. I mean New Orleans has food, music, and culture. Las Vegas has gambling. Memphis has Beale Street and blues. And Nashville has music and culture. So far all I have seen in Gatlinburg is restaurants and gift shops and I’m not really sure what the attraction is. I asked a couple where they were from, and they told me Ohio. I asked him what the attraction to Gatlinburg was and why they came here and the response was, “it’s not Ohio”. I respected their clever answer.

I must admit, The area surrounding Gatlinburg and pigeon Forge is absolutely beautiful the mountain range is gorgeous the roads are phenomenal and the people are friendly.

I loved traveling in the mountains. Axl and I hiked 3 days in a row, we swam in the frigid cold mountain stream, we got lost in the mountains and I really connected to the Spirit of the Universe.

I enjoy spending time in the mountains.

There is peace and solitude there. I love to connect to Mother Nature and regenerate my soul with hiking and being alone in the woods. I feel a deep connection to the Spirit of the Universe when I am in the mountains.

There is something sacred and spiritual about being alone with no phone service or distractions. During this journey I have spent several days in the woods with my dog and I am completely amazed with how peaceful it can be.

After spending several day in the Smoky Mountain region I decided to make a journey back north and to visit the Allegheny Mountains and do it all over again before I started my trek west.

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