Join Field Editor Greg Pass­more on a tour of his back­yard— the Great Smoky Moun­tains.

Smoky Moun­tain majesties sur­round us, and we use our cam­eras to cap­ture them ev­ery chance we get.

Country - - CONTENTS - BY GREG PASS­MORE

There is no place like home in beau­ti­ful Bryson City. My wife, Carla, and I are blessed to live next door to Great Smoky Moun­tains Na­tional Park and the Blue Ridge Park­way. I have loved the moun­tains since I was very young. It is just a peace­ful place to be. Be­fore I moved here, I lived about 50 min­utes away in Nan­ta­hala. The job I held for 20 years came to an end when the tex­tile plant closed. So I ap­plied for and ac­cepted a job with the Town of Bryson City, in the wa­ter and wastew­a­ter field. Af­ter a month on the job, I met a lady work­ing in the Town Of­fice and asked her on a date. We dated for a year and mar­ried in Novem­ber 2008. Some­times good things hap­pen to you later in life. Carla is my sweet Smoky Moun­tain girl, born and raised in Bryson City. Be­fore Carla’s dad passed away he gave her some land that we could live on, and we are in the process of fix­ing up a home on the prop­erty. We have some nice views from the high­est point, look­ing out on our beloved Smoky Moun­tains. Like the say­ing goes, “Home is where the heart is,” and my heart is here with my true love, Carla, in these gor­geous moun­tains. We don’t have any chil­dren, but we have a dog named Sassy. Carla and I took her and her brother in as pups when some­one set them out. We lost Jake last year; Sassy is 9 years old now. A few years ago Carla bought me my first cam­era so we could take photos to­gether in the park and else­where in the area. I don’t think she ever thought I would love pho­tog­ra­phy as much as she does, but I can stay out and take pic­tures of God’s beauty un­til the sun goes down and then start over again the next morn­ing. To­gether, we seek out scenery, wa­ter­falls, churches, barns, mills and wildlife all over our cor­ner of the coun­try. We take ev­ery chance we can now to get out­side with our cam­eras. Our re­tire­ment plan is to see more places and pho­to­graph them to bring joy to peo­ple’s lives. In the fu­ture we hope to put to­gether a book of our best photos. No mat­ter what sort of ac­tiv­ity you wish to pur­sue on your Smoky Moun­tain ad­ven­ture, from fish­ing to pho­tog­ra­phy, Bryson City is a great start­ing point. Folks are very help­ful, and there’s so much to see.

Carla and I like walk­ing along hik­ing trails in the Smok­ies; there are hun­dreds to ex­plore. You can ei­ther take a short stroll or trek along part of the Ap­palachian Trail. There are also horse­back-rid­ing and bik­ing trails, with plenty of places to camp. When you want to get on the wa­ter, you can spend the day in the Nan­ta­hala Gorge, with 8 miles of white­wa­ter raft­ing. If you pre­fer a slower pace, there are plenty of places to take a ca­noe, kayak or pad­dle­board. You could go to the Tuck­asegee River, which flows through down­town Bryson City— we al­ways see peo­ple fly-fish­ing there—or take a short trip out to Fon­tana Lake. We love all four sea­sons around our home, but au­tumn is our fa­vorite with all the amaz­ing hues on the moun­tains. I al­ways say that the Smok­ies are the good Lord’s color­ing book dur­ing the fall. If you get a chance, we hope you will visit our part of the coun­try. Your mem­o­ries of a jour­ney here will stay with you for­ever. You might even see us out there try­ing to get that spe­cial photo.

Greg loves to cap­ture Bryson City’s ma­jes­tic au­tumn scenery.

Wild tur­keys in Great Smoky Moun­tains Na­tional Park

Pad­dlers on the Nan­ta­hala River cross un­der a swing­ing bridge; fo­liage lights up the Deep Creek Re­cre­ation Area.

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