Today the boys and I set out for familiar territory… The Great Smoky Mountains. It’s our first trip together since the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition came to an end in June. This is a short trip, only five days, and we’re returning to our favorite Smokies front-country campground at Elkmont for some much needed R&R from urban life.

But of course, returning to a very familiar place is such a juxtaposition to our travels this summer because so much was new and unfamiliar on that journey. I value both types of experiences though… the opportunity to find some new delight in our well-worn stomping grounds as well as the amazement that comes with being someplace utterly unknown. I think both types of adventures are necessary to balance each other out and appreciate each for what they are.

And after a summer of delightful new discoveries, the comfort of my familiar Smokies feels like going home.


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. ~Marcel Proust

There’s always something new to discover in familiar territory.


  1. And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.
    William Shakespeare

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