Thursday, December 21, 2017

Fall in the Smokies

A few weeks ago, I posted photos from our recent trip to the Cades Cove historic settlement in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I have a few more snapshots from that day, but I first want to show you some other pictures I took.

The drive through the park was simply beautiful with all the vibrant colored leaves.


Every turn we made, there was another stunning view.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fall in the Smoky Mountains

Autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smoky Mountains in autumn

On Saturday of our weekend trip, we ventured over to the start of the Roaring Fork Motor Trail (southeast of downtown Gatlinburg) and parked at the Rainbow Falls trailhead.



It was a difficult, 5.4-mile roundtrip hike, but the views were worth the trek. Just as we had at Cades Cove, we saw the smoke-like fog that give the Smoky Mountains their name.

Smoky Mountain fog smoke

As we climbed higher, we passed an area that had been burned by the devastating wildfire that tore through the Smoky Mountains in November 2016. We are thankful that the area has been able to rebuild and that Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are still as busy as ever. Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones and property.


With a 1,500-foot elevation gain, we had to stop and rest quite a few times, especially as we neared the end.


After a 20-minute period of rain, we finally reached our destination...the beautiful Rainbow Falls! You're probably wondering what Mr. Handsome is wearing on his head. (That is the first question people ask when we show them this picture.) It's his sweatshirt. He got tired of carrying it.

Rainbow Falls Gatlinburg Tennessee

29 comments:

  1. Just had to ask...Ellie, did you go on the Roaring Fork motor nature trail then? You were so close to it! It's one of my favorite drives in the smokies! There's a settlement that used to be back in there like Cade's Cove-just in a more mountain setting. So pretty!

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    1. Hi Candi,

      Sadly we didn't have a chance to. It was getting dark as we were finishing with the hike, and we had to get back for dinner with the people who hosted us. Next time though!

      Ellie

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  2. Lovely pictures.
    Reminds me of the time my family and I went to Maria Lake State Park this year here in MN for the first time in over a decade.

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    1. Sounds very nice! Are you enjoying your time back in the United States?

      Ellie

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    2. It sure was.
      So far it's been rather pleasant. I've gotten my first job, and I've become a bit more social. I even feel like I belong at my Church; well, for the most part, that is.

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    3. Glad to hear that!

      Ellie

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    4. Thanks, Ellie. Hopefully I'll be able to come out of my shell while I'm living here.

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  3. Anonymous12/21/2017

    Beautiful pictures, thank you for sharing your photos. I got a book about oxygen and climbing to altitudes at a library sale. Does that ever become a problem in the hiking that you two are doing?

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    1. Thanks! Altitude hasn't been an issue for us. Compared to places like Colorado, the altitudes in the places we have been to aren't too high.

      Ellie

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  4. Anonymous12/21/2017

    Are you two role playing fantasies like handsome prince and beautiful damsel in distress found in the woods?

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    1. Anonymous12/24/2017

      Mr H. looks more like a bear that crawled out of a cave in the rocks in that last picture of them.

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    2. Anonymous12/24/2017

      The hunter took her into the deep woods, not being so cruel to follow his orders, just let her free there. Fortunately she came upon an enchanting cottage, but it needed a womans touch. The dwarfs came home and found her and let her stay. Until one day she disobeyed and ate a poisoned apple from a very bad source. Then she slept until a Handsome prince going through the woods discovered everything and revived her with a single kiss! One of those many unforgettable stories we were taught. They are always there in our memories helping to create the mystique we feel when shown pictures like this! (There is actually a hut built in the middle of a big woodsy park in a city that is supposed to be from the story 'Hansel and Gretal'. People love it!)

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  5. So you're about four months pregnant? Congrats.

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    1. Anonymous12/22/2017

      I thought there looked like there was something different about her?

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    2. Anonymous12/22/2017

      Hmmm, no response one way or the other...

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    3. Anonymous12/23/2017

      Certainly they do look well on the way!

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    4. Not quite sure what would make y'all think that, but we're not expecting.

      Ellie

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    5. Anonymous12/24/2017

      Regardless, as happy 'wayfarers' they do look 'well' on 'that' way!

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    6. Oh my goodness, this shocked me, how could you assume such a thing, when Ellie has not announced anything? I'm sure when Ellie has something to announce she will do so, if and when she and her husband wish to. In the meantime, rule of thumb, never assume a woman is pregnant, never!

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  6. Kathy Taylor12/22/2017

    Do you have animals? Dog? If not you should consider getting one from a shelter or something I have seen lots of dogs that are perfect for outdoor people maybe Mr.handsome needs a fishing buddy??!!!

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    1. Hi Kathy,

      We have a gecko but no dogs. We would like to get a dog in the future, when we have a big outdoor space. But for now, the place we are renting is not dog friendly. But I agree that a dog would be great for our outdoor adventures! And we would love to rescue one from a shelter. Do you have a dog?

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous12/24/2017

      "The place we are renting" - Is there some reason why you two haven't bought a house by now? Especially with interest rates so low? Aren't you planning to stay there for awhile?

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    3. Anonymous12/24/2017

      It is something to seriously consider, to get a dog. They can really become the focus of life. And they are human like in a way, but they are not. They on a different level. Really think what you will have to do and the constant responsibility and that it takes concern 24/7/365 for the life of the animal. My kids dog has become a huge part of my existence, since they grew up and left. It has completely changed how and what I have done. I live my life around this dog, always accomodating for it. In some ways the dog has been a blessing. It has made me reach for better environments and kept me walking, hopping to it and loving and cuddling. But I am less available to people and much more reclusive, because I am in a "dog pack and in the dog den", more than out with other people.

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    4. To the reader asking about buying a house: That's a good question. Nashville and Middle Tennessee are currently among the fastest growing areas in the United States. It is very much a seller's market, with houses frequently receiving dozens of offers and causing bidding wars within days of being listed. We know many couples who have been making offers on houses for the past year and have not yet been successful. We have also talked to quite a few realtors. It is not uncommon for a home to sell for higher than the list price.

      Ellie

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  7. Anonymous12/23/2017

    Hi Ellie, love your pictures. All of your outdoor pictures always make my day...Jane

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    1. Thank you, Jane. I'm glad to hear that. Merry Christmas!

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous12/24/2017

      I agree Jane. Wonderful pictures of another interesting travel. Thankyou Ellie! Eileen

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  8. Anonymous12/23/2017

    It is true that often, but not always, in pictures women look like they were made from the rib of man! Ellie you two look like he had a deep sleep while you were prepared!

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  9. Anonymous12/24/2017

    Lovely pictures, and again an interesting travel blog. Thankyou Ellie. I look forward to more in 2018. Eileen

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