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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

More from the Smokies

The dreary weather was still with us on Wednesday, November 8, when we decided to visit the Tremont area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We again entered the park by way of Wears Valley and the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area. Or, I should say, we tried to enter that way.

Just before reaching the picnic area, we encountered a semi which had tried to maneuver its way down the winding mountain road and had become hopelessly stuck on one of the curves. The road is narrow, so our only alternative was to back up a quarter of a mile or so until we reached a small pull-out, providing access to a hiking trail, where we could turn around and drive back out to a public highway.

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Stuck Truck
One of the things that contributes to the beauty of the Smoky Mountains is the presence of an abundance of rivers and streams which flow beside roadways and hiking trails all through the park. We found the rivers at Tremont running strong.

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Following is a short video clip, that will allow you to hear the sound of the river pictured above.



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As we began a short hike up the Middle Prong Trail, we saw a man carrying a rubber raft. His intent was obvious. He planned to raft down that river. Well, we had to hang around to see how that went.

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You can see for yourself in the following video clip.



After our hike, as we returned to our car, the rafter was just loading his raft onto the roof of his truck and preparing to leave. We approached him to let him know that we'd gotten some photos and videos of his ride down the river. We gave him our contact information in case he wanted copies. 

While we were talking, two other guys unloaded kayaks from their vehicle and started toward the river. Aaron, the rafting guy, asked if he could join them. They welcomed him, so Doug and I got set to take some more pictures and video of the three of them.

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Following is a short video clip of Aaron and his new friends.



We were losing daylight by the time we left Tremont, but we wanted to work in a visit to the Sinks, since the water everywhere seemed to be flowing well. The Sinks is always a pretty place to visit, but especially during good water flow.

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The path pictured above leads past a recently constructed official overlook at the Sinks to a view that's much better than what the overlook provides. Doug got the following photo from up there, with the video camera. My camera wasn't handling the low light very well.

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The Sinks
There was a group of four guys with kayaks preparing to enter the river on the far side of the bridge and then ride their kayaks over the waterfall. The video of the action is below. It's almost two minutes long, but it's fun to watch.



We never get tired of the Smokies. There's always something new to see and experience.


14 comments:

  1. I never saw anyone in boats, but thought of it myself, a great stretch to maneuver.

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    1. Hi, Steve. There must be quite an adrenaline rush for those guys in kayaks on that kind of water. I think the fourth guy in the last video seemed a little hesitant about going over the falls at the Sinks, but he did it like a champ in the end.

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  2. Wow, Linda, I'm glad it was not me stuck behind that truck. I would've croaked at having to back up so far. Love all the photos, especially the path at the Sinks. I watched the videos, but I'm going to watch them, again as soon as I click to publish my comment. Who knew watching kayak-ers navigate the Middle Prong of the Little River was so enthralling?

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    1. Hi, Toni. Fortunately, Doug was the one driving. He managed the backing up very well. It would have been a challenge for me. By then, though, the rangers had heard about the semi and had dropped the gate over the road. So we didn't have to deal with anyone coming up behind us. Glad you enjoyed the videos. We sure enjoyed watching them.

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  3. Those are beautiful photos of the river, Linda, and I enjoyed watching the videos of the noisy water and brave guys! I would be under water sooner than later! :)

    Poor stuck truck and all the hikers who met it... including you. It must have been annoying to deal with the situation but fortunately it was nothing serious.

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    1. Thank you, Petra. I'd much rather watch those brave guys in kayaks than to get into a kayak and ride that river myself. I did feel sorry for the stuck truck driver, although I couldn't understand why he had even attempted that particular stretch of road. It didn't go anywhere that the public highway wouldn't have taken him to more quickly.

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  4. Linda, what a great post and we too love the Smokies. Where the Rockies and the Canadian Rockies are majestic the Smokies are gentle calm mountains. You have some beautiful photos of the river and the boaters, I really enjoyed hearing the rushing waters of the river and the sound that emulates the force of the waters. You really do a good job with your photos, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Gerri. Doug likes to say that the difference between the Rockies and the Smokies is that the Smokies say, "Come play with me;" while the Rockies say, "Try playing with me and I'll kill you." I'm glad you enjoyed the videos, and thanks for the kind words about the photos.

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  5. Beautiful scenery. As for the kayaking, they can have that fun.That looks too rough for me.

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    1. I rather agree with you, Ruth. But it did look like it would be a lot of fun...if you knew what you were doing. Anyway, it was fun to watch. :)

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  6. True..... Every time we go to the Smokies, we always have a new experience. Sounds like this trip will be one you won't soon forget. Sorry about the rain and the truck blocking the road..... BUT--the good news was that you did see a lot of water while there.... Doug got a great picture at the Sinks........ I love watching the Kayakers --but if I ever did that, it would be on CALM waters.... ha

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. It was a treat to see the full streams and falls, for sure. I enjoyed watching the kayakers, but it wouldn't be for me!

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  7. Oh I see why you never tire of The Smokies! Gorgeous place. Brave rafters, kayakers. It is fun to watch them like its nothing lol. Oh the stuck truck, those roads would be terrible to have a semi on. I feel for truckers now that my son is one!

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    1. It's a beautiful place, Kim. Over-the-road truckers have a tough job. Some of them love it, though, and can't imagine doing anything else. Hope your son is one of those.

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