July 26 - by Emma
Today when we woke up we had some breakfast, and then we went in a Wal-Mart to stock-up. When we went in we saw silly band rings, and we got some for us and my little cousin Julia. When we were done shopping we drove to the Great Smoky Mountains, which gets its' name because the mountains get foggy, and it looks like smoke. When we finally got to the Visitors Center, we got our junior ranger books, and when we were done in the Visitors Center we got some lunch in the RV. Next we drove to our campsite, and when we got there we went swimming in a super big pool. When I was done swimming I got two buns from the RV and fed the ducks near the lake. When I was done, I went to get Madison and Katelyn from the pool, and then we went in the RV to have dinner. Next we went fishing for a little bit in a creek. I saw a trout that was hanging out in a little calm pool, but my dad didn’t catch the fish because it wouldn’t bite. Then we took a shower and then we went to bed. July 27 - by Katelyn
Today we went horseback riding
The first thing that we did today was go to a JR Ranger program called AW Shucks. At this program I learned how to make a corn shuck doll out of corn shucks. Corn shucks are the white stuff right around the cob itself, and they are under the green leaves that are on the corn. We made corn shucks because when the settlers lived here they planted corn to store during the winter, and this is one of the things that they made out of the shucks.
They also made chair seats, brooms, mops, and mattress + pillow stuffing out of this stuff. After the program, we went into the Visitors Center and learned how Smoky Mt National Park got its name. It got it because the water molecules in the conifer trees produce a vapor that looks like Smoke so they called this place Smoky Mountain National Park. After that, we went horseback riding. I got a horse named Blackjack. Blackjack was a really cute black horse who’s hair felt really good.
Out of all the horses that I have ever ridden Blackjack is my favorite because he is so cute and was well behaved. Blackjack was 10 years old! When I heard this it was sort of weird riding something that is my own age because we’re so different. We went on a two and a half hour ride that took us to a waterfall. The waterfall looked more like a slide and it was not very tall. On the way back Blackjack kept eating along the way and he pooped 2 times! Good Boy! As we approached the stables, on our way back I told Blackjack to remember that he is my favorite horse that I have ever ridden so far, and he likes me better than everyone else.
I was really sad to see Blackjack go, but I hope he has a good life. Then we went to a river to swim and play around in. The river was freezing cold, but I jumped in a couple of times. After that we ate dinner and went to a night Ranger Program. On it I learned about our senses. Next we went to bed. I had an AWESOME AMAZING OUTSTANDING SUPER DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! July 28 - by Madison
Today we went on a 6 mile hike around our campground at Smokey Mountain National Park. On the hike we saw mushrooms, trees, and bugs. I thought that the hike was a little bit boring because we were seeing the same things over and over. I was hoping that we would see a bear because we haven’t seen any in a while and I forget what they look like in the wild, but unfortunately we didn’t see one.
My favorite part of the hike was when we saw a beehive full of yellow jackets. Even though the beehive was cool, it was also a little bit scary because the bees can sting you. My least favorite part of the hike was when there was a really stinky smell, and my Dad thought that it was either decomposing leaves or a bear’s fart! I thought that the hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park were more scenic than at Smokey Mountain NP, and we also saw more wildlife there. If I had to choose which National Park to go visit I would defiantly choose Rocky Mountain National Park because it was prettier and the hiking was better. After the hike we went to a ranger program about the trees here. I learned that there are 150 different species of trees here, compared to Yellowstone where there are only 7! I thought that this was really amazing because in order to have that many trees you would have to have a lot of water, and there are only creeks in the park.
After the program we went to the visitor center and received our junior ranger badges. Then we went back to the campground, ate dinner and then went to bed. I had a fun day exploring the trees and park.