I am attending the 73rd annual Great Smokey Mountains York Rite gathering in Maggie Valley, NC. There were close to 400 at the picnic on Sunday, and 270 brethren from 20 states at the session Monday. The food and fellowship has been nothing short of fantastic. This may well be the best kept secret in York Rite Masonry.
Read more about it here.
It's a beautiful location, and the most low-key, laid-back Masonic session of any kind you'll ever attend.
Monday afternoon, we all made a pilgrimage to the North Carolina Masonic Shrine, or Marker, at an altitude of 4,522 feet at Black Camp Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Comprised of over 100 stones donated from all over the world, it is truly a unique monument to Masonic cooperation and friendship. A new installation this year was the addition of a 1,000 pound stone step donated by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA.
I had the honor of speaking at Monday's session, and Tom Jackson will address them today. Rex Hutchens was to speak as well, but was unable to attend because of business back home.
Many thanks to all of the Masonic Society members who stopped by and chatted. Great to see you all!
I drive home later today, and then I fly to Albuquerque, NM Thursday for the Rocky Mountain Masonic Conference.