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Good Friends, Great Weather, Wonderful Wildflowers

blog30We are so fortunate to be located in one of the most beautiful areas on earth. That is especially true in the spring, when the winter brown horizon turns into various shades of spring green. The bitter cold gives way to wonderfully cool temperatures easily warmed by a good fire. The Spring wildflowers begin to bloom in late April and put on quite a show for everyone, especially those willing to walk a short ways in the woods. It is a glorious time of the year made even better at Hemlock Inn because we get to share it with a group of regular guests/friends and newcomers as well.

One of the delights we enjoy every spring is the visit of Jim and Eleanor Burbank from Maryville, Tennessee. Jim worked at TVA for many years as a biologist/ naturalist and comes to our inn for two weeks every spring to lead wildflower walks each morning after breakfast. His wife, Eleanor, also goes with the group and, as I personally found out, often leads the pack in search of new adventures “just a little ways further up the trail”. They make quite a team! Jim volunteers several days a week at Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and was recently given two prestigious awards. He was selected to the elite ranks of the Volunteer Master Ranger Corp by the National Park and also was honored with the The Presidential Award for Volunteer Service.

Eleanor works just as hard with the “Friends of the Smokies”, a volunteer group that raises money for Park improvements. I also have a personal bond with them because they were Innkeepers at the Snowbird Mountain Lodge for a few years. They have to be good folks if they were innkeepers…

The walks this year were wonderful. We were blessed with great weather and the flowers were just outstanding. But there are other benefits to a walk in the woods. It just clears your mind. Not once did I think of oil spills, wild stock market swings, or sour economics. I just enjoyed the pure peace and beauty of nature at its absolute best. It is just amazing how refreshed we feel once we step away from our ever increasing hectic lifestyles. I fully realize some folks feel they cannot afford to get away this year for a break. I genuinely believe you cannot afford not to. Whether you go to the beach, visit family, or come to Hemlock Inn, you will feel better in the long run by escaping for a while.

Jim and Eleanor have left, but the Smokies remain in all their beauty calling you to relax, refresh, and renew. At Hemlock Inn, we are also waiting for you with good homecooked meals, beautiful views, and genuine southern hospitality, as well as some appealing discounts. Give us a call. We would love to see you this year.