A group of 12 cars and 19 people gathered under warm sunny skies on Tuesday afternoon October 13 at Crabtree United Methodist Church in Clyde.
As part of this drive, participants were requested to bring non-perishable food to contribute to the church’s food bank.
Member Dianne Bienick and President Don Therien at the drive start-point Food Bank Donation Center
After the safety briefing we headed out toward the Cataloochee Valley of Smoky Mountains National Park. David Stori lead the tour and David Angelus swept as we picked up one more participant while en route that had been delayed in Asheville.
We arrived at the Group Campground around 5 p.m. and surprised a few campers with our convoy of Porsche and other SUV’s. The group enjoyed a communal picnic lunch in a pastoral setting before heading over to the elk viewing area.
Members sharing a picnic prior to viewing the Elk
We were greeted by several female elk and one small bull elk as we entered the area, and as we moved further into the pasture near an old barn, we came across a huge bull elk with several cows in a large pasture. The bull with is huge rack was bugling to the ladies, but not getting much interest. After a long visit with this herd, we started to work out way out and ran across another herd with a younger bull with 8-10 cows grazing. We watched this group for while longer and as the sun was setting decided to make our way out twisting gravel roads in the Park before it got too dark. Thanks to David Stori and David Angelus for organizing a drive that is truly unique to our area.
Photos by John Goetzman and Jim Gauntt