It starts at 4:00 A.M. in the morning. I get up, get dressed, double check the camera gear, load the truck, and head for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's not a short trip, about 220 miles to the nearest point of the park, and when all is said and done, the complete trip pushes 750 miles.
It's a trip I have made many times, usually 2-4 times per year. I wasn't really up to it but the weather forecast suggested that it was now or never, so I dutifully began the long journey.
I made it through Georgia all right, but as soon as I crossed into North Carolina I met a new friend, a state trooper who very politely suggested that if I slowed down, I might live a little longer. He also added that I need to pay $151 dollars by December 5th or a warrant would be issued for my arrest! So I was not off to a great start!
But the mission comes first, so I headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway and Waterrock Knob. Not a lot going on there so I drove through the town of Maggie Valley North Carolina which was very beautiful and scenic. From there I drove over the Cataloochee Divide into the National Park, and was rewarded with many great photo opportunities! I I photographed some great stills and a lot of wildlife, including some good elk shots. I was on a roll now, and spent two hours in Cataloochee before heading back to Heintooga.
Not much there, so went to the National Park at Ravensford and climbed into the elevation for some decent Autumn color. On the way back down I set up the tripod in the middle of the Oconaluftee River for dome nice shots.
Then I started the long drive back home to Newnan. When I got home tonight, I was exhausted, but I have a nice photo journal of the trip. Which brings me to the point of all of this:
Nothing worth achieving is easy. It takes effort, perseverance and determination to accomplish difficult goals. But if you put your mind to it, you can get the job done!
Now excuse me, I must lie down a bit!
Photos: October 23, 2008 Courtesy of SmokyPhotos.com
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