Wednesday, March 25, 2015

After the Snow Storm

The late autumn snow storm created some damage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Several trees fell blocking roads and shutting down all access (in or out) of cars to the park. From Townsend, there was a constant caravan of cars traveling all the way to the entrance of the park only to be turned back by the rangers who, like a taper recorder, had to answer the same question: "when will the park reopen?"
Although cars were not allowed into the park, there was no such restriction for hikers. Few took this opportunity to explore the park by foot and just left. In the few hours that I was there that morning, I only encountered a handful of people, mostly photographers, enjoying the slow pace of the quiet park. Walking on the roads, without having cars speeding by, was surreal.
I was a couple of miles up the road when I heard the fast approaching rumbling of car engines. Before long, an endless caravan of tailgating cars sped by on their way to Cades Cove. None of them slowed down or pulled over to admire the beautiful colors along the river. I guess that in this case the destination was more important than the journey.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Changing Seasons

Just as the autumn color peaked around Townsend, TN, a snow storm blanketed the area overnight transforming the already beautiful landscape into something even more magical. Twenty four hours later, it was all back to normal with little traces of the snow to be seen at the lower elevations of the park.