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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

June 3, 2020

Finally, our first trip with our new motorhome to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. It’s been a long time coming, soon after purchasing the motorhome most states went on lockdown for Covid-19. 

Two of our grandkids, Payton and Gavin were already visiting the other grandparents in Tenn., so we went down for a week and brought them back with us.

As we drove into our RV resort and setup, it's not hard to see why over 10 million people visit the park every year. 

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We got up early the next morning and headed to one of the popular drives in the Smokys, Caves Cove. The journey to Caves Coves was our first look through the mountains. There were streams and small waterfalls at almost every curve. I could have spent the whole day just exploring and photographing them.

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The wildlife loop offers spectacular views, with large pastures and  mountain ranges.

We saw a lot of turkeys, Gavin turkey hunts, and with the windows down, he starting calling them, and several came closer. He had all of us laughing with his turkey calls. We saw several groups of black bears; the bears stayed further out in the pastures, so I could not get any closeup pictures.

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One afternoon just the two of us took a drive on the Foothills Parkway. The Parkway skirts the Smoky Mountains and overlooks Wears Valley. It has been in construction for over 75 years, and will take another 25 years to complete.

Driving the Parkway, we saw some spectacular views. There were a lot of places to stop and photograph. Overlooking the valley, I thought this would be a perfect place for a sunrise photograph. 

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One morning we drove to Clingmans Dome. At an elevation of 6,643 feet, it's the highest mountain in the Smokies and is the highest point along the Appalachian Trail.

Once we parked the car, we started the walk up the paved trail to the observation platform. Luckily they had benches along the way to rest as it is a strenuous walk to the top.

As we arrived at the top, we were all a little disappointed, the clouds and fog were thick, and we really could not see anything. Well, at least we got our cardio workout for the day.

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One of my favorite places to see on our trip was Roaring Fork Nature Motor Trail. It's a small trail that makes you slow down and enjoy the walk as you cross over small streams and through wooded areas.

There are two accessible falls in the area, Rainbow and Grotto. We went on the 2.3-mile walk to Grotto Falls. The fall is beautiful, and you can walk behind the falls.

The Smoky Mountains are beautiful; we didn't even come close to seeing everything in one week. I want to go back in the fall and take the motorcycle. 

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Photography should be fun! It's not about the phone or camera brand you're using. Always remember, your best photographs are the result of one thing, making an effort to get out and shoot.

Comments always welcomed.
Mark