Growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee meant  going to the Smoky Mountains.  Many school trips, church outings and family camping trips were spent in the mountains.  My children, raised in Florida, spent their school trips at Disney World and Busch Gardens.  I spent mine hiking, biking in Cades Cove and traversing over rock strewn mountain streams.  Smoky Mountain stream Mt. Leconte Hike photo by Kathy Miller

I have had many a great trip to Disney World and understand the attraction for so many kids.  But I think our kids loved some of the thrilling rides in the mountains.

Turtle Back Falls photo by Kathy Miller

Rob (Auburn) Turtle Back Falls

Walker on Turtle Back Falls photo by Kathy Miller

Walker (Florida) Turtle Back Falls

Devil's Courthouse White Side Mountain photo by Kathy Miller

James’s Florida Sigma Nu buddies, Billy, Gavin, Walker, Adam, Nolan and James on Devil’s Courthouse, Whiteside Mountain.

Tubing on Lake Glenville photo by Kathy Miller

Tubing on Lake Glenville

Alum Cave Mt. LeConte photo by Kathy Miller

Alum Cave hiking  (up)  to Mt. LeConte, the third highest peak east of the Mississippi River, not accessible by car.  Sounds like a great tailgating spot.

Arch Rock Mt. LeConte photo by Kathy Miller

Getting ready to go up Arch Rock, Mt. LeConte.

Arch Rock, Mt. LeConte photo by Kathy Miller

Just a beautiful hike.

Lizzie, James and Steve at Cliff Tops Mt. LeConte photo by Kathy Miller

Hanging out at Cliff Top, Mt. LeConte.  Notice James’ Tennessee visor. This was pre-Florida for both Lizzie and James.  Steve, a Vanderbilt graduate and now a Navy fighter pilot, might have acquired his love of heights on Mt. LeConte.

Let's Go! Warden Falls Panther Town Cashiers NC photo by Kathy Miller

Let’s Go!  Annabel and James, Warden Falls in Panthertown.

Climbing up the wrong way Chimney Top Mountain photo by Kathy Miller

Climbing up the back way, Chimney Top Mountain.

Saving Abbey Chimney Top Mountain photo by Kathy Miller

 Saving Abbey, our mountain Yorkie.  Sounds like it could be a new series.

The mountains, especially Cashiers, NC  in the summer and fall are a wonderful place to be.  When our children were young, people would say, “how can you go to the mountains for the summer?  Won’t they miss their friends?”

I always replied, “Yes, but they have made so many new friends and they want to be with them in the mountains.”

 Huffmans, Millers and Pelzers Mt. LeConte at the cabin photo by Kathy Miller

Lizzie, James, Jen and Dan fun on Lake Glenville photo by Kathy Miller

Friends playing cards and making memories at Miller Ice House photo by Kathy Miller

And don’t forget when you have a mountain house all your old friends come to visit!

Edsons in Cashiers Stair Step Falls photo by Kathy Miller

Leonards and Millers at Camp Chimney photo by Kathy Miller

Families hike together in Panthertown.

Panthertown hike with Sarah, Adam and Kay photo by Kathy Miller

Millers in Panther Town photo by Kathy Miller

And include their dogs.

Patches, Libby and Abbey hike Panthertown photo by Kathy Miller

Families boat together and bring their dogs.

Kathy, Hannan, Kellhy, Lucy and Dolly Lake Glenville Cashiers photo by Kathy Miller

Families gather for 4th of July Celebrations.  Remember the Symphony concerts at Fairfield Lake, gazing up at Bald Rock,  waiting for the 1812 Overture and spectacular fireworks?

Fireworks on the lawn Fairfield Lake Cashiers NC photo by Kahty Miller

4th of July Symphony celebration with Pops, Astors, Millers and Grandma Uhlma photo by Kathy Miller

Families and friends gather for mountain weddings

Wedding Brunch High Hamton Cashiers NC photo by Kathy Miller

High Hampton Inn, looking at Rock Mountain is the perfect I Do place.

Wedding setting High Hampton Inn Warren and Janie's wedding photo by Kathy Miller

Friends gather for  an “Abba the Music” concert on the lawn of the Biltmore House in Asheville.

Abba in the Mountains Biltmore House Asheville NC photo by Kathy Miller

They never looked like this at Waterloo.

Abba the Music concert Biltmore House Asheville NC with girls photo by Kathy Miller

Friends dance together

I think we’re alone now, the beating of our hearts is the only sound.

Robin, Kathy, Mary Palmer and Lisa create their own fireworks photo by Kathy Miller

Beat It

The Glove and Michael Jackson wannabes photo by Kathy Miller

Laura and MoMo dancing together 4th of July photo by Kathy Miller

Friends croon into spoons together

  Ann and Kathy with spoons on Camp Chimney porch photo by Kathy Miller

Friends and family celebrating the wonderful moments together.

Sarah, Grandma, Lizzie, Katie and James celebrate Grandma photo by Kathy Miller

Dave, Mom, James, Lizzie and Abbey Greenland Creek Panthertown photo by Kathy Miller

See the mountain dogs?

Speaking of dogs, Sunny and Abbey on Yellow Mountain photo by Kathy Miller

These two dogs, Sunny,  a sweet yellow lab and Abbey, our mountain Yorkie have become infamous in our family circles.

I grew up in the mountains out where the snakes have legs….

Dogs and snakes…..

Watch for my upcoming story about dogs, snakes and maybe a bear or two.

I welcome your comments, recipes and any inside information on your favorite tailgating spots.

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the table.


  • Laura Huffman says:

    Oh Kathy, I have tears in my eyes reading this and seeing so many great pictures! I feel honored that our family is included in so many, even our beloved Sunny! We sure have had many, many, wonderful times in the mountains together. Thanks for so many fantastic memories – we love you!!

  • sec1fan says:

    The mountains would not be the same without you! Such wonderful memories that we keep on making. Polk Salad Annie.

  • Charlie Albright says:

    Different twist Kathy. Great pictures

  • sec1fan says:

    Yes Charlie, taking summer 4th of July recipes and comparing to tailgating food led me to fun in the summer. July is the month for family vacations, taking a break from school, enjoying time with family and friends….will be raring to go with tailgating come August!

  • Sarah says:

    What a great post! Love all the pics. Brings back some great memories too.

  • sec1fan says:

    Ready to hike with you and Adam again. Think the boys are up to it? Maybe around High Hampton sometime this summer.

  • Dave Kempf says:

    Looks like some good memories!

  • sec1fan says:

    Great memories! Looking forward to making new memories this fall when we tailgate in Baton Rouge, and Columbia South Carolina. Also visiting Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tuscaloosa.

  • Charlie Albright says:

    Kathy. You knock it of the park every time. As soon I see your new releases I get noxious to get to the detail. Thanks for making my day

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