I'm still amazed when I discover that it doesn't take a plane ride to experience an adventure. The place I've called home for the last decade sits in the shadows of the Smokey Mountains. A unique merging of lakes and mountains blending three states as watercolor on canvas. The daily grind obscures such wonders, but to rediscover it over and over is truly amazing. Canoeing with another couple in Fontana Damn is just such an experience. Rent a canoe, pack your tent and a few supplies and venture into the lake; past the swimming hole, beyond the parting mountains, up the river and there just a few feet away from the Appalachian Trail find a home for the evening. Wake up to the trickling sound of the river over rocks and cast a few lines before lunch. It is true that the comforts of a resort are left behind - far behind - in this undertaking, but it's the difference between taking in the views from a lounger and being one with the landscape. Though this trip takes some stamina, plenty of drinking water, bug spray and some bear preventative measures, it is well worth it!