Written by Colewade on 18 Nov, 2003
"The section of forest served by U.S. 276, probably offers more outstanding attractions, activities, and recreational opportunities than any other 15-mile-or-so stretch of mountain driving." (Mountain Getaways - Rusty Hoffland)
Upon exiting the parkway on U.S. 276 south, the road goes through several switchbacks for…Read More
"The section of forest served by U.S. 276, probably offers more outstanding attractions, activities, and recreational opportunities than any other 15-mile-or-so stretch of mountain driving." (Mountain Getaways - Rusty Hoffland)
Upon exiting the parkway on U.S. 276 south, the road goes through several switchbacks for 4.8 miles to Pink Beds Picnic Area. The pink beds are a large upland forest that gets its name from the profusion of pink rhododendron and mountain laurel that bloom in late spring and early summer. This a particularly nice place to picnic during these times of the year. Short trails surround the picnic area.
Located immediately south of the Pink Beds Picnic Area, The Cradle of Forestry in America and the Forest Discovery Center is a large museum, and a paved interpretative trail through the historic log structures that comprised the original Biltmore School of Forestry. This was the first school of forestry in America. In addition to large hands-on exhibits in the large new museum, the center continues to be an educational center for instruction in land stewardship for people who own woodland property. Prior to Biltmore School of Forestry, most of the eastern mountain forest and watersheds had been devastated by indiscriminate clear cutting. Admission $6 for adults. $2.50 for youth 4-17.
Another 2.7 miles south of Cradle of Forestry, Sliding Rock is one the best and the most crowded swimming holes in the mountains. My first visit was before the advent of nice changing rooms, viewing platform, paved parking, and the small day-use fee. Kids of all ages enter the National Forest Recreation Area to take the plunge, down this fast 60-foot natural waterslide to a cold pool of deep water.
Continuing on U.S. 276 for 1.3 miles, the entrance to Moore Cove Trail is on the left. Feel like a hike? Moore Cove Trail is one of the better short hikes in the area. Park by the road at the stone bridge, for a .7-mile easy-to-moderate hike to Moore Creek Falls. The steepest part is near the beginning. After a slanting cascade, this waterfall falls plunges over a large overhang. You can walk behind this 50-foot waterfall.
About one mile south, Looking Glass Falls is a perfectly free-falling 85-foot-high waterfall. This is one of the prettiest waterfalls in the region and requires no hiking at all. Looking Glass Creek is framed by beautiful rhododendron as it plunges into a grand rock basin by the road. It can be seen from US 276. Steps lead down to the base of these powerful falls, where you can feel the mist from the falls or swim in the pool below.
Turn right on the gravel F.S 475 at the sign for Pisgah Fish Hatchery. It is .4 miles to a parking area for popular trail to Looking Glass Rock. This moderately strenuous trail starts out as an easy forest stroll. That section is followed by more strenuous switchbacks which brings you to an easy hike to the actual summit. It is a great place for a picnic with a view, but be very careful near the edges. At the first sound of thunder - get off the summit! This area is also extremely popular with rock climbers. This is a place where daredevils do get hurt, most of whom are hikers, not rock climbers.
It is another .5 miles to the Pisgah Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Education Center, where you can watch a brief film and take the boardwalk trail through a small wetland with animal statues and taxidermy specimens posted along the way in their natural habitat. The short trail ends at the hatchery at huge pools containing thousands of fish. Kids love buying the fish food and watching the feeding frenzy. Nice little gift shop to buy wild items. If you don’t like washboard gravel roads, return to U.S. 276. If you don‘t mind the adventure, continue on F.S. 475.
F.S. 475b continues as a large loop back to the north on the dusty back roads around Looking Glass Rock entering U.S. 276 north of Sliding Rock. This continuation of the Looking Glass Rock Loop Road offers other large waterfalls such as Daniel’s Ridge Falls (1-mile hike) or the impressive Cove Creek Falls (.4-mile hike), just north of the hatchery. Ask for directions. The best source for a decent trail guide and map is at Pisgah Forest Visitor’s Center south on U.S. 276. The drive itself offers views of Looking Glass Rock and John’s Rock, another granite monolith. This area is also home of the famous Daniel’s Ridge Trail Mountain Biking, considered by bikers to be one of the best and most scenic trails in the country. If you continue the loop, bearing right at junctions on F.S. 475, the road eventually meets U.S. 276 above Sliding Glass Rock. I usually return to U.S. 276 south and follow the beautiful Davidson River to the campground or Brevard. The Davidson River is the top-rated trout stream in North Carolina.
Davidson River Campground, near the Pisgah National Forest Visitor's Center, is only a couple of miles from the nice small town of Brevard. This inviting and large campground has hot showers and is run mostly by Cradle of Forestry Association Volunteers. It features nightly talks, and walks by forest rangers during the summer. The spacious sites are largely level. There are more than few good tent sites, but this campground can and does handle any sized rig. It has become increasingly popular with adventure-sports enthusiasts who use it as a home base. Best of all, it has hot showers! Very popular in high season. This is a great place to overnight cheaply and get a bath. Nightly rate: $15, 17. Reservations accepted through reserveamerica.com. N.C. 280 is the fast four-lane to Asheville, if you would rather not backtrack up the mountain to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Written by Colewade on 15 Nov, 2003
Consider the long road to Asheville. Leaving Cherokee or Maggie Valley, soar along the highest portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Choose a portion, or do the whole section, it is a worthwhile detour. This is the land of Fraser firs, mountain meadows, and…Read More
Consider the long road to Asheville. Leaving Cherokee or Maggie Valley, soar along the highest portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Choose a portion, or do the whole section, it is a worthwhile detour. This is the land of Fraser firs, mountain meadows, and waterfalls. With very few people, great weather, and the impressive bloom of late spring and summer, May and September are my favorite months to travel this route. Throughout the spring and summer this section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is almost never as crowded as the park roads. With hundreds of overlooks, these are what I consider the best of the best stops on this most mountainous section, with a few tips from yours truly, just one of many mountain transplants.
As a day trip this route from Cherokee is 75 miles by parkway with a 1 hr/52 mile return to Cherokee on four lane highways. If you are staying near Cherokee, I recommend shortening the travel time and maximize touring time by taking the fast four lanes out of Cherokee to Dillsboro and Sylva, getting on the parkway at Balsam, NC. You can pick this southernmost section of the parkway up on your return to the Cherokee or Maggie Valley area by getting back on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Balsam Gap / U.S. 19/23 junction. With good weather, this small section offers the excellent sunset views and the best long range views of the Smokies.
Richland Balsam is the highest peak of Great Balsam Mountains and the highest point on the entire Blue Ridge Parkway. This land of swirling in mist and moss is an entire ecosystem within itself. There is a short nature trail that provides a very cool hike. (mile 431.4)
Watch the soaring Peregrine Falcons and the rock climbers, take the short but steep paved half mile trail up to the sinister rocky cliffs and overhang caves at Devil’s Courthouse. In Cherokee folklore this was once home to once home to the slant eyed giant Judaculla. This is the only place where you can see the French Broad, the Pigeon, and the Tuckasegee River Valleys from a 360 degree perch. the (mile 422.4).
My favorite spot for a short hike is on the mountains above Graveyard Fields. Turn left on the paved spur road into the Shining Rock Wilderness, an 18,000 acre wilderness area at mile 420.2 (before reaching the always crowded parking lot at Graveyard Fields at mile 418.8). Park by the road on the right, near the a large stand of Fraser Firs. (Before reaching the parking lot at the end of this 2-3 mile spur road.) Now that you have done the hardest climbing by car, follow the Art Loeb Trail 1.5 miles to the 6,000 feet summit of Black Balsam Knob. This is the best trail for spectacular views from large meadows of the now famous Cold Mountain, Graveyard Fields, the Balsam Mountains, Looking Glass Rock, and Mount Pisgah. (mile 420.2)
The crowds are gathered at Graveyard Fields parking area below with good reason. The short trail to the worthwhile Upper and Lower Graveyard Falls and The Falls of Upper Yellowstone Creek. (mile 418.8)
Don’t miss stopping at Looking Glass Rock Overlook, This peculiar granite dome is a favorite photo stop. Here is a little secret. If your are here on a warm day, hike down the trail across the road from the Looking Glass Rock Overlook to a great little swimming hole with few people and extremely cold water. Two small waterfalls drop into a narrow but deep grotto. Locals call it the Skinny Dip.(mile 417.1)
As you approach U.S. 276, strongly consider taking this 15 mile detour south on Pisgah National Forest Scenic Byway which features many scenic attractions and the deservedly popular Davidson River Campground. In most other parts of the U.S., this area and the adjacent wilderness area would most likely have become a separate National Park. Being the oldest national forest in the country, Pisgah National Forest certainly has the look, feel, and better facilities than most national parks. See the separate listing for Pisgah National Forest - Forest Heritage Scenic Byway. You could make it a quick detour to view the magnificent Looking Glass Falls, or you could spend the remainder of the day exploring this attraction packed short route. (Mile 411.9)
Should you decide to overnight, Davidson River is my top pick for campgrounds and or Pisgah Inn is my top pick for reasonable accommodations with a spectacular parkway view. Continue north on the Blue Ridge Parkway for three miles from it’s junction with U.S. 276 to Mount Pisgah and Pisgah Inn.
Pisgah Inn is a great stop for all three meals. Many locals drive up for their good food, reasonable prices, and the fabulous views. This national park service concession’s rooms are also quite comfortable as well as being reasonable. Each has it’s own balcony and rocking chairs. For the best view of the entire area, the hike up Mt. Pisgah is very popular. This Jekyl and Hyde trail ranges from easy to difficult. This is also a great place to start a gorgeous morning drive to the Biltmore Estate. (20 miles) Also on Mt. Pisgah, Mt. Pisgah Campground is the highest campground on the parkway. It has basic amenities, small sites, and no showers. There is a camp store up at the inn. Though most of the sites are small and close together, the large rhododendron provide privacy. Expect cool weather and bear warnings. (mile 408.6)
Look carefully as you approach Asheville and you can clearly see the Biltmore Estate between the overlooks as you approach the French Broad River Valley. (If your planning a visit to Biltmore, it is at mile 388.1, U.S. 25) Exit at N.C. 191 north. The newly constructed North Carolina State Arboretum is an excellent stop. There is a large formal garden, visitors center, education center, restaurant, bookstore, and miles of trails. Most locals go here for the trails. ($6 parking fee) There are two bike trails within the arboretum’s large preserve and the Hard Times Trail toward Lake Powhatan out the other entrance is nationally known mountain biking trail. While I prefer Davidson River, Pisgah National Forest’ Lake Powhatan Campground (at the same exit) provides hot showers with it’s wooded campsites and a location that is practically in Asheville. Avoid the Hard Times Loop and it’s small slanting tent sites. (mile 393.6)
As a day trip it is only an hour away by four lanes back to Cherokee or Maggie. Take a left on N.C 191 north in Asheville to I-26 north and I-40 west to exit 27. Follow the four lane of U.S. 23/74 south to Cherokee or Maggie Valley. Get on the Blue Ridge Parkway going south at Balsam Gap to see the section you missed en route if you got on at Balsam Gap going north. The best sunsets on the 469 mile length of the parkway are at Waterrock Knob. It‘s only a 26 miles to the end of the parkway and the starting point of the tour at entrance to Great Smoky Mountains at Cherokee. It is only 12 miles to Soco Gap and U.S. 19 at the gateway to Maggie Valley.
Waterrock Knob provides a rare 360 degree view from the car and a small interpretive center. This is the highest mountain in the Plot Balsams and has extraordinary sunsets.. Beyond Soco Gap and the exit to Maggie Valley are the last cinematic sunset views of the Smokies especially at Big Witch Overlook and Mile High Overlook. (mile 451.2)
I avoid The Blue Ridge Parkway completely on fall weekends. Even weekdays are very busy during this season. If it‘s cold and raining in the valleys it is cold and snowing on the Blue Ridge Parkway. National Park rangers are usually quick to close the parkway in threatening weather, but I found myself driving between Maggie and Waynesville once in a driving snow. We literally feared for our lives, but escaped unscathed as we slipped and slid our way down the parkway. Dense fog is reason to change course in the summer.
Written by Colewade on 14 Nov, 2003
Buckle your seat belts, some of the best scenery in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is on the back roads. Don’t be afraid to take them, and don’t be afraid to get lost. I have done most of my "back road tours"…Read More
Buckle your seat belts, some of the best scenery in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is on the back roads. Don’t be afraid to take them, and don’t be afraid to get lost. I have done most of my "back road tours" with a free park map. I also recommend Mountain Roads and Quiet Places which is published by the non-profit Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association. It is the official guide to the park's roads. These are my own shorter descriptions written from personal experience. These and other drives are covered in more detail in that publication. Here are my picks for the best back roads in the N.C. half of the Great Smoky Mountains. All of them can be easily done as day trips.
Balsam Mountain High Country Loop
Heintooga Ridge Road, off the Blue Ridge Parkway is the perfect place to enjoy a cool picnic with a tremendous view from Heintooga or Mile High overlooks. Pick berries by the roadside in the summer. Turn off the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile 458.2) onto the spur road to Balsam Mountain. This part of the park offers excellent cool camping, while the valleys bake in the midsummer heat. The Cherokee owned Mile High Campground is down a small dirt road one mile on the left. It has a hospitable staff, excellent views, and showers. At 5,400 feet plan to build a fire. Many elk have been sited in this area. Near the summit, you can also camp at the National Park Service’s Black Balsam Campground which provides only a firewood concession and flush toilets without the view. Return to Cherokee on the one-way gravel Balsam Mountain Road which turns into Round Bottom Road through a forest of deepest green through a rugged watershed area. It takes about an hour to return to Cherokee. Despite first appearances, the road is in good repair. Open May 16 - October 31. It eventually turns into the paved Big Cove Road on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Off the paved road, Mingo Falls is one of the best waterfalls in the area. The short but steep trail leaves from Mingo Falls Campground on Big Cove Road. With tremendous variation in elevation on decent gravel and paved roads, this drive is one of the most varied and best in back road tours in the the park.
Cataloochee Valley hides among the most rugged peaks in the Southeastern part of the Great Smoky Mountains. This isolated valley was once the largest settlement in what is now the park. "Many visitors consider this 'lost cove of Cataloochee' to be the spiritual heart of the park." (Mountain Roads and Quiet Places - Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association) Much like Cades Cove, there are many preserved pioneer structures in Cataloochee, but the two valleys of Big and Little Cataloochee are more narrow and long and are surrounded by even higher mountains. Many of the historic structures are located on the edges of the grassy meadows, but some require short woodland hikes. Your likely to see deer in the meadows. If your lucky you will spot the Elk. Two herds of elk were re-introduced into this part of the Park starting in the Spring of 2001. The elk are thriving. Best times to view the elk and the deer is around sunrise or sunset. Take Cove Creek Road near exit 20 on I-40. It’s a quick right from Tennessee exiting off I-40 on exit 20 (U.S. 276 south.) and a left from U.S 276 north from Maggie Valley as you approach I-40. Follow the signs for Cataloochee Campground. Cove Creek Road starts out paved, turns to gravel, and is paved again as you enter the park. It is quite passable most of the time, but forget it during heavy rains or snow unless you have 4-wheel drive. Go slow. The area is extremely popular with horseback riders. You never know when you will round a curve and meet them or their trailers. When you think you have gone to far, you have probably gone a little over half way. Few people visit this beautiful valley, but the rewards are great for those who do.
The Road to Nowhere
Lakeview Drive offers high elevation views from the north shore of Fontana Lake and backcountry access to what is now one of the most remote regions of the park. It is a paved and easy drive. Extending only eight miles from Bryson City, it is better known as The Road to Nowhere. The road dead ends at a tunnel. Dear are commonly seen along the route. There is a small picnic area and several trails. For better or worse, construction plans are set to resume to extend the road all the way to Fontana Dam along the north shore of Fontana Lake, fulfilling a promise made over 60 years ago.
Clingman’s Dome Road
Clingman’s Dome Road rides along the state line and the highest ridge in the park. It is not exactly a back road. The only way to get up to Clingman’s Dome Road is via Newfound Gap Road which is the busiest road in the park. As you might guess this highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains. The best reason to take this tour is to take an afternoon hike and picnic from the Clingman’s Dome/Forney Ridge Parking Area to high mountain meadows of delightful Andrew’s Bald. The trail descends through the cool spruce-fir forest on Mount Mitchell to the beautiful meadows on Andrews Bald.
Drive along the much less crowded Cherohala Skyway from Robbinsville, for scenery on par with any that of The Blue Ridge Parkway. This route was finished in 1996, and offers spectacular scenery and well developed overlooks all the way up to Hooper’s Bald and…Read More
Drive along the much less crowded Cherohala Skyway from Robbinsville, for scenery on par with any that of The Blue Ridge Parkway. This route was finished in 1996, and offers spectacular scenery and well developed overlooks all the way up to Hooper’s Bald and beyond into Tennessee. For the first time ever, the casual motorist can get stunning long-range views the incredibly rugged Unicoi and Snowbird Mountains to the South of GSMNP. At 5,700 feet the area near Spirit Ridge and Hooper’s Bald, a former game preserve, offers the best views, a profusion of wildflowers, and is best place to enjoy a short hike and a picnic. If your timing is right you will be astounded at the abundance of wild strawberrys and blackberrys. I usually turn around near the summit. The road is more undulating and generally loses elevation on the Tennessee side, offering fewer long range views. If you want to make an interim overnight camping stop; however, the Cherokee National Forest Service’s lakeside Indian Boundary Campground is quite nice over on the Tennessee side.
To get to the Cherohola Skyway head south on U.S. 19 from (Great Smoky Mountains Expressway) from Cherokee. The shortest route heads west from the four lane on N.C. 28 at Almond. And then follows N.C. 143 over Stecoah Gap to Robbinsville. N.C. 143 eventually becomes the Cherohala Skyway beyond Robbinsville and Lake Santeetlah.
Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
After returning on Cherohala Skyway, turn left to visit the ancient grove of yellow poplars at Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. The short memorial trail has two loop trails through a forest with the largest trees in eastern United States. The upper loop has the biggest trees. The forest was dedicated in memory to soldiers lost in foreign wars, as it’s namesake poet was in WW I. I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree… Upon leaving Joyce Kilmer Forest, take the short ride up to Maple Springs Overlook. From this overlook the southwestern quadrant of the Great Smoky Mountains appear as a mighty wall of mountains. It is the only place you will get a long range view of the region of the Little Tennessee River Gorge, and it is one of the best places to view a sunset from your car. Santeetlah Lake with it’s emerald green waters and hundreds of little coves is a favorite among canoeist and bass fisherman. The very small and basic Horse Cove Campground(pit toilets) is near Joyce Kilmer Forest on the lake. On the north shore of Santeetlah Lake, off 129, Cheoah Point Campground is larger, more popular, and has flush toilets. It has one secret walk-in campsite that occupies the very tip of Cheoah Point itself. The nearby Snowbird Mountain Lodge is perfectly located for exploring this area and boating on the lake.
Continue by winding your way around the lake on F.S. 1134 en route to U.S. 129. This secondary road is marked as it continues along the north shore to Santeetlah Lake Dam. The first of many giant dams on this route. Follow the signs for US 129 North and Deals Gap. In the gorge, Stay on N.C. 28 toward Fontana Dam, instead of continuing north on U.S. 129 toward Knoxville.
Biker Nirvana on the Tail of the Dragon
Only continue north on U.S. 129 if you want to experience the Tail of the Dragon. Bikers adore the challenge of the Tail of the Dragon, with more than 300 curves in a 13-mile stretch of road. An entire cottage industry has grown up around keeping the motorcyclists entertained.
After having traveled all over The Rockies, I have found no road in the country that is more nauseating. Personally, I usually try to avoid this route north to Tennessee and to the western segment of the Foothills Parkway.
Little Tennessee River Gorge
You will pass huge dams that get larger and higher as you progress up the gorge of the Little Tennessee River on NC 128. The super clear blue waters of Cheoah Lake is framed by steep rocky cliffs that might remind you of a fjord. The giant Fontana Dam is the high point along the route. You get a great view of this, largest dam in the east of the Mississippi, from the visitor’s center at the top of the dam. It is great fun to ride the funky little egg shaped incline railway down the face of the giant dam if you are lucky enough to catch it running. The nearby Fontana Village, was the former home to the thousands of workers that built the dam. Today it is a family resort with a restaurant that offers all manner of outdoor activities.
Tsali Recreation Area
On the south shore of Fontana Lake, The Tsali Recreation area is internationally famous as a destination for mountain bikers. Two of the four single-track loops skirt along the shores of Fontana Lake. Despite it’s popularity, you really have to be a biker to love this campground. Tsali has many loops and hot showers with few if any lake views. It is often crowded and sometimes overcrowded with mountain bike enthusiast in the summer. It a communal biker kind of thing. The campsites are small and tight for and NFS camprground.
Return to Cherokee on N.C. 28. and then on the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway. Closer and quiter, Bryson City and the historic Fryemont Inn is an excellent place to overnight especially if you also have plans for a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railway.
Written by Malahini on 06 Jan, 2003
Very common in the early days, and very picturesque now: those water powered mills with stone wheels to grind the corn. There's one in Cades Cove, a little one along the Roaring Fork Nature Trail, and a BIG one near the Smokemont Visitor Center at…Read More
Very common in the early days, and very picturesque now: those water powered mills with stone wheels to grind the corn. There's one in Cades Cove, a little one along the Roaring Fork Nature Trail, and a BIG one near the Smokemont Visitor Center at the Cherokee end of Smoky Mountain National Park. That big one is worth a visit since it was very modern in its day. Most mills used a water wheel - this one used an imported turbine. Then the ground meal was sifted on a large drum covered by screening. So many grades of meal were available - from fine to coarse.
The mill was operating and corn meal was for sale while we visited. The pioneer village at Smokemont is free and worthwhile. As I recall, there was a minimal ($1-2) charge at the grist mill. The mill is located on a side road just south of the main park road after you pass the Smokemont visitor center headed toward Gatlinburg.
Written by Malahini on 04 Jan, 2003
Cades Cove has been here a very long time. That's why it's such an interesting stop today. In early times, this wide flat valley amidst the high mountains was a great place to farm. But it was very isolated - sometimes the settlers only made…Read More
Cades Cove has been here a very long time. That's why it's such an interesting stop today. In early times, this wide flat valley amidst the high mountains was a great place to farm. But it was very isolated - sometimes the settlers only made it outside the Cove once a year to bring in supplies. So it was a place for extreme self sufficiency, as its pioneer village illustrates.
Today, an 11 mile (one way traffic) scenic drive lets you taste the wild scenic beauty. There's a museum and store, a water powered grist mill, and the barns and homes that show what living was like back then. When wandering the churches and cemetaries reading the gravestones, the past returns to add depth to the present. Hardy people, those pioneers!
When we camped here years ago, the black bears roamed the campground every night, raiding the garbage cans for food. More care is taken now, but the bears are still around. And so is the other wildlife - easy to sight while driving past the meadows.
Gathered round an ampitheater talk by the Park Service one night long ago, the subject was bears. Some of the tales were pretty wild. When the talk was over and the crowd rose to exit through the darkness, our furry dog brushed against a lady's bare leg. Very exciting, that!
How remarkable that we never found this place until 2002, even with years of driving through the Great Smoky Mt. Park. It sounds like a side trip there's really not time for during a short stay. Big mistake! It's delightful. We drove it 5 times…Read More
How remarkable that we never found this place until 2002, even with years of driving through the Great Smoky Mt. Park. It sounds like a side trip there's really not time for during a short stay. Big mistake! It's delightful. We drove it 5 times during our two week stay in Gatlinburg.
Here are two websites with more detail and photos than I have room for here:
Its charm for us was simply this:
1.Easy access. By car. From the edge of Gatlinburg. With most walking less than 200 yards on well maintained paths. Great for the handicapped.
2.Concentrated beauty. Following a creek through the heart of the forest past waterfalls, glens, and pioneer homesteads. Every bend in the road brings something new. Side trails for hiking too, if you want to leave the car for a while.
Privacy, solitude, low traffic. It's a narrow twisting one-way drive that you'll travel mostly at 5 mph. But there are many opportunities to park at scenic spots. Just be alert not to trip over the photographers. Especially if they are us.
My apology that most of my digital pictures are at too high a resolution to be easy to post here. Wonder why!