During the last week of January, Joel and I traveled back to the Great Smokey Mountains. We try to stay away from crowds and mostly just hang out in the hills. One morning we drove through Cades Cove, one of our favorite places, to the trailhead for Abrams Falls.
We had never walked to this particular falls and decided that it was time. A man pulled in to the parking lot at the same time we did, but we went ahead of him on the trail. Before long, he caught up with us and accompanied us to the falls.
Turns out, he is a volunteer with the park service.
His name is Dan Lawson. He lives in Maryville and has hiked the trails in the park for forty years. We so enjoyed sharing the trail with him that day. Not only was he delightful company, he was able to answer our questions about hiking in the Smokeys.
When we reached the falls, we exchanged email information.
Then he took our picture and continued on his journey. He had eleven and a half more miles to go.
A year ago, Joel took my picture as I sat on the steps of a cabin in Cades Cove.
It was the Dan Lawson cabin and had belonged to the great grandfather of the Dan Lawson that shared our hike…. No matter where you go, there you are.