Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Great Smokies

After our drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway, we arrived at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and had a wonderful 3 days exploring it.  The park itself was fascinating; Gatlinburg at the entry point was a shock!  But we just ignored it and enjoyed the park.

The first afternoon it was raining gently, half-way between heavy mist and drizzle, so we chose to drive the scenic road through the forest at Roaring Fork.  The one-way road just follows along this creek as it tumbles down the valley out of the hills.

With the rain, everything was richly green and moist.  I think it made for much better colours than if it had been sunny.  I kept stopping to take pictures of yet another nice view of the stream.

I wasn't very surprised to see the evidence of former settlement here, restored cabins that you can stop and visit.  This is second growth tulip tree forest, bought for the park in the 1930's.  There's an interesting story with each of these old farms.

Roaring Fork got larger and larger as we went downstream, and soon we found a tiny mill, also restored for visitors.  The wooden millrace captures enough of the stream's water to turn a wheel in the small mill.  Very interesting technology, as we have old mills here too, but nothing similar to this.

We ended up really enjoying our drive in the misty rain, and I think got some terrific pictures.

I'm linking to 'Our World Tuesday', but check out 
the past several posts so that you realize this isn't my world at all, 
but a holiday we took in the U.S.A. last April.


  1. Another park that I have not been to, but I long to see it. Beautiful images!

  2. Ahhh--love the Roaring Fork Motor Trail.... You got some great photos while you are in my 'stomping grounds'....

  3. Beautiful stone cabin, and the stream, as it grew bigger on its way to wherever?? Lovely photos ,every one. Cheers, Jean.

  4. Loving the GREEN. Beautiful stream. I haven't driven that particular road.

  5. I like that quaint cabin. What an invitingly green, lovely place to visit!

  6. Such glorious, saturated colour. Everything looks so lush and I adore the little cabin!

  7. Why was Gatlinburg a shock? Sheri

    1. I wondered if someone would ask that question! Gatlinburg, the Tenessee gateway to the Smokies, struck us as an amazing mile-long carnival midway. We had never seen so many amusement arcades and haunted museums and bars in one place ever before. The restaurants ended abruptly and you drove into the forest, and you were in the park. And there were always more people in the town than in the park. Not something we've experienced before!