Border Crossing

Lorraine and I have planned our 30th wedding anniversary celebration for many months now. We are heading down to a beautiful resort in Arizona for a vacation later this week. At least we hope we will be heading down to a beautiful resort in Arizona later this week.

Like many people, we have been watching the news on the swine flu particularly as the World Health Organization keeps raising the alert level. It is now at level 5 which means that countries should activate pandemic preparedness plans.

During the president’s news conference this evening, Obama was asked whether the borders would be closed. His response was that the “horses had already left the barn” meaning that closing the borders would not impact the potential proliferation of the swine flu.

Difficult to assess the risk of travel during this crisis. We have no concerns and we remain hopeful that the border will remain open for our departure on Saturday morning.

It Is All Downhill From Here

The morning commute at the Great Smoky Mountains.


It is hard to describe Gatlinburg in words. Perhaps a brief photo essay might do.

One reason to come here is for the scenery.


No issue if you have a large family. Cabins come in all sizes including supersized.


Gatlinburg is a great place if you are hungry. People will line up for food. Especially pancakes.


You never know what you might find on the main strip of Gatlinburg. A Fiji Mermaid perhaps?


And lurking nearby is God’s Corner. Which, in my opinion, is best found when hiking the Great Smoky Mountains.


Abrams Falls

I usually consult the web to get a sense of where to shoot landscapes when I travel. Photographers that have been out to places like the Great Smoky Mountains will share their experiences in terms of finding great spots to shoot.

Based on the advice of one of these folks, we drove three hours round-trip and hiked three hours round-trip to shoot Abrams Falls.

Only one little detail had been left out from the photographer’s experience of shooting Abrams Falls: the crowds. Even though we arrived quite late in the day — almost six o’clock — there were dozens of people milling around the front of the falls. Which meant that I really had no shot. I tried lots of different angles and perspectives and frankly only got one good frame. I suppose we could have tried the early morning run to beat the crowds. Lesson learned. If you want to shoot those particular falls, be on the trail head before sunrise.

The hike itself was wonderful. And I enjoyed the time with my family. Here is the one frame with an Ansel Adams treatment:


Great Smoky Mountains

A few more photos from our day hiking the Great Smoky Mountains yesterday.




Roaring Fork Motor Trail

Just returned from touring the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. A few photos from the evening. Lots more photos to process when I get back home.




On Top of Ole Smoky

We made the drive down to the Great Smoky Mountains in two days. First time taking Interstate 81. Great highway.

Weather for the week looks great although Sunday was a day of mist as you can see from the following photos. A couple of shots of the cabins and one shot of the view from our deck. Stunning environment.




March Break

Heading down to the Great Smoky Mountains for March break with the family. We will be taking the I-85 pretty much the whole way. Roughly 15 hours in the car.


We will be staying in a mountain cabin similar to the ones pictured below. Excellent views of the area and all of the cabins are built up high on the side of a mountain amidst the trees.



Last time we were here, we had a terrific break. Proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains, the tourist traps in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and the great log cabins.