The Smokes Day Three continues from The Smokies Day Two Continues
Unfortunately this was my last day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and also the day I was heading home. I woke up at 6:30am. By 7:15 I was back waiting in line for my 4th trip through the Cades Cove Loop. I wanted to get the angle on the Grist Mill that I hadn’t been able to get the day before and also shoot the remaining tour. Because of traffic it took some time to get to the Mill which is a little over halfway around the 11 mile loop. Unlike the prior day, I parked in the first spot since it was only 8:30 and the store doesn’t open until 9. I got some great long exposure shots. I saw a lot of deer on this trip around the loop.
Unlike the other trips, I decided to drive down Sparks Lane. Per the Cades Cove Auto Tour "This north-south road connects at each end of the Loop Road. It has been part of the Cove road system since the 1840s." It is not paved so my car got dirtier but it was one of the best decisions that I made. Halfway through, I came across a 10 point buck eating on the side of the road. As I pulled up next to him, he stopped eating and turned to look at me. Luckily my camera was on the passenger seat so I was able to grab a couple of shots. I got out of the car. He got a little spooked but only walked a few feet ahead so I followed him. I stayed about 10 feet away and took quite a few more photos. It was a great experience. Unfortunately because of this little side trip I missed a bear crossing the Loop.
After I finished the Loop, I headed back to campsite to pack up. I checked out and headed out. After leaving Cades Cove,I turned down the road that leads to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. The road runs along the Middle Prong Little River. Just like the night before, I stopped frequently to take photos of different places along the river. The road turned to gravel so my car got dirtier. This detour took me about an hour and a half.
Heading home I took the Foothills Parkway where I stopped at a few scenic overlooks to take some photos. I took over 1600 photos in the day and a half that I was in the park. It was an amazing trip and I can’t wait to go back to do more exploring. I arrived home a little after 8pm.
You can find great works of art of Cades Cove for sale on Fine Art America by clicking on to this link: Cades Cove Art For Sale