Family ties

January 30, 2008

About two years ago I hiked to the top of Mt. Kephart, one of the South Beyond 6000 peaks. My trip report remains one of the top posts of this blog, but it hadn’t generated a lot of comments.

Yesterday, a comment was posted there that surprised me. I don’t have any way to confirm it was really posted by the great granddaughter of Horace Kephart, but reading the pride and passion of her words tells me it must be her.

I thought I’d share her comments here.

Horace Kephart was my Great-Grandfather. Several years ago my younger sister and I hiked up Sweat Heifer Trail to Mt. Kephart….camped at Ice Water Springs. We have spent many days out on the trails over the years. One interesting hike was going to the campsites my great-grandfather spent time writing, living with the locals, etc. Many summers of our youth were spent in the Smokies….time spent learning about our Great-Grandfather through the eyes and words of his son, our Grandfather…George Kephart. My grandfather was immensely proud of all that his father accomplished. He was equally proud of all his mother accomplished. My legacy…immensely gifted and focused people who truly know what their “journey” in life was meant to be.

I am in my early 50’s now….the Smoky mountains continue to be a source of peace, contentment and a place where I truly feel at home (even though I do not live there!). When I visit, hike, walk the streets of Bryson City, I experience a sense of peace that I know only exists there.

For all of you who hike Mt. Kephart, think of the good works this most remarkable man accomplished. If only more of us had his vision, his determination, his quest for knowledte, his joy in writing….Enjoy your hike!