Thursday, July 15, 2010

I See a Bar! Whar? Over Thar!

Today and yesterday I attended the 18th annual Northeast Tennessee Special Education Conference in Gatlinburg, TN. It was a good conference with plenty of good presentations (especially the one on the TI Nspire--he,he because I was the presenter :D ).

The keynote speaker was Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott who was the first student killed in the Columbine H.S. shootings in 1999. What a presentation! I now know why we were given a box of tissues in our goody bag! The presentation was so powerful. Three of Rachel's diaries were published, so now I can add three more books to my reading list. The Scotts have created a nonprofit organization called Rachel's Challenge in memory of Rachel. Very positive! Please check out the website when you get a chance.

After Tuesday's sessions were over, I went to dinner with 3 co-workers. We met up with one of the co-workers' son and his girlfriend. It was very enjoyable. We then headed to Cades Cove but decided we were running out of time so we just drove past our hotel to check out an education center on up the mountain (we are teachers after all).

While there, this is what we saw:

We were all trying to take pictures with our cell phones, hence the quality of the photos. We had an opportunity, albeit very short opportunity, to get a really good shot but the bear took one look at us and headed into the woods.

I can't tell you how exciting that is! It has been years since I have seen a bear in the Smokey Mountains. (I know, I know. They are pretty prevalent now.)

One of my co-workers said that when we returned to the hotel, he was standing out on the balcony talking on the phone when he saw another bear at the property next door. Wonder if that was the same bear just wanting to check up on us?


  1. Love to see the bears! From a car, that is. Last weekend the hubby, 2 boys and I rode our bikes through Cades Cove early one morning. We rode right beside a mama bear and her 3 cubs just sitting off the cove road. The cubs were cute but mama was very intimidating. We didn't stop our bikes, just kept riding. I was shaking so much I could barely ride straight. Definitely feel safer when I see the bears from a car window.

  2. Sounds like a great conference. I have heard Mr. Scott before and he is an awesome speaker. What a powerful story he tells. I LOVE CADES COVE. I have thousands of pictures from there...with bear and deer in them. I have been going every year for the past 30+. One year we went...and my daughter...about 12-13 at the time and her god sister and friend were riding bikes...we trailed behind them in a van....they were near the settlement at the mid loop point....when a huge...and I mean huge...buck - 10 points came out of the woods and jumped over her on her bike. Of course...she wrecked....and we saw the whole thing from the van and none of us could grab a camera quick enough....NOW...when I go through the Cove...I keep my hands.

  3. Its always exciting to see a bear...its been so hot and dry I wonder if they are out and about more looking for food and water?

    Enjoy your weekend!

  4. They are really out & about this year. If you want to see one, this is the year!