A Fleeting Visit

10:25 AM

 Chris and I love the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, and we've been dreaming of “escaping” for a visit for most of our long, hot, humid summer here in Florida. This past weekend, we jumped at the chance and took off! We arrived in Tennessee on Friday morning to rainy, overcast skies, but it didn't dampen the gorgeous colors of fall in the least.


                Cade's Cove on Sunday

We spent the day in the "shops" in and around Gatlinburg and Kodak, TN, on Friday as the rain was heavy enough to make the prospect of sketching on location, let alone hiking anywhere, a rather unpleasant idea. We visited with some old friends on the Arts & Crafts Loop and made an early night of it. Oh, and we visited the apple orchard restaurant, Carver's, that's an old favorite!


                Roaring Fork, TN

Saturday morning dawned wet and overcast - after all, they don't call it "smoky" for nothing. This was the view that greeted us about a mile and a half up the trail. Still, it wasn't raining and it was so still and beautiful––good medicine for the soul. The temps started to drop around noon.


            Roaring Fork, TN
We soon walked out of the smoke and mist, only to return to it as we climbed up. There are places in this area that really make you rethink what it most of been like to have lived in this area back 150-200 years ago when these "trails" were the "roads." Folks today hike to go see the pretty waterfalls or the trees in all their glory––back in the day, the pioneers hiked because that was the only way in. And out.

 
                  Bigfoot????

Don't you just love those funky shots that you get sometimes that seem to suggest something else entirely?!! This is actually a photo of Chris half hid behind a tree and for whatever reason (operator error) the image came out murky and dark and slightly out of focus - and hence, our Bigfoot sighting! By 5:00 that afternoon, with darkness falling rapidly, it was downright chilly. Excellent weather for sitting in front of the fire and musing about the day. Turns out it was 37º the next morning - perfect for someone looking for a break from the Florida heat!


With only one dry, sunny day, I didn't get much painting done. However, I did come back with a box full of leaves and such, as well as a pile of images for inspiration until we can return again. Maybe after Christmas??? (Hint, hint)
 

And I have to say Chickadees make lousy models. They should have named them "Mad Cap" instead of "Black Cap" as these guys are not still a minute! Consider yourself lucky if you get 15 seconds of this guy in one spot! This is unfinished as there simply wasn't time to chase him all over the National Park to get a sketch done. It will be finished from photos.

All in all, a much needed break and so good for the soul. Would loved to have stayed longer, and already, I'm dreaming of the next trip. In the meanwhile, I've got leaves and pinecones and critters to tickle with my paint brush!


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