Monthly Archives: April 2009

Shots of the Day: Leaving the Smokies Behind

Some final shots from my trip to the Smokies. Or rather, my trip home from the Smokies.

I could have spent the week in a tent. Instead I spent it in a rather nice cabin, high on a mountain overlooking the Smokies. It was really roughing it. I mean, the cabin didn’t even have turndown service. Talk about rustic!

The barbecue in Tennessee is so, so good. Oh, how I miss thee. The following deliciousness was from Corky’s BBQ in Pigeon Forge. There are few smells sweeter than the smell of smoking hickory.

I started the trip home on I-81, but interstates are boring, so I left the trucks behind and made a beeline for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Driving along the deserted Parkway, I noticed there was a large black bear standing close to the road. I pulled over at the next overlook, fumbled around in search of my telephoto lens, and walked back to the general area. By then the bear had retreated into the woods, but I managed to catch a few photos. There turned out to be at least three bears — a large mom and at least a couple cubs. If you look carefully, you’ll see the mom checking me out — on her hind legs. You can bearly (ahem) make out a cub just below her. In honesty, by this point they were pretty far away — and I couldn’t really see what I was shooting. When photographing bears, I never make an attempt to get any closer to them. It’s always humbling to see these majestic creatures in the wild.

It’s another wild turkey! This turkey was standing by the side of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. I saw a lot of turkeys on this trip.

The sun set at the Pinnacles Picnic Ground at Shenandoah, which I had all to myself. If it wasn’t so late with lots of driving still ahead of me, I would have hiked the Appalachian Trail a bit.

And finally a shot of the moon.

Closing Shots of the Day: Smokies

Some more hiking today at the Smokies, and another dozen photos.

You didn’t think I’d visit the Smokies and not get a shot of a bear, did you?

It’s really hard to take a photo when you’re running. (Just kidding. Clearly the bear has no interest in *me*.)

Shots of the Day: Wandering Around the Smokies

Not a lot of great shots today. I did some hiking in the Smokies but spent most of the time in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited National Park in the U.S., and even at this “low volume” time, there were far too many people for my tastes. As I tried to flee all the traffic, I was reminded of my visit to Canyonlands National Park this past December, when I had the *entire National Park* all to myself. It was wonderful.

That doesn’t happen in the Smokies.

The following peaceful scenes don’t capture the droning sound of hundreds of motorcycles zooming down the road, the loud noise billowing through the valleys. (There must have been some kind of motorcycle festival going on.)