Sunrise from Sparks Lane

Sunrise from Sparks Lane © William Britten use with permission only

Today is my wife, Sarah’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Sarah!

Last week we got up very early … before 5am … and drove over to Cades Cove to walk along the Loop Rd as the sun came up. It was one of the days when the loop is closed to car traffic until 10am, which makes for a delightful walk in a special place. These Smoky Mountains photos were some of the sights we saw along our walk.

The photo above shows the sun peaking into the eastern end of the Cove, seen from along Sparks Lane.  Below are a few of the horses from Cades Cove Riding Stables relaxing in the morning mist before their day gets started.

Riding Horses Relaxing

Riding Horses Relaxing © William Britten use with permission only

As we walked along before the sun came up, a group of deer crossed the road in front of us, headed for the woods after a night of grazing. The sounds around us were so quiet, and the smells of earth so welcoming. We talked about how these are moments like no others, and ones to be savored.

Below is a shot from the backside of the loop road, showing how wonderful it can be early in the morning without bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The walk we did was a 4-mile loop taking the Sparks Lane cut-through. Walking on out to Hyatt Lane would make for a longer 7 or 8 miles, and of course you could walk the entire loop road for an 11 mile excursion.

If you are visiting the Smokies on vacation, please consider a stop at the William Britten Gallery along the historic Arts and Crafts Trail on Glades Rd. in Gatlinburg. My complete collection of Smoky Mountains photos is on display and may contain a special memory for you to take  home. Most days either Sarah or I will be there to greet you.

Quiet morning along the loop road

Quiet morning along the loop road © William Britten use with permission only

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  1. Jean Lloyd

    A wonderful time of day to wander through God’s beautiful creation. Just looking at these makes you feel so comforted and blessed. Thank you very much for sharing these pictures. Sarah, may you have a Happy Birthday, sharing it with family and friends doing things that give you joy.

  2. Jessica P.

    This is an older article that I happened to stumble upon, but I wanted to thank you for it! I will be camping at cades cove next month (yes, in the freezing cold!) and will be doing several early morning hikes/walks. I hope I am as blessed as you with the sights!

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