Jan 5, 2021 at 9:47 am #3692242Backpacking LightAdmin
@backpackinglightLocale: Rocky Mountains
Rediscovering the Smoky Mountains by lens and brushJan 5, 2021 at 7:42 pm #3692332W I S N E R !BPL Member
This was my favorite content in some time…Love the photography and the paintings Andrew. Thanks!
Big fan of salamanders and newts, come spring they’ll start making more appearances in some of the darker, wetter canyons close to my home.Jan 6, 2021 at 7:42 am #3692361Dondo .BPL Member
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
Beautiful stuff, Andrew. It appears that you’ve inherited the southern storytelling tradition. Your words and images are setting a pretty high bar.
When you were telling about the drunken sea shanty, I was hoping it sounded something like this, if you can imagine it with a track of frogs croaking.Jan 6, 2021 at 9:26 am #3692373Ben CBPL Member
As a regular to the Smokies and surrounding areas, I really enjoyed this. Your descriptions of the constant dampness and wet weather were right on. Bourbon in this weather is almost mandatory to allow you to deal with the weather. But the windows that do open up are amazing.
Watercolors are the perfect media for an animal that is always wet. I liked the paintings a lot.
The descriptions of how to feel about where you come from are maybe the best part. That felt real for sure.
All in all, this made me reappreciate the familiar. Well done.Jan 6, 2021 at 11:39 am #3692393Brett ABPL Member
So well written! While I’m not from there, most of my hiking has been done in the Southern Appalachians and you depict so well what I feel each time I return. Its a special place. Your honesty about the conflicting emotions you feel concerning your home is refreshing. Regrettably, something we don’t hear much these days. ThanksJan 6, 2021 at 4:25 pm #3692445Mark WetheringtonBPL Member
@markwethLocale: Western Montana
This was great in every regard. I really appreciated the depth of this piece and the photos and drawings were excellent.
As someone who is also from the South I can relate to your conflicted feelings all too well.
I also have a deep affinity for the Smokies as I did some of my first and most adventurous backpacking trips there. There’s something about that landscape that is just so wonderful and mystical that it’s hard to identify and best experienced.Jan 7, 2021 at 8:33 am #3692531Stephen SeeberBPL Member
That brought back memories of backpacking trips in the Smokies during graduate school–constant rain, constant sound of running water from the streams that always ran through camping spots and never ending mist. Thanks for that!Jan 7, 2021 at 12:02 pm #3692555Andrew MarshallModerator
@andrewsmarshallLocale: Tahoe basin by way of the southern Appalachians
Thanks all! I’m so glad people are enjoying this.Jan 9, 2021 at 11:09 pm #3693044Dave SBPL Member
Great story and I really like the salamander water colors!
DaveJan 10, 2021 at 12:31 pm #3693109David SBPL Member
Fabulous paitings, and great article – ThanksJan 10, 2021 at 12:50 pm #3693119wansun sBPL Member
beautifully written. enjoyed every bit of it.Jan 10, 2021 at 5:55 pm #3693165Arthur ViensBPL Member
Andrew, wonderful piece of writing.
The paintings were beautiful too; you are gifted.
Keep writing more stuff like this.
ArthurJan 11, 2021 at 10:26 am #3693262Dan MaddenBPL Member
Having grown up in the foothills of the Smokies, I enjoyed your story of the salamander and wanderings through the mountains that I grew up exploring as a young man… and while I truly love the unique beauty and diversity of the Smokies, I discovered early on that for me the heat and humidity of the area in general were constraints to an enjoyable level of activity in the summer. This ‘discovery’ was readily confirmed on my first climbing trip to Colorado while a college student. The irony is the rain never really bothered me as I enjoyed it’s cooling effect, especially at some of the higher altitudes in the Smokies. In fact, one of my all-time favorite experiences was going to sleep listening to the rain on the tarp. Now that I live in Colorado, I treat rain as a welcome event, especially after enduring our recent dry, hot, long, smoke-filled summer.
On the one hand, I hear what you are saying when people ask where you are from… on the other, I have no regrets of where I grew up nor the people I grew up with. Having since traveled literally millions of air miles across the country as well as internationally on business, I have found that people are basically the same everywhere – there will always be the good, the bad and the ugly no matter where you go. Their opinion of where I am from is about them, not about me or where I grew up. As the saying goes, “those who care, don’t matter… and those who matter, don’t care.”
Keep up the great stories…Jan 11, 2021 at 7:12 pm #3693374Ben PBPL Member
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Gorgeous offering here, sir. Thank you!</p>
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