Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Blog Update - Wildfires and How to Help

First, please STILL stay out of the Gatlinburg area. First responders are still trying to clear roads from downed trees and power lines. The Red Cross is not accepting any volunteers that are not Red Cross Trained. Upon last known update, a curfew was being imposed in Gatlinburg between the hours of 6pm to 6am.

If you have new items you would like to donate and don't have a way to get it there, let us know. We can schedule a pickup in the Union County, Anderson County, and North Knox County areas. The persons delivering our items will be going up on Friday, Dec 2nd.

If you still want to volunteer, Volunteer East Tennessee is working to connect volunteers to volunteer needs.
They will be able to assist you in finding the best place for your skills.

Monetary Donations are being requested as a priority. A relief fund for Gatlinburg has been setup at SmartBank locations.

Monetary donations can be dropped off at any SmartBank or mail donations to:

Gatlinburg Relief Fund
P.O. Box 1910
Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
For more info, call (865)453-2650

The American Red Cross are still requesting monetary donations.
If you live locally, you can drop off monies at:

The Pigeon Forge Fire Hall Station 1 at
3229 Rena Street in Pigeon Forge


If you want to donate online, please visit:


Text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Monetary Donations to assist displaced families and those who have lost their homes in Pigeon Forge can be made at any Citizens National Bank branch. Please mark donations as "City of Pigeon Forge Fire Relief Fund"

The Sevier County Humane Society is also requesting monetary donations for their animal medical fund and the equipment they need for their emergency shelter location.

Please visit the Sevier County Fairgrounds to make a donation:

754 Old Knoxville Hwy, Sevierville

For other types of donations:

1) Remote Area Medical -
Donations of Gatorade and water to distribute to shelter centers.

Items can be delivered to:
RAM headquarters
2200 Stock Creek Boulevard, Rockford

Pick ups can be arranged.
Please call (865)579-1530
Donated goods will be taken to the LeConte Medical Center and theVolunteer Fire Department

2) Knoxville Expo Center -
Accepting donations of tooth brushes, tooth paste, water, baby wipes, dog food, kennels and more. Drop off located at:

5441 Clinton Highway, Knoxville.
Call (865)686-3200 or (865)919-8114 for more info

3) First Red Bank Baptist Church -
Hygiene items in particular requested for families that are staying at the church.

2120 Summerfield Ln, Sevierville

4) Boy Scouts -
Collecting grooming items, pet supplies, blankets, gloves and non-perishable food items through Friday, Dec. 2.
Drop off 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at:
1333 Old Wisegarber Road, Knoxville

5) Stages West -
Drop off location specifically seeking the following: baby diapers of all sizes, adult Depends, hand sanitizer, baby formula, and non-perishable snacks.

2765 Parkway, Pigeon Forge

6) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -
Accepting donations beginning 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov 30th.

Requesting Gift cards (in any dollar amount) for families that need to purchase clothing.

Also requesting toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, mouthwash, comb, brush, soap, shampoo, body wash, disposable razors and wet wipes.

Drop off at:

400 Kendall Rd, Knoxville (behind West Town Mall)

7) Sevier County Rescue Squad -
Collecting water and Gatorade for firefighters. Drop-off at

1171 Dolly Parton Pkwy, Sevierville

8) Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center -

Accepting donations of batteries, water, Gatorade, toiletry items, work gloves, shovels, rakes and dust masks.

209 Wears Valley Road, Townsend

9) Meadowbrooke Kennel -  is taking in dogs from the evacuation area.

1811 Holston Road River Road, Knoxville

And many more!

Check out:

Nov 30, 2016 - Noon TEMA update:

Robin and Timothy

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wildfire in the Smokies - How To Help

Updated info as of 11/30 here:

Most of you have heard about the devastating wildfires that have affected the East Tennessee area. Last night, Gatlinburg and the part of the National forest that stretches between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge - known as the Spur - was victim of an enormous, swift moving wildfire. Hundreds of homes and structures were damaged or destroyed and many, many people were displaced, some at this time still looking for family members including beloved pets.

It is sad, sad news. We are heartbroken for all of these victims, for all of the animals affected, and for our ancient mountains as well. Although as old as they are they've probably seen more fires than any of us could imagine, but in my lifetime, I've never seen anything like it in the Smokies.

There are more than 2000 people, at this time, that are in local shelters - more than 14,000 people evacuated. With this being #GivingTuesday, you may be wondering what you can do to help.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Want To Start Hiking? Plan Your First Hike With Ease

Image Courtesy of: Pixabay
Your first hike is an adventure you are likely to remember for the rest of your life. So the pressure is on to make sure you remember it for all the right reasons. Planning your first hike can be challenging when you’ve never been on one before. You might not know what to bring, where you should go and for how long. Not giving your first hike plenty of consideration beforehand can also increase the chances of you becoming lost or ill in the process. This is naturally something you want to avoid. So to help you plan a safe and unforgettable first hike, use these planning tips for beginners.

Be realistic
You might have dreams of completing a particularly difficult hiking trail that takes days or even weeks to complete. But this is probably not the best idea for your first hike. You need to be realistic about your current fitness levels and hiking abilities. This should strongly influence your choice of hiking trail. Look for trails in your local area that are designed for beginners and don’t take too long to complete. These trails will allow you to familiarize yourself with what hiking is like and ensures you don’t push yourself too much. Going on an extensive hike when you aren’t experienced could result in you becoming ill or injured. So always remember to be realistic when choosing an appropriate trail.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Making Camping A Year-Round Activity: Essential Items For A Winter Break

Are you a camping fan? Do you jump at the chance to get out and about and set up camp somewhere far from civilization? Camping is often regarded as a summer vacation option. But if you pack wisely and prepare thoroughly, you can make it a year-round activity. If you’re thinking of fitting in a few days away before the holidays, here are some essential items to take with you.

Image via
If you’re freezing cold all the time, this is going to take the shine off your outdoor adventure. No matter how stunning the scenery, shivering will affect morale, and it could be dangerous for your health. Before you go away, make sure you have suitable clothing with you. Base layers are a good place to start. Pack thermals to wear under sweaters and fleeces. You’ll also need a heavyweight, waterproof jacket. You may need thermals to go under your trousers. Add hats, scarves and gloves for added warmth. Depending on what activities you’re doing, you may also need specialist shoes. If you’re going walking on ice sheets or scaling snowy peaks, for example, you may need crampons.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Xterra Panther Creek 2016

Dirty Bird Events to host “Xterra Panther Creek” featuring a new Trail Run in the Series Saturday and Sunday July 30-31, 2016 at Panther Creek State Park in Morristown, TN

June 23, 2016

XTERRA Panther Creek Trail Races – July 30 @ 8:00 am
XTERRA Panther Creek Triathlon – July 31 @ 8:00 am

Panther Creek State Park
2010 Panther Creek Park Road
Morristown, TN 37814

Event Description

In late July, for the third year running, Dirty Bird Events will be hosting one of the oldest off-road triathlons in East Tennessee, XTERRA Panther Creek. Newly added this year is another trail race in the XTERRA Tennessee Trail Running Series.