As many of you know, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee is one of our favorite vacation getaways. Our latest visit there was from March 26 to April 2, 2016.
One of our favorite trails to hike in the Smokies is Little River Trail because it's pretty and...well...not hard.
|Little River Trail|
Doug and I have a good photography arrangement. I shoot stills, and he shoots video.
|Doug and the Video Camera|
A favorite place to spend some quiet time is the overlook at Douglas Dam. The scenery is hard to beat, and the water around the dam draws an abundance of birds. In fact, there's a heron rookery in the woods at the base of the dam, where we also see cormorants, bald eagles, night herons, gulls, and terns.
|Great Blue Heron at the base of Douglas Dam|
|Herons checking out a warning sign at the Dam|
We had planned to hike to a waterfall on Porters Creek Trail one day, but the parking area was full; and cars were lined up along the road leading to and from the trail. So we chose another nearby trail called Grapeyard Ridge Trail.
|Doug on Grapeyard Ridge Trail|
That stick in Doug's hand is actually a monopod, on which the video camera is mounted.
Grapeyard Ridge Trail doesn't boast any waterfalls. Its main claim to fame is the presence of an old steam engine lying in the creek where it tumbled off the road back in the 1920s.
|One of the water crossings on Grapeyard Ridge Trail|
The trail is also known for its many water crossings, none of which are bridged. Hikers must hop across on rocks, walk across on logs, or get their feet wet.
|Another water crossing on the trail|
There are 12 of these water crossings on the round-trip hike. Doug and the video camera successfully handled 11 of them. That 12th one didn't go so well. Doug came out of it cold and wet but otherwise unhurt. The video camera came out of it dead.
|Part of an old steam engine in Injun Creek|
Injun Creek derives its name from the wreck, not from the Native Americans who used to live in the area.
|Old Steam Engine in Injun Creek|
The steam engine had been brought in to saw timber for a new school. Many of its parts were salvaged after the accident; the turbine and a couple of wheels remain in the creek.
On another day, we planned to hike a little way up Middle Prong Trail, but it was also very crowded. So, instead, we took a Quiet Walkway that begins at the same trailhead. There was an interesting vehicle that caught our eye in the parking lot, though.
Before I close this post, I need to bring you up to date on the video camera. After a few days of drying out, it did power up again. But the automatic lens cover wouldn't open and close, and the camera smelled like a muddy creek bottom. I checked into having it professionally cleaned and was told that it wouldn't be economically practical.
On the good side, I was able to recover the video from the memory card. And I've since purchased a new video camera from eBay, where I got a great deal on one that was being auctioned.
I tried out the new one this week and was very pleased with it. I'll post a video clip soon. Well, "soon" is a relative term, right?