Base Camp - Kodak, TN

Base camp is where a serious mountaineering ascent is made or broken. Planning, envisioning, packing, even training happens at base camp. It's a home away from home.

Kodak, TN is the current base camp of Light Finds, Inc. It's not heaven, but it's the closest place we could find to it. We've pitched the tent and driven in stakes. Lord willing, the winds won't move us elsewhere for the time being.

My wife Nora is Lands Manager for the Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge. It's there on 400 acres of rolling east TN hills—along the French Broad River—that we live, garden, work, and play. It's our base camp.

Nora and her team farm the refuge for wildlife. In other words, the food crops they plant in the spring are for the birds to forage rather than for humans to harvest. You are likely to see anything from bald eagles and other birds of prey to the gorgeous indigo bunting and other songbirds.

After taking a walk or run across 8 miles of hiking trails, be sure to head down the road to the nearby Tuckahoe Trading Post for a local bite of breakfast or lunch. You won't go away hungry!

Nora Hassell,Paul Hassell,SIWR,Tuckahoe, photo
As you may have noticed, the name of our town—Kodak—is a bit serendipitous for a photographer. Here's the true story...

Kodak was named in 1892 when the local postmaster, Harvey N. Underwood, learned of the new "Kodak" brand of camera. Underwood decided that this was a name that was easy to remember and spell, hence he sought permission from the founder of Eastman Kodak, George Eastman, to use this name for his village and its post office. Mr. Eastman granted this permission.