Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day Trip

On our long weekend getaway to SV/PF/GB we took an afternoon trip to Clingman's Dome. The last time we were there Emily was in a stroller and I carried Elizabeth up the mountain on my shoulders. 

We made a slight detour on the way through Sevierville to stop at the New Salem Baptist Church. I saw an article last week about the restoration effort, so I figured it needed it's picture taken. According to the sign out front: it was built in 1886 by African-American brick-mason Isaac Dockery, and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's the oldest remaining building in Sevierville and the second oldest church in the county. The church was built in 1886 for the local black community and remains Dockery’s most significant building. The Gothic Revival-style church was originally constructed as a Union church, which welcomed all religious denominations.
New Salem Baptist Church 6449 Henry Town Rd
Did I mention is was wicked hot in Sevierville when we left? The temp dropped from 93 in Gatlinburg to 63 when we got to the parking lot on top of the mountain ... 30 wonderful degrees. Aside from the views of the mountains, the most striking aspect of the area is all the dead fir trees. Imported beetle bugs are killing them. The grey-white trunks are striking against the greens and blues and browns.
Dead fir trees half-way up the mountain.
We finished the trek up the hill to the Dome. It was cool and breezy which felt great after the past few days of 90+ heat in the valley. We watched a rainstorm blow across the valley. The girls took some iPhone panoramas. I took this pic on the way down. See the guy in blue at the bottom of the ramp? He must have thought I was taking his picture ... he stopped, smiled, and held the pose until I moved ...xcllnt.
Clingman's Dome
We got back to the camper just in time for this post-rain-storm sunset reflection on the river. The clouds were moving pretty fast and the river was perfectly calm, so I knew this shot wasn't going to last very long ... I quickly set up, framed the shot, and just as I went to click the shutter ... a large couple in an inflatable raft came paddling (more like waddling) up the river, right through the center of the reflection. Son of a ...

I waited as long as I could for the water to settle down but the color was changing and the clouds were starting to cover the sun, so I took this one which has a lovely crease in the center of the reflection ... oh bother.
Pigeon River sunset

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