Staying cool in the Smoky Mountains


It has been hot and humid here - as hot and humid as it was in late summer-early fall 2019, when it felt like it would never cool down; it was above 90F for most of September. It has been around or above 90F for much of the past month, less atypical for July, but still challenging. With humidity in the picture, the heat index has consistently topped 100F, occasionally approaching 110F. It has been hot.

It was hot on Saturday, and my son and I drove to the Smokies. We hopped in a creek that feeds into Middle Prong creek/river—the Middle Prong of the Little River. Directions almost don’t matter, as nearly any smaller creek in the Smokies will do, but if you park at the trailhead for the Middle Prong trail and then bear right on the social trail just after crossing the bridge over the Middle Prong from the parking area, you can hop in the creek at any spot.

We spent a few hours there in the clear, cold water, floating a boat from the bathtub down the creek and then tossing it nback up, walking along rocks that were probably a bit dangerous to walk along, and eventually getting grumpy and tired. We headed home.