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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Smoky Mountain, Here I Come

Though it's silly doing so, since returning from Congaree National Park in South Carolina, I've found myself comparing it to the other National Parks I've visited. My inescapable conclusion: I'd return to any of those other parks before visiting Congaree again.

But every road trip has numerous pleasures. From this trip to the just OK Congaree?
* Spending more time than planned in historic Charleston, South Carolina - unique and beautiful Southern homes, a soothing rocking chair while gazing at the harbor, great raw oysters at Pearlz.
* Listening to John Updike's 2006 novel "Terrorist". Having an expressive reader (Christopher Lane) narrating those remarkable Updike descriptions reminded my wife and I why Updike's writing has entranced us both for over 30 years.
* Seeing my youngest niece and two friends, all Carolinians now.

And despite my underwhelmed reaction to it, Congaree itself had appeal. Nice 2.4 mile hike on an elevated boardwalk, towering pine trees, a relaxing quiet periodically interrupted by woodpeckers, one of nature's most intriguing sounds. Next National Park? Smoky Mountain in the fall. Oh yeah, almost forgot - we did our planning for that while in the car on this trip - gotta love the Internet! Which National Park is next for you? And how did the last one you visit compare to others you've seen?         


  1. I knew Congaree would be underwhelming for you all especially when compared to some of the beautiful places we've been to before but at least you can cross it off the list.


  2. I thought you were going to go with me to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the fall. If we're going to Rocky Mountain I need to take more time off :) Agree with you that Congaree was a bit disappointing, but when you think that at one time the entire East was populated by the huge trees (taller than in the Amazon rainforest) that are now seen ONLY in Congaree (due to logging and development), it gives you some perspective on why it is an important preservation.

  3. And we got to hang out with Gina and bate the peacocks!