Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. Today is the day we leave this Gatlinburg, Tennessee place.

And I have to admit. There’s something in my eyes. You know. I’m a little teary.

We were here a little over two weeks. And we didn’t plan to stay as long as we did. But I’m not sure where we are always hurrying off to. So we decided to stay and relax.


And in the span of about two weeks, we saw snow. Rain. Ice. Bears. Deer. Rivers. Creeks. And the Great Smoky Mountains. They are truly great.

Girl Person explained to me that there is a reason it looks like there is smoke above the mountains. It’s actually fog that rises from the vegetation that grows there.

That’s the short answer because I’m not a scientist.

But I’ve learned that you don’t have to know everything about something or someone to appreciate it. You do have to acknowledge though that you love them. And mountains? We love you. Even though we have to go now.

It’s true that I love the beach and the sand and the ocean.

But my love for the ocean doesn’t make me appreciate the mountains any less. If the whole earth was a beach, it wouldn’t work the way it should. And the individuals who loved the mountains would be sad like Digby.

The short time we were here, I came to realize we all need a break sometimes, no matter what you think you need to do. For Girl Person, hot showers and a little convenience helped her.

For Boy Person, he enjoyed running by the Little Pigeon River and feeling the solitude of the water and scenery.

And although Digby can be happy anywhere, there is no denying the river and creeks are his happy place.

So if there is smoke in my eyes as we say goodbye today, I’ll admit it. Even though we all try to be strong, sometimes you can’t be. You have to give in to your feelings and actually feel them.

It may not be a convenient day to feel the feels. You may not want to cry. But emotion is what makes us better. You have to let go!

We don’t know what the future holds or where our travels will bring us next. But for today, we say goodbye to the Great Smoky Mountains, Cades Cove, Gatlinburg and all the beautiful areas we visited.

Will we be back? We don’t know. So we’ve said what we want to say. You can do the same. Don’t wait to say or do or feel. Let the smoke get in your eyes.

Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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The Path To The Cave

This is Deputy Digby Pancake. Do you feel like you travel the same path over and over again? You go to the same grocery store.

Maybe you take the same way to work each day. Over and over and over.

Well. We used to do the same walks around the neighborhood.

We used to go to the same places. And it was definitely ok. But now that we’ve been traveling so long, sometimes we don’t even want to do the same hike twice. Even if that hike is in a new state each week. Yep. I am admitting it. Yes. Me and Brickle give Girl Person attitude about it.

Girl Person says we need to be thankful for new places and appreciate them. She also said that the truth is, even if we had to take the same path everyday, there would always be something new to see. And to learn. I know that. But this weekend, after being stuck in the rain for days, we were disagreeing. We didn’t want to keep on this same trail. We had been on it twice. Twice!

Girl Person said that even though we were being ridiculous, we would be happy to know that if we walked just a little bit further, there was something we had not reached yet. There was a cave. A cave.

Well. I don’t know if I thought it was worth it. It was cold and muddy and I highly doubted that I would find any pancakes in a cave.

Plus, I heard bears might be sleeping in there!

And yet, Girl Person seemed happy about it. So it made us happy about it. She said we would have to be careful. And smart. And so we walked. And we walked. And we walked. Then we had to climb and climb and climb.

When we finally reached the cave, there was a sign though. It said that we couldn’t really go in it. They had to protect the bats in there. I’ve never met a bat. But they love caves. Girl Person said the problem was that when persons go to other caves, they can bring in problems to new caves. So we could only go in so far. And that was fine by me. I didn’t need to make breakfast late.

Brickle and I wondered if the path to the cave had really been worth the effort when we couldn’t go all the way inside. But we knew that it was. The path there made us feel accomplished. It made us work for a goal. And even though it wasn’t what we thought exactly, we still appreciated it for what it was. And how it made us better.

Persons may be scared of going into their own caves. No. Not real caves. But maybe they wish they could explore a new way of life.

They want a transformation. Like a new job. A new place to live. A new way of being better. But they are scared of the unknown. They don’t know if the effort of going down that path is worth it. And you know what? It might not work out. But we can either explore new possibilities. Or keep going round and round.

Familiarity may be comforting. But does it make you better? That’s something to ask. Travel may be hard. Exploring new places or situations can definitely be hard. But if we are better for it, even when things don’t work out as planned, it’s worth it. You’re worth it.

So find your cave. You know what path to take. Know that if you try, your effort will be rewarded. And even if you’ve tried before, try again. Because even when a path is muddy from past rain, you may have to be more careful. But it’s possible to reach your cave.

Deputy Digby Pancake

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