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.


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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9 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Welcome back! I'm glad it was such a great trip. I can feel the relaxation flowing out of your descriptions. Beautiful pictures of the bright leaves (and wow on the waterfalls). Funny, just this morning Paul and I were saying how the next place we live has to actually have Fall...

  2. Sounds like you had a great time! The photos you took were incredible. I can only imagine what it must have been like to actually be there..

  3. It looks like you went to the mountains just at the right time. What fun. Such beautiful scenes here. I hope you are rejuvinated.

  4. I could paint from any one of these pictures but the camera has done the job so well. I love that you have given me fall colors because we don't get that here in my part of California.

  5. What a beautiful place and sure full of inspiration! I fully expect to be seeing lots of beautiful leaves soon.

  6. Good for you, Laure! The trees are all so beautiful right now up that way, aren't they! Your photos are gorgeous. And the leaf and sweet chickadee are wonderful! Great job on these. That bird is so cute--I love those little guys. They just crack me up--you're so right they never sit still.

  7. What a wonderful trip! Beautiful photos and wow, a Bigfoot sighting!! Lucky you! :-)

  8. So glad you enjoyed your trip and had a chance to relax and revive. I can never decide which is more soul soothing... the quiet of the mountains or a deserted beach in the early morning. Hmmmm... I'll take both!

  9. Ohhhh....I love all of your photos! You didn't tell us you were a photographer as well! (and Big Foot looks good too!). Chickadees and Red-breasted Nuthatches are such flitty little birds. A camera shot is about the only way to really get a good look at them! Love your chickadee painting...he's really sweet!


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