Mountain Vistas

US 441

US 441

On a recent trip north from Florida to the Midwest, I took a break from hectic Interstate travel to meander through Great Smoky Mountains National Park on US 441. Stretching across multiple mountain ridges reaching up to 6,643 feet the trip from Cherokee, North Carolina to Gatlinburg, Tennessee is only 34 miles. Unfortunately, my tight schedule limited me to just one day in the park, but views from turnouts on the road afforded breathtaking views of this mountain paradise. Misty blue mountain crests nestled behind each other as far as my eye could see invoking a sense of wonder.

Smoky Mountain Vista

Smoky Mountain Vista

Opportunities for exploration awaited my curious eyes at each roadside trailhead. Everywhere brooks burbled over polished rocks and rushed to lower altitudes.

Smoky Mountain Stream

Smoky Mountain Stream

Along one trail a root spread out over a rocky obstacle in weathered beauty. I couldn’t help but reach down and trace its growth with my fingers. How long had it hugged the soil? What stories could it tell?

Rotund Root

Rotund Root

Warm June days bring rosebay rhododendron bushes to bloom throughout the park. Their delicate pink tinged white blooms lure bees and eager photographers.

Rosebay Rhododendron

Rosebay Rhododendron Blooms

Rosebay Rhododentron Cluster

Rosebay Rhododendron Cluster

As I left the park, one little rocky pathway stuck in my memory. Its sheltered tunnel of branches and leaves still call me to investigate unknown forested mountain vistas, large and small. This appetizer from America’s most visited national park has only whetted my craving for the banquet that surely must follow.

Wooded Path

Wooded Path

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8 thoughts on “Mountain Vistas

  1. These photographs are absolutely amazing! You’ve definitely given me a desire to visit there someday too. Thanks always for sharing!

  2. Wow, Karen!
    Isn’t our daddy great? Look at the marvelous adventure you went on, accomplishing so much on different levels. Your photos remind me of how awesome the simple pleasures of life can be, if you take time to enjoy them. Your creative eye reflects the beauty of our creator! Praise God!

  3. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. This trip was truly amazing.
    I am enthralled, in constant wonder, and deeply moved by God’s glorious creation. I truly hope to somehow capture and thereby share bits of his reflected glory through my photos.

  4. Your pictures are amazing and once again your blog is a wonderful ‘pause’ for what would be a another stressfilled day. It makes me want to grab my camera and express myself! There is always beauty in His creation, isn’t God good?!

    • Thank you sincerely for visiting my blog. If my photos glorify God, then I am greatly blessed. His creation is a beautiful reflection of his character.

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