While you are reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, you will be creating an original, creative book that will include character analyses, chapter summaries, original artwork, a book….
Peace on Earth
This place known so well to me never fails to uplift my spirits after the annual visit my family and I take over summer. The crisp wind and the scent of nature seem to cast a spell on campers, relaxing and relieving them of stress. Tellico Plains, Tennessee might very well be my peace on Earth. I love escaping from the malicious grasp of modern day technology and taking a leap into the wild, with a breath of fresh air to clear my head. It is absolutely rejuvenating to come to this town and live with no connections to the World for a week.
Two hours up the narrow, winding, gravel path spiraling the mountain, we veer to the right at Big Oak Campsite. The popping of the tire treads on the gravel sends warm waves through my body; I know we have arrived. Immediately I venture to the freshwater stream crafted from the melting ice off the higher altitude mountains. Due to how inviting it looks, I hop across the slippery stones to the infamous “Old Faithful” rock, which is just a good trout fishing spot. Standing here I scan my surroundings, which blow my mind. The lush forest filled with oak, pine, maple, and evergreen trees is so dominant over me; and I know it, but I am ok with it.
The stream is relatively narrow, only pning about 20 ft in width. Rocks of all sizes poke out the surface of the water and electric green moss grows thick on each one. They serve as my stepping stones back to the bank. The Coleman camper we pull behind the car is old and smells musty every year, but it doesn’t phase me at all. We wench the pop top up and pull out the beds, make them up and sweep the linoleum floor before we go any further in setting up camp, the last touch to the camper being a floor mat just inside the door.
By this time, the sun is setting and the fireflies are flourishing. Everywhere you look you see a spark of yellow-green light on the move. It’s almost impossible to refrain from getting up to attempt to catch one, so I get up every time. Creeping up slowly with a jar in one hand, lid in the other, I zoom my vision to the vicinity around me, wait for the bud of the insect to light up, and snatch him up inside the jar. It is likely, too, that I move on to the next nearest light I see and try again to catch a critter, and in the process lose the first one I caught, leaving me with none.
The creaking of the Coleman coolers filled with ice, cold cokes, sweet tea, bacon, eggs, and the most delicious chocolate milk in the World makes my eyes light up. It just gives me that feeling of lightness; like there are no worries here. It has nothing to do with the fact that it is a cooler, but more so the amount of times I have heard the sound, only here. As the temperature drops low at night, a fire is needed to keep warm. Mom usually takes the initiative to get the fire going. The teepee of logs under stuffed with newspapers and twigs burns slow and hot, and makes a mean s’more.
Appetite satisfied, exhausted from the trip, the pull out mattress looks ever so inviting. I grab my toothbrush and walk to the water cooler to brush my teeth and wash my face. After cleaned up, it’s PJ time. Then I lay myself down, pull the covers up to my chin and tuck myself in. As I lie here, I can honestly say I feel numb to the World. The rushing of the stream plays in my head like music and puts me in a trance; a trance that no other place could ever measure up to doing. There really is peace on Earth, unfortunately you have to find it.