Over the years, we’ve logged many miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway – from rainy spring afternoons to brisk autumn mornings – though we’ve never come close to driving the full 469 miles of the parkway. But on this trip, we decided to rectify that problem. So, we set aside two full days to wind our way from the end of the Parkway near Cherokee, NC to its nexus in Rockfish Gap, VA. We may have had some hiccups along the way…
Finding Quiet in the Smoky Mountains on a Very Busy 4th of July Weekend
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.
We recently had the pleasure of exploring much of our wonderful country, east of the rolling and rugged Appalachian Mountains. Over the next few weeks, as time allows, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite shoots with you. For our first installment, we give you the North Carolina mountains at dusk. As we traveled up I-26, the clouds that had lingered all day began to show signs of thinning. As sunset approached, we found a scenic stop west of Asheville and started to shoot. Often clouded sunsets fizzle without much excitement, but this time was one of those rare sunsets where the colors intensified and blossomed well into the dusk hour – culminating with the images you see below, a good 30 minutes after sunset.
As always, please feel free to download as many photos as you like – they are full HD images, 1080P, and perfect for your computer, tablet or television – and if you enjoy our photos, please follow us – and for extra bonus points, share this blog with your friends to help us get the word out! Be sure to check out a slideshow of images from this shoot below. Continue reading →
One last post from our time in the North Carolina mountains – this time featuring the awesome house we rented and our last day of fun, though rather overcast, photography. Above is one of the last shots from the deck of our wonderful little home away from home. The sun filtering through the variegated cloud layers cast some amazing highlights on the now-fading mountain foliage. Blue skies are awesome, but some of my favorite autumn photography is during those rather dreary skies – especially those broken cloud layers that add so much interest to the scene.
Above is the dining area overlooking that awesome view outside. I really can’t say enough about both the actual little house and its glorious views. Below is a virtual tour of this unique octagonal home.
Disclaimer: the house pictured above is not an “after” photo of the house we stayed in. To the best of my knowledge, its still intact. This house, however, is not. We found this little house when exploring a dirt road leading to an old Lutheran camp. Best I can tell, the most recent materials are more than 50 years old, so its probably been slowing decaying for quite some time. As always, feel free to share, download and enjoy!
Well, it seems you have stumbled upon part two of our adventure in the mountains of North Carolina. Above is the view from the top of Upper Creek Falls, just outside of Linville, NC. It’s about a mile hike to this site along some moderately steep trails, but we did it with our whole family, kids and all, without too much of a problem and limited whining (mostly from me). The reward at the bottom was pretty amazing, with the water flowing along this gigantic, lightly rolling granite outcropping which tapers into a 60 foot waterfall – without a rail in site (slightly stressful with a pile of kids anxious to look over the edge). But with the fall colors in full array, it was certainly a worthy hike!
It seems there was quite the large contingent of chipmunks around the house where we stayed. This little guy caught my eye – if you notice, his color is considerably lighter than a typical chipmunk. Scientifically speaking, it probably has something to do with gamma radiation or a radioactive spider. Enjoy – and of course, feel free to download as a desktop wallpaper!