Wow, already 2018 and so many more miles to hike, parks to visit, and stories to share! We guess that old saying of, “time flies when you’re having fun” really does hold a true meaning. And for the fun in 2017, that has come to about 14,000 miles traveled, 205 miles of trails hiked, National Parks, State Parks, museums, theme parks and even snorkeling!
Last year in our final article for 2016, we told you that it was both exciting and somewhat frightening not knowing what 2017 would bring us; well, we must admit that it has been a pretty fun-filled year!
So many of you have taken your time to email us or send us a Facebook messages commenting on the places we have visited with you over the past year. These messages really mean a lot to us and help to give us ideas of where to take you next. As we go into 2018, please continue to share your ideas for exciting new destinations you want to see us cover in future articles. If there is a state park or trail or something that you have been wanting to know more information about, drop us a line and we will make the effort to check it out and review it here within the pages of The Loafer.
Now as we head forward into the months of 2018, we must prepare for an even better year! Something that we started in 2017 and want to continue with you in 2018 is our exploration of the Tennessee State Parks. There are fifty-six of these natural areas stretching across the state all the way to the Mississippi River; we have only visited six so far, barely scratching the surface. Over the past year, we have found that these parks have so much to offer and have a plethora of activities for the entire family.
In 2017 we started to step over the line to visit our neighbors to the north and see what they had to offer to us. We took you along with us to several locations in Virginia. From state parks to museums, we found that Virginia has some great locations to offer just as our home state here in Tennessee. While you will not find the massive peaks in VA such as Mount LeConte or Clingmans Dome we have here in TN, you will find the same beauty within the 38 state parks spread across the state. We plan to take you with us to some of these throughout 2018.
Another bucket list item we will check-off is completing the Bristol to Memphis highway. We have taken you from Bristol through Knoxville and on to Nashville. Now we will pick back up in Nashville and continue our journey through Jackson and on to the end of the road in Memphis. We traveled to 3 new National Parks and several of the National Park Units during 2017 and so many of you loved seeing our majestic parks in all their beauty. We plan to travel to and explore more of National Treasures and units this year and take you along for the ride. Since we have covered all of them in our immediate regions we will be traveling to the Northeast and Southwest/Midwest for our next stops on these.
If you have a favorite place to hike or explore that you think others should know about, please let us know! We’d love to feature it in a future article and possibly even meet some of our readers. Once again, it’s been an insane amount of fun traveling across the Appalachians and showcasing some of our favorite destinations with each and every one of you. From the rocky crags atop the highest Smoky Mountains to the grassy fields of the lowest valleys, we thank you all for your messages, kind words, and continued readership. We look forward to wandering with all of you to many new places in 2018.