My Return to the Smokies Day One.
Tim and I decided to take one of our trips together to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I fell in love with the park when I visited last year. The first full day in the Smokies was an experience. In all fairness, everyday in the Smokies is an experience.
Our original plan before we set out was to go to Cade’s Cove to shoot Sparks Lane first thing in the morning because fog had set in and due to the fact that Cade’s Cove is in a valley, it could make for some great photos. We then planned to head to the Knoxville Zoo and because of the weather was forecasting rain in the afternoon, we planned on going to a distillery and then maybe the Alcatraz East Crime Museum.
How our day actually went was almost completely different. Luckily even though it was overcast all day, it never actually rained. We headed to Cade’s Cove like we planned but things went a little sideways once we entered the park and headed there. The road to the Cove was closed. We pulled into the parking lot at Metcalf Bottoms. We walked a little down the road but didn’t see anything and decided to turn around because Cade’s Cove was still 8 miles away.
Like many places in the park, a river flows right by the road and since they’ve had a lot of rain, the river was raging. It also has a lot of large boulders so it makes for some great long exposure photographs.
The first thing we took photos of was the closed road. The road runs through the mountains with dense foliage and with the fog it made for some dramatic photos. We then moved to a bridge over the river which we kept having to move off because its one lane and cars kept coming. I eventually moved down to the river banks to get some photos. I finally saw a Park Ranger truck approaching and I flagged him down which is when I found out that there was a tree in the road but more importantly there was another way to get to the Cove which was definitely the scenic route. It took us through Townsend, TN then back into the park. We first stopped at the Cades Cove store and picked up a few souvenirs. We then headed over to Sparks Lane to get some shot. Our next stop was John Oliver’s Cabin.I took a few photos and then wandered in the woods behind the cabin and took a few photos of a stream while Tim was taking his shots. Once we got back to the car, Tim decided to take some photos of the mountains. We didn’t leave the parking lot for like 20 minutes because Tim was waiting for a raptor that was flying overhead to fly into his shot. It never did. Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a patient person. I was tempted to run him over with the car. We were finally on our way. Our next stop was John Cable Grist Mill. Like the cabin, I wondered into the woods while Tim was shooting the barn behind the Mill. I saw movement of a large animal. Unfortunately it wasn’t a bear, it was a few deer. I turned to head back when I saw three does nearby. Tim soon joined me and we took quite a few photos.
We stopped at Cades Cove store to grab a quick bite to eat and then headed over to Tremont Road which has the Mid Prong Little River flowing along side the road where there are many places to pull over to and take photos including waterfalls as you can see on the photo.
We stopped off at Corky’s BBQ for dinner and then headed back to the hotel. It was a great first day.