Monday, May 07, 2012

Smokies, April 2012...Cades Cove

There is a special spot in Cades Cove where Doug and I enjoy spending time just relaxing and reading. Over the years, as we've engaged in that activity, we've been privileged to see several critters, including bears and deer. Apparently made bold by our stillness, they sometimes come quite close.

Well, the bears didn't come close. There might have been screaming involved if they had.

Anyway, on this trip, three deer came tentatively out of the woods and watched us for awhile before bounding gracefully away. I was able to capture only one with the camera.

Deer at our favorite reading place in Cades Cove
Later, after leaving our reading spot, we returned to the one-way, 11-mile loop road through the cove, leading to the exit. On the way, I snapped the following photo of one of the cove's historical cabins from the moving vehicle as we drove by.

Carter Shields Cabin in Cades Cove
On Monday, April 23, we returned to Cades Cove, this time for a hike to Abrams Falls. It was a cold morning, but that suited us. It's much more pleasant to hike when the temperature is on the chilly side.

Snow can be seen on the distant mountaintops on this chilly day
This area of the national park was ravaged by an EF4 tornado a year ago, making several trails in the park impassable, including the Abrams Falls trail. There were numerous blow downs on the 2.5-mile Abrams Falls trail and over 40 areas where root balls were ripped out of the trail surface leaving hot-tub sized craters. The National Park Service was able to get this popular trail open again very quickly, but there are still some trails that remain closed due to the tornado damage.

Some of the damage from the EF4 tornado that ravaged this area on April 27, 2011
Flowering shrubs along Abrams Falls trail
Spider in web covered with raindrops along Abrams Falls trail
Abrams Falls
This is one of our favorite waterfalls in the Smokies. It's a beautiful waterfall in a lovely setting, and the trail isn't terribly difficult, even for us old fogies.

Oh my. That reminds me of a funny thing that happened on another trail on another day. It was actually our first day of hiking on this trip, and we were taking it pretty easy, moaning about our aches and pains. We had hiked about a mile and a half up the trail and had decided that we'd better not push ourselves too hard on this first day out. So we turned around and started back down the trail toward the parking lot. We hadn't gone far when we met a group of folks coming up the trail, including a little old white-haired lady using a walker.

Doug looked at me and said, "If she can do it, we can do it."

I looked back at him and said, "Do you want to turn around and continue up the trail?"

He said, "No, I want to get a walker."



  1. That waterfall is picture book perfect. Great picture.

  2. What a lovely area to visit.The cabin shot shared some good memories.

  3. first you made me laugh about the bears and screaming. then the walker. in between, you shared some gorgeous beauty! NICE!

  4. Stephen - Thank you so much.

    Steve - It is such a pretty area, and that cabin is in a most gorgeous setting.

    Tex - I like it when someone thinks I'm funny (provided, of course, that I'm intending to be funny.) Thanks for faithfully reading and leaving such nice comments.

  5. The scenery is gorgeous and if its a walker you need than that is what it must be.I would probably need one myself,the old knees don't work as well as they used to.

  6. Ruth - I hope, if the day comes when we can't walk without the aid of a walker, we'll still have the determination to hit the trails using one. That little lady certainly won our admiration.

  7. Ha Ha, Linda... Great about getting a walker!!!!!

    Sad about all of the damage caused by that tornado. We've been to Abrams Falls --but it has been several years...

    Great set of pictures...

  8. Betsy - It is sad to see the damage from the tornado; but, on the good side, it opened up some views of the river that weren't there before. :)

  9. Oh that Doug is a funny man! I laughed out loud with that one. :)

    Those deer surely gifted you with their lovely presence. How wonderful is that? :)

  10. Hilary - Doug is one of those guys who can deliver a line like that and you're not sure if he meant it to be funny or not. But it made me laugh out loud, too. The deer were a special gift that day.


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