As promised, here are a few photographs from our recent little jaunt up to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was a quick trip, but we managed to pack in a lot of sightseeing. When we first arrived it was raining, so we did a little shopping for primitive crafts and stone-ground cornmeal. The shopping gods were pleased and then produced some sunshine for us! We went on a little hike and saw quite a few wildflowers blooming. We took our time and two hiking sticks helped me along the way.
One of the places we stopped was the Greenbriar area of the park which is accessed northeast of Gatlinburg. The road follows along the Little Pigeon River, as pictured below.
On the main road going into the park (toward North Carolina), the area shown below is called the Chimney Tops. The name comes from the two peaks on the ridgeline. Notice that the green tree canopy has not yet made its appearance.
There is a beautiful scenic overlook at Newfound Gap, right at the Tennessee and North Carolina border. From this vantage point, you can see the road wind through the mountains toward the town of Cherokee.
And another vista at the Newfound Gap overlook tells the story of how the park got its name, with a procession of hazy blue ridges in the distance.
Stay tuned for a Part II post which will feature Cades Cove!