The Great Smoky Mountains

ACButterfly Photography and Creations

Ever since I was big enough to remember, I have always loved the mountains. Every summer my daddy would choose a day, wake us up before dawn, load us up in the car, and surprise us with a trip to the mountains. We always went to the same place … Helen, GA. We would explore the town a bit, have lunch, and then drive around. Usually, we would end up at Brasstown Bald and stroll up to the peak. Every trip, he would tell us how you could see seven states from there on a clear day. It was always special, and I grew to love those Smoky mountains. To this day, the very sight of those peaks coming in to view fills me with joy.

Well, last week my son and I got to explore a bit in the smokies. We had some timeshare points left to use, and…

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Ole Smoky Moonshine


We visited the Ole Smoky Moonshine distillery in Gatlinburg and I was blown away at how amazing it was! The moonshine is given out in samples for tasting at the bar so we got to try every flavor! Yaeyah! I was warm and fuzzy after all that goodness! The flavors are quite impressive and the alcohol strengths vary. Blue Flame is the highest at 128 proof. Back when moonshiners wanted to measure the quality and taste of their liquor, they would burn the alcohol and judge it by the blue flame that was produced. Hence, the name. They even had a pumpkin pie moonshine! I was most impressed with the Hunch Punch Lightin. Tastes just like fruit punch. If you want to check out all their flavors, products, and recipes head on over to and grab yourself a jar! You won’t be disappointed folks. <!





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New Year’s Snow in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Living in The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina- A Blog

A short drive from the western entrance to the park at Gatlinburg rewarded my family with a winter wonderland not predicted by the weathermen. The temperature was dropping to freezing as we climbed, and suddenly snow covered the trees and branches on the higher ridges. This was a total surprise.

Great Smokies Snow Rocks
Every bend in Highway 441 revealed more whiteness.

Great Smokies Snow overlook
The first major overlook was magical with the encrusted trees filling the western horizon.

Great Smokies Snow Clouds
It was almost sunset, and snow clouds hovered above the ridges.

Great Smokies Snow Creek
Along the roadway, a creek was framed by the snow, which appeared blue in the dimming light.

Great Smokies Snow Bridge
A footbridge welcomed lucky visitors to this unusual winter display.

Great Smokies Snow Spruce
In some places the snow seemed heavier, and the absence of any wind allowed the flakes to cling to the needles.

Great Smokies Snow at Sunset
The light was rapidly disappearing, but the beauty was frozen all around us.

Great Smokies Snow at Twilight
The sun was down, but the…

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Little Cabin in the Woods…

Dreaming in a Sleepless World

John Ownby Cabin???????????????????????????????

Actually, the name of this post should be “down the rabbit hole.” It is very often amazing to me how I start out at one spot, with clear intent and path, only to wander off nearly immediately and to end up so far off track I cannot even discern how it came to be. Seems at times I have lost all bearings. I do not remember how I came to having knowledge of John Ownby’s 1860 cabin in The Sugarlands of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Was this something that caused me to explore the Park as an option while visiting Tennessee…or did I discover the existence of the cabin during the planning phases of my excursion? I do know my ancestors that settled in these mountains were Ownby while my branch of the family that trekked to Fannin County, Georgia by way of North Carolina spelled their version Owenby. Others chose Ownbey. As you have probably surmised, this picture…

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Gatlinburg on New Year’s Eve

These pictures are so beautiful! I love the way the Pigeon Forge Parkway decorates for every season. Thank you for sharing

Living in The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina- A Blog

There are many places where you can welcome the New Year, but to be in the Great Smoky Mountains has to be one of the most rewarding.

Pigeon Forge Sunrise Condo
The sunrise over the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from adjacent Pigeon Forge was reflected in the Little Pigeon River below.

Pigeon Forge Dixie Stampede
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are known for their holiday light displays, and even a restaurant parking area can become a place of wonder at sunrise.

Pigeon Forge Riverstone Resort
Resorts, like Riverstone Resort and Spa in Pigeon Forge, can be found throughout the area. It might be winter, but all the rooms were taken, and restaurants had two hour waits for a table. Go figure….

Gatlinburg Creekside Hotel
Gatlinburg features quaint hotels with balconies suspended above rushing creeks.

Gatlinburg Chapel
This historic chapel survives in the midst of traffic and throngs of visitors.

Gatlinburg Christmas Lights and Trees
The roads are lined with decorated trees and colorful displays of the season. These iridescent trees were across…

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