Oh plentiful sunshine, please don’t go away! It’s been a mostly cloudy morning, with brief stints of sun as the crew makes the rounds cleaning up camp and last night’s guests depart the mountain top. Thunderstorms are expected to flare up by mid afternoon across the region, so take care of your hiking business early if you can. Temps are currently in the mid 60s and quite comfortable.
Know what you don’t see in those magnificent photos for advertising, tour guides, or blog posts?
Orange peels. Plastic bottles. Candy wrappers.
Imagine if in one’s research of a vacation destination they saw photos of those items and more strewn across famous landmarks, on a trail, or in a swimming hole. Odds are people would be less inclined to visit and decide to vacation elsewhere. So if that isn’t how somebody found the place when they got there, why leave it that way? The answer is obvious to some but not all unfortunately. You may think throwing that orange peel to the side is harmless and will magically decompose as soon as you turn your back. This is not the case. Something like an orange peel can take MONTHS to finally break down, and even if it’s just one person a day it can add up quickly. Yuck.
The Smoky Mountains are the salamander capital of the world, home to the highest peaks along the Appalachian Trail, and welcome the most visitors annually among national parks. Every bit of it is worth protecting and preserving. One very simple and easy way hikers can all do their part...pack it in, pack it out. Please visit lnt.org to learn more.