Well…not quite daily recently…

Posts tagged “tennessee

Photo #1368 – 08.13.12

75 Years of the Appalachian Trail

It was 75 years ago this week, in August of 1937, that the 2,180-mile-long Appalachian Trail was first completed (work had begun 14 years earlier, in 1923, by NY-NJ Trail Conference volunteers at Bear Mountain in New York).  If you are on the East Coast and haven’t been on the Appalachian Trail recently, or ever for that matter, I would definitely recommend finding a section near you to explore!  This photo was taken near the 6,643-foot Clingman’s Dome summit in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is actually the highest point along the entire trail.


Photo #1351 – 07.27.12

Thick Tennessee Fog

I’m pretty sure I’ve had more than a couple similar photos on here before, but the foggy Smokies in Tennessee still look pretty cool on a less-than-clear day.  This view was outside our cabin in the woods one afternoon after a day of on and off rain, and watching the low fog crawl over the nearby hills had a fairly calming effect.


Photo #1309 – 06.15.12

Grist Mill Power Source

This water is not actively powering the grist mill in the distance, but back in the 1870s, this flowing water helped the people of Cades Cove in Tennessee  make a life for themselves.  This Smoky Mountain water allowed farmers to turn grain into flour and ground meal, and while today it serves more as a repository of pennies thrown by visitors, it is still a great reminder of farm life in the late 19th century.


Photo #1168 – 01.26.12

Smoky Mountain Sunrise

After a wet and dreary day here in New Jersey, I thought I would post a sunny sunrise photo from our trip a few years ago to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee (and North Carolina…they shouldn’t be excluded!).  This was unfortunately the only sunrise we saw on our trip…as the following days were largely overcast and/or rainy, but we still had a great time in the Smokies.


Photo #1108 – 11.27.11

Mildly Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee/North Carolina are known for scenes like the one above, where blankets of fog and low-lying clouds crawl across the mountains.  This smoky appearance occurs as humid air comes up from the Gulf of Mexico and then rapidly cools as the air reaches the higher elevations in the mountains.  While I certainly enjoy blue-sky kinds of days, I still liked these mildly smoky days in Tennessee as well!


Photo #1111…actually, Photo #1092 – 11.11.11

11 – 11 – 11

If only I had started this photo blog 19 days earlier back in 2008, I would have been able to post Photo #1111 today, November 11th, ’11…of course, I had no idea at the time that I might still be posting daily photos nearly 3 years later!

But to celebrate the fun of 11-11-11, here is a unique barn from down in Tennessee that has a bunch of 11’s (or 1’s, 111’s, or even 11,111,111,111,111,111) making up the open slits in the barn’s front sliding door.


Photo #1072 – 10.22.11

Welcome to Dollywood!!

With more than 2.5 million guests annually, Dollywood has grown to be one of the most popular destinations to visit in the Smokies of Tennessee.  We certainly enjoyed our day there as we rode some cool coasters, ate some delicious treats, saw some nice shows, and checked out many other parts of the theme park.

Anyone want to take a roadtrip down to Tennessee??!


Photo #1026 – 09.06.11

The Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap in the Smokies

Imagine for a moment that you decided to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, and every time you feel like you have covered a good amount of trail, you come upon a sign like this one that reminds you just how far you still have to go!  The Appalachian Trail here in Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the North Carolina & Tennessee border much of the way, and at a point called Newfound Gap, a northbound thru-hiker (someone hiking the trail from south-to-north) has gone approximately 209 miles…and still has 1,972 miles to go to get to Maine!


Photo #985 – 07.27.11

Ham and Beans

Who doesn’t love ham and beans?!?  Well, I can think of a few people, but that doesn’t take away from the deliciousness of this tasty dish.  While visiting Dollywood in Tennessee, we came across “Granny Ogle’s Ham and Beans” that served…you guessed it…ham and beans, along with other traditional southern fare including BBQ beef, coleslaw, pot roast, cornbread, and fruit cobbler (with homemade ice cream, of course).  Unfortunately, all of the other food in Dollywood was so good, we didn’t have a chance to eat at Granny’s, but it sure smelled great as we walked by!


Photo #965 – 07.07.11

View from Rockefeller Memorial at Newfound Gap

At 5,048 feet above sea level, Newfound Gap is the lowest mountain pass through the heart of the Smoky Mountains.  It is also where Newfound Gap Road reaches the Tennessee/North Carolina border, and the Appalachian Trail crosses through here as well.  This photo was taken atop the Rockefeller Memorial, a stone structure from which President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park back in 1940.

Seems like a beautiful spot to dedicate a park!


Photo #915 – 05.18.11

Black & White Smokies

I miss this view from the cabin Heather and I stayed in while vacationing in Tennessee…from scenes like this of fog and low-lying clouds blanketing the mountains, to great sunrises and even a brilliant rainbow one day, we were treated to some great views of the Smoky Mountains.


Photo #848 – 03.12.11

Harvey Water Clock

Patented in 1798, the Harvey Water Clock is a pretty cool clock!  It basically consists of a bunch of different sized gears that all turn at different specific rates to keep track of the time, day, month, and year, and the initial gears are set in motion by a waterwheel.  It is located in a section of Dollywood, and as you can see in the photo above from our most recent trip there in the year 1880, it still works like a charm!

Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour as Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday morning!


Photo #831 – 02.23.11

Red’s Drive-In

I’m not sure if I can stress enough just how much good food there is down in Dollywood!  Heather and I only had a small taste, but there is quite a selection of places to satisfy your hunger.  For instance, Red’s Drive-In offers great diner fare and is set up like a 50s/60s drive-in diner.  We didn’t get a chance to try the food here (too full from everything else!), but it looked like a fun place to relax for a bit after a few hours of walking around Dollywood.


Photo #825 – 02.17.11

John P. Cable Grist Mill

Built in the early 1870s in a corner of Cades Cove {photo #614}, this waterwheel and grist mill are a great example of some early farming structures in the Smokies of Tennessee.  While water was flowing down the flume in this photo, the 11-foot high waterwheel was locked in place, producing some mini overflowing waterfalls that looked quite cool!  This building is part of a visitor center destination in the national park that includes a number of other original farm structures, including some that were moved to the site from elsewhere in the Smokies.


Photo #796 – 01.19.11

Two Thumbs Up for Dolly

In case you cannot tell from the photo above, Heather really likes Dolly Parton.  And we definitely both give Dollywood two thumbs up for cool rides, excellent food, friendly people and an overall fun atmosphere.  Although the sign says, “We’re glad you’re here!”, this photo was actually taken as we were leaving, and we were sad to leave.

Heather let me know that today is Dolly’s 65th birthday, so Happy Birthday Dolly!  She shares her birthday with some other interesting people, like butter-chef Paula Deen, soulful singer Janis Joplin, writer Edgar Allan Poe, and Full House’s Jodie Sweetin.


Photo #772 – 12.26.10

Milky Way Above the Smokies

The night skies over the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee can be quite dark at times.  We had some very clear skies on one of our first nights staying in the Smokies, and I was able to capture some neat starry photos, including this >1-minute exposure of the Milky Way rising up from the distant mountain profile.  The Milky Way arced all the way across the sky, and one of the longer exposures I shot really showed our galaxy well {photo #635}.


Photo #746 – 11.30.10

Smoky Mountain Squirrel

This squirrel sure was enjoying a feast in this particular tree in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park {photo #614}.  Heather and I were checking out the visitor center and numerous old and interesting structures within the Cable Mill historic area.  This little guy was munching away on a branch right overhead and certainly didn’t seem to mind our presence.


Photo #705 – 10.20.10

This is a Wild Hog Trap

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a wild hog problem.  Last year alone, about 650 wild hogs were removed, many through the use of traps like this one that was on display at the visitor center in Cades Cove.  Basically, the wild hogs can wreak havoc on the environment and also carry some nasty diseases, and it doesn’t help that they have few natural predators and reproduce quickly.

See this article for more information about these crazy feral pigs: http://www.timesnews.net/article.php?id=9020055


Photo #683 – 09.28.10

1,000 Drips of Water

1,000 drips of water probably isn’t quite that accurate, but there was certainly a lot of water and a lot of little cascades all over this hillside.  The name of this waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is ‘Place of 1,000 Drips’, and after a week of rain, it certainly lived up to its name.  It was very pretty, and definitely worth standing in the rain to take it all in.


Photo #658 – 09.03.10

The Great Smoky Mountain Berry Picker

I’m really not quite sure how many berries this guy ate…but all along this trail (it’s a paved path that sort of goes straight up the mountain), this guy seemed to be stopping at every bush that had berries on it.  At the top of the trail on Clingman’s Dome, he and his wife were off in a huge patch of bushes eating berries…maybe they missed breakfast??

It was certainly fun watching him enjoy his hiking snack, especially with heavy fog obstructing the great mountainous views!


Photo #654 – 08.30.10

Heather and the Prize-Winning Potato

Not everyone gets to stand next to a prize-winning potato like this one, so Heather is pretty darn lucky.  This one was from 1941 and was grown by Joe “Spud” Russett.  The plaque inscription reads, “Grown in Joe’s top secret brew, with just a drop of mountain dew.”

I’m guessing it’s referring to dew in the mountains…although, maybe the secret to huge potatoes is a bit of neon yellow Mountain Dew…


Photo #638 – 08.14.10

Heather and the Smoky Mountain Rainbow

We sure did get some nice downpours while on vacation down in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.  Luckily, on the last day, we were treated to a nice rainbow over the mountains that were visible from our cabin porch.

Isn’t Tennessee purdy??


Photo #635 – 08.11.10

11-Minute Tennessee Star Trails

With a foggy-looking Milky Way galaxy serving as a backdrop, the above photo is an 11-minute exposure of the starry skies above our cabin in Tennessee.  Due to the Earth’s rotation, the tiny points of light leave streaks on a long-exposure like this, and in the northern hemisphere, they circle around the North Star (which is just off the bottom right corner).

Speaking of the night sky, keep your eyes peeled on Thursday and Friday nights for meteor streaks from the Perseid meteor shower.  It’s looking like it should be a good one with very little moon interference.  So grab a blanket, lay outside on a nice summer night, and enjoy a meteor show!


Photo #629 – 08.05.10

Dollywood Outhouse

You know you’re at a great theme park when the bathrooms are little rustic outhouses decorated with horseshoes and a crescent moon…

Actually, this wasn’t a real bathroom (they were like any other bathroom at a theme park)…or if it was, the poor person inside was locked in…