came to NC to start over and find his way in the world again. He ended up in the Smoky Mountains and described it as: “an Eden still unpeopled and unspoiled.” www. He hiked and lived alone in a small cabin deep in the woods and began writing what was to become known as “the camper’s bible.” This was before the plethora of guidebooks existed like we know today. His book was adopted by the Boy Scouts and Camping and Woodcraft was used for many years as “the” guide for the outdoors. He worried greatly about logging in the Smokies and became a fierce supporter and champion for the land to be saved as a national forest. The Great Smoky National Park (the most visited National Park in the United States) was established in 1933—tragically, just one year after his death. So, now you may have guessed it: Horace Kephart. You can hike the Moun- tains to Sea trail and visit a millstone me- morial to Kephart, located in the heart of the Smokies near Bryson City. You’ll have to hike in six miles to reach it….but the view is worth it. www.postcardsfromthes-

According to, we are most fortunate to enjoy year after year, eleven National Parks in North Carolina alone. They include: Appalachian Scenic Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, Cape Hatteras National Sea Shore, Cape Lookout Na- tional Seashore, Carl Sanburg Home NHS, For Raleigh NHS, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Guilford Courthouse Na- tional Military Park, Moores Creek Na- tional Battlefield, Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, and Wright Brothers Na- tional Memorial. This does not include many more thousands of protected wilder- ness areas, State Parks (we have almost 50! State Parks, Natural Areas in NC) that we have access to that our tax money helped pay for. These areas literally took blood, sweat and tears (and money) to preserve for us and future generations. We encour- age you to support these state treasures (and also your local city parks, preserves, natural areas). Visit them, donate to them, learn about them, share them. Many of these parks are no fee parks, consider do- nating $1, $3, $5 when you utilize them. Even better, consider signing up as a vol- unteer to help with trail maintenance, building, upkeep, special events and more. Not only do you get in free to fee based parks (National Park fees went up to $30 per car for some parks in NC this year), you will get fresh air and meet new outdoor

friends. Enjoy exploring these NC-based authors and fall in love with the state, city, and the Piedmont that we work and play in this winter as you take the time to slow down, quiet the noise…..explore in differ- ent ways…through the pages of our trea- sured local writer’s.

Chasing the Days

Chasing the sunrise Chasing the river’s flow

Chasing the sundown’s warming glow

Do you chase that exhilarating go go go? Rising well before dawn Where this time has she gone?

To meet the sun in the east and the moon in the west

Taking in all of earth moon and skies best

So when winter arrives her soul can rest, rest sweet rest.

We have a choice in our lives to make our way

We don’t have to settle for just another ordinary day

It is up to us to keep our souls alive So we and our children’s children can thrive, thrive, thrive

So chase the sunrise, chase the days Be a shining, blinding ray of rays.

©JoAndra P. Proia, June 13, 2017

JoAndra (Jo) Proia is the Outdoor Writer for Natural Triad. Her nature writing has been published in several outdoor maga- zines and she published her first guide- book, “Piedmont Lakes” in the spring of 2017 and is currently compiling her first book of nature/outdoor poetry and short stories. She is an ACA Certified Kayak In- structor and Guide with GET:OUTDOORS WOMEN ON THE WATER, a kayak shop in Greensboro. She can be reached at or LIKE her page at enonthewater You can find her book at Get:Outdoors

Paddlesports, or order it online at www. , at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, or Wild Birds Unlim- ited Greensboro *Special thanks to Paula Patch, Senior Lecturer in English at Elon University for providing several of the writer’s names listed in this article.

February 2020


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