"The Volunteer State"
TRAVEL DAY - 32.8 milesSMOKEMONT CAMPGROUND
When you reach the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway you are already inside of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Upon entering the park the first thing you see is the Oconaluftee Visitor Center (which includes the Mountain Farm Museum) and a half mile north is the Mingus Mill, an historic grist mill that used a water-powered turbine instead of a water wheel to power all of the machinery inside the building. Another other item of interest, not so nearby, is Clingman's Dome. But you'll have to wait until the next post for more on all of that!
...the other thing we saw upon entering the park was a group of elk grazing in a large grassy field in front of the Mountain Farm Museum. Every late afternoon the elk just seem to magically appear as if they were released from a nearby pen. It's obviously the same group each day, but these are all wild and free to come and go as they please. The following photos were taken on three different days and all between 3:30PM and 6:30PM.
SMOKEY MOUNTAIN ELK
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