Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to MAY!!!! Spring is AWESOME. Enjoy some beautiful IRISES from our yard. Meet "Goodnight Kiss"

Friday, April 27, 2012

These Glorious Smoky Mountains

On Monday,  April 23,  George and I celebrated our 130th MONTH-aversary by taking a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains.  This time,  we started by traveling around the ROARING FORK MOTOR NATURE TRAIL  (which goes WAY back in the mountains to about 3500 feet in elevation, above the town of Gatlinburg).   This road was closed during the winter --but is open now... This is a popular drive for tourists who visit the Smokies, but we 'locals' love it too.  One can enjoy the mountains without even getting out of their car if they choose.  We, on the other hand,  stop at the pull-offs all along the way ---enjoying ourselves despite the unusually COLD weather on this day.

This 6 mile long one-way road offers views of gorgeous mountain streams,  forest growth,  some well-preserved log cabins,  and grist mills.    George and I have been on this road several times (mostly when we were hiking to Rainbow Falls or Grotto Falls or Baskins Creek Falls)....  This time,  we stopped and enjoyed some of the old log cabins --and we loved seeing all of the cascades in the area creek...  There is just something magical about being in the Smokies...

Hope you enjoy today's set of photos.  The one above was taken at one of the overlooks off of the Roaring Fork Road...   To me,  it's just a glorious photo of the Great Smoky Mountains.   AND you won't believe it --but when I took this picture,  the temperature was 37 degrees and it was 'spitting' snow....  GADS!!!    (There was snow at elevations above 5000 feet.)  Be sure and click on all of the photos to enlarge them.

We loved walking around some of the old home places while we were there..  This fence really attracted us---and we both took pictures of the fence (as we did other fences in the Smokies that day).  You can also see the barn in the background..

We also did what we do best:  just had fun!!!!!  Can George fit in this 'doghouse'????? ha ha ha..... He's NEVER in MY Doghouse though!!!!!!!    {In the background,  you can see (sorta) another fence,  a picket fence!!!}

Roaring Fork Creek was really gorgeous on this day...  We spent a LONG time walking up and down the creek along the way to see the cascades, small waterfalls and all of the Rhododendrons and moss.... In the picture above,  the moss was some of the prettiest I've ever seen, growing on the surrounding rocks.

George loved using his new Neutral Variable Density Filter ---and got some AWESOME water pictures... I'll show some of them in another blog.  I want him to publish an entire album page with some of these water pictures... They are about as professional-looking as any I've ever seen.  I'm so proud of him!

Roaring Fork is one of the prettiest streams in the Smokies I think.  It starts its descent down the mountain at over 5000 feet in elevation --and drops over 2500 feet in two miles. 

George took this picture of me while I sat and enjoyed listening to the sounds of the creek as it flowed downhill.   Give me a tent (with a heater on a day like this one) and I could just live here fulltime!!!! ha

After leaving the Roaring Fork area,  we drove down River Road toward Townsend.  Then,  we took another side trip on the FOOTHILLS PARKWAY, stopping at some of the overlooks along the way.  This is a picture of George with the Smokies in the background.  There was Honeysuckle blooming in this area ---and the smell was wonderful!!!   (The weather was improving --with sunshine during the afternoon.  BUT-the wind was cold and the temps still remained in the 50's.)

We knew that there was snow on the  tops of the mountains {Mt. LeConte (elevation 6600 ft),  Newfound Gap (elevation 5000 ft), and Clingman's Dome (elevation 6600 ft)} ----so I was glad to capture a picture with my long lens.  I think that that is Mt. LeConte in this picture in the distance. 

Finally,  here is one more picture of us --getting as close to the water --without jumping in!!!!!  I'm saying to George: "Come a little closer to me.. I'm COLD."  ha ha

We have more pictures from this trip to come...  I truly think that we are blessed to live fairly close to the Smokies!!!!!

Have a great weekend.  I'll see you on Monday.