It’s no secret to anyone who’s met me that I absolutely, unconditionally, and positively cannot get enough of Cades Cove and Gatlinburg…especially in the Fall and Winter! October almost got away from me this year due to it being the most insane mentally and physically exhausting month of my life! My grandmother passed away on the 20th and I had to be IN a friend’s wedding on Saturday. The festivities were starting that night….the 20th! I was urged to go ahead and go to help take my mind off of everything.
I was an absolute MESS on the drive over to Murfreesboro…more so when I had to pass through the area where my sweet Granny “Pappy” grew up. The mountains through there were ON.FIRE and the Sunset I was driving in to reminded to miss her, but not be sad…for she was witnessing beauty like nothing we can imagine down here..and she was seeing it in the presence of our beloved comforter, redeemer and friend…Jesus! I was smiling through the steady streams of tears. That Saturday driving back home to East TN via Mont Eagle Mountain, after an amazing and draining weekend of being IN a wedding, doing the flowers and of course shooting some wedding photos myself, I called mom and said “We’re going to Cade’s Cove tomorrow”! The leaves on Mont Eagle were breathtaking. I’ve never wanted a “driver” more than then! I can shoot some fantastic shots with a point and shoot hand-held camera, or my iPhone, with my “no look shoot” skills I’ve acquired, but there’s NO way to hold my massive beast of a Canon 5D Mark II with one hand and drive. I miss some killer shots just because I’m having to drive!
As flat-out tired inside and out as I was I had a feeling I just NEEDED this mini-trip…and especially Mom too! So, I “kidnapped” her for the day. We picked up food for a picnic on the way there and had lunch in the park. It was wonderful! The rustle of the leaves, the cool breeze, and the occasional sound of a child laughing made my heart smile. It was a huge contrast to the sporadic mid-week trip I journeyed solo on last Fall when I was blessed to capture Cades Cove and Gatlinburg with gorgeous Fall COLOR AND SNOW capped “sugared” trees. No such luck on this rather warm breezy October day, but the colors still did not disappoint. Some of the most beautiful leaves ever! Check the shots out from last year’s blog HERE.
We took our time on the loop road, meandering around the park and stopping whenever the scene before me demanded to be shot. We didn’t see as many deer as I usually see in the park, but I did see some turkey’s that made me think of Thanksgiving 😉 Hahaha! We of course stopped at a few of the old homesteads and Churches. I absolutely love admiring the pure hand crafted structures, and they make me thankful for insulation, air conditioning, heat, and running water! Oh the “simple things” we so often take for granted!
After we were out of the park I decided I wanted to take the “back road” to Gatlinburg’s 441 Newfound Gap Road to catch the sunset atop my favorite spot in Tennessee….the TN/North Carolina line. I could tell they’ve had snow recently, as they usually do, because ALL of the leaves about half way up were GONE! Completely void of color. The sunset of pinks, blue, purples, and haze made up for it though. I love sunsets! If I could build a house right there I’d do it! Haha If you can’t get enough of these Fall images then see Part 2 of my “Fall-la-la-la-la 2011” Series in Tellico by clicking here.
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