Monday, June 15, 2009

A Festival of Lights...

Living so close to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has a few nifty perks; such as the stunning mountainous views, the great local history, moonshine stills, and gorgeous winding rivers. But, no other perk compares to what we experienced last night. We left our house at about 5:30 pm... drove roughly an hour to the National Park, positioned the car in a puzzly-looking parking lot, and waited in line. We're not a very observant family, but did notice that the other 200 people in line had coolers, snacks, backpacks, chairs, blankets, flashlights, ect.. We, on the other hand, were only equipped with 3 half-empty bottles of warm water, sunglasses, and $3. ?? What did these people know that we weren't aware of? We hopped on the trolly at around 7:30? 8:00? (right about the time when starvation started to kick in for all of us) The trolly then drove us around and around, winding through the mountains for a good 10 minutes... and then.. plop! There we were. In the middle of nowhere.
We paid for this.
Why? Because we were going to see FIREFLIES! (Lightning bugs, or "flashlight bugs" as I heard a little boy call them) What? Why would you drive an hour, stand an hour, and then sit for 2 hours in the middle of nowhere to see something that you can see from your kitchen window??? Well, because these weren't just your average fireflies.. no these fireflies were smarter than your average firefly. They were SYNCHRONIZED. When it got really, really, insanely dark (and when we got really, really, really hungry).. we all gathered on a path in the middle of the mountains and saw the most spectacular display of lights that no Christmas-lights-fanatic could possibly compete with. It was stunning. This place, so close to our home, is one of only TWO known places in the World where this occurs (the other one is in East Asia somewhere). Scientists have no idea why these bugs decided to put on this show for us.. but they do it - the same time every year. Oh! And we also saw BLUE ones!!
Pretty cool, eh?
We probably didn't stay as long as we should have. (considering it had taken a total of 5 hours to actually see the first bug) But it was because we were unprepared (typical), and flippin starving. (also typical) So we packed up, hit the trolly, and headed to Arby's.


  1. Ohhh that painting is beautiful.
    And I love Arby's because they are always soo kind to make me tomato sandwiches without laughing at me for being a vegetarian! No matter which arby's I go 2 they are always soo nice!!!

  2. Sigh, how I love the fireflies and how I wish I could see the ones in your state!