11 Days After This Teen Got Lost In The Mountains, Police Told His Mother The Unthinkable Truth

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Image: via WOKI-FM / Great Smoky Mountains National Park via The Charlotte Observer

Without food, water or camping provisions, the teen was at the mercy of nature. He had disappeared into the wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains – a daunting Appalachian subrange straddling the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. No one knew if he was dead or alive. And then, on the eleventh day of his disappearance, the authorities contacted his mother with news…

Image: Aviator31

Named after a blanket of fog that often shrouds the range (and resembles plumes of smoke from afar), the Great Smoky Mountains encompass a diversity of natural environments. Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest swathes its highest elevations, the largest such ecosystem in the United States. And at lower elevations, some 187,000 acres of old grove forests constitute the biggest anywhere in the eastern United States.

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Image: Ken Thomas

Home to ancient geological formations, precious flora and fauna, including one of the country’s most dense populations of black bears, the range is protected as part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – the most visited park in the United States. In fact, the Great Smokies are so ecologically diverse that they have been declared an International Biosphere Reserve. That said, it is a dangerous place to get lost.

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