Audobon Society, here I come

Maybe someone heard my plea.

For the last two weekends, the rain, for the most part, has stayed away, giving us at least one nice day without a drop to enjoy some time outdoors. And after having my first attempt to go birding cancelled because of the weather, I was looking forward Saturday to finding out why others enjoyed the hobby so much.

Going toe to toe with Mother Nature

It is said that humans are fickle creatures, and if that is true, then the weather must be at least part human. For as of late, it never seems to cooperate.

Fishing class conjures images of Brad Pitt and leaping carp

Ever since I first watched Brad Pitt fly fishing in the film “The River Runs Through It,” I knew I wanted to be on any river that he was on. Unfortunately, I am not sure how much fly fishing he gets in between trips to Africa or Asia to adopt children, so I had to go it alone.

Beginners luck, or magic touch?

out caitlinFire is a life source. Without fire or some other form of heat, it’s nearly, if not impossible, to survive in the wilderness — making it arguably the most important outdoor skill.

The reporter that could

out caitlinAhhhh.

That is what was my first thought when the rock slipped from under my foot.

I once was lost, but now I’m found

out caitlinThe directions said turn left, so naturally I turned right.

I was still an hour drive from Sugarland Visitors Center in Tennessee — where I planned to take an introductory orienteering class — when I remembered that on occasion, I still have to hold my hands in front of my face in order to tell left from right. Undoubtedly, this predicament would make the course more challenging. In my defense, I’d woken up at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday, a day I typically revel in the glory of sleeping in.

Follow me, into the wild

out caitlinwoodcraftThe last time I went camping I was 10 or 11. I was in my grandparents’ backyard, snug in my sleeping bag between my older sister and cousin Jake. I laid awake nervous about a ravenous bear attacking the tent, or maybe a ghoul from one of the scary stories my dad had just finished telling.

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.