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.
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.