Down East Road Trip – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Finding Quiet in the Smoky Mountains on a Very Busy 4th of July Weekend

Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Sunset on Clingmans Dome

So… When we were planning our trip early this year, we knew many of the parks we visited can be busy during the summer, and while we planned around much of the busyness by visiting the most popular parks during mid-week, we weren’t so lucky with the Smoky Mountains. While our first park of the trip, Mammoth Caves, was relatively quiet, The Smokey Mountains were quite the opposite. Yet even so, the park is big by eastern standards and we were able to find spots of quiet respite along the way.

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Summer Wanderings Part 6: Tennessee

Exploring the Underbelly of Eastern Tennessee

Deremer Studios Fine Art New England Photography

It’s official – we’ve finally buckled down to give you that final post from our summer adventures – featuring Tennessee!  We didn’t spend a lot of time in Tennessee on this trip – in fact, we the only time we spent shooting in Tennessee was underneath it!  Way back in 2009, we first visited Bristol Caverns, and we thought it was high time to make another visit.  The cavern system was first discovered by the indigenous people of the region, and was used as both storage and refuge for the tribe’s raiding parties during the colonial period.  Fast forward a few centuries, and the cave was equipped with concrete paths and steps – even a bridge – and opened to the public for regular tours.

Deremer Studios Fine Art New England Photography

On our visit, some 70 years after the first public tours began, we took the whole family along for our spelunking adventure.  The caves, carved out of the Tennessee limestone, offer an easy way to explore the cavernous spaces and amazing formations, without having to squeeze through skinny spots or contort yourself into pretzel-like shapes to traverse the cave system.  There are several sections open to the public via guided tour – with another section three times as large as the current area, being prepared for future tours.  The cave even has a stream running through its lower depths, complete with sundry wildlife.

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Summer Wanderings Part 6: Tennessee

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