In a recent blog post from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I shared my favorite photos I took around Clingmans Dome. Even though Clingmans Dome offers sweeping mountain views of the undulating ridges that make up the Appalachian Range, what I remember most about the Smokies was the water and wildlife.
As a photographer, I personally prefer grand landscapes to intimate scenes and macro photography; a quick look at my portfolio and you’ll understand! In the Smokies, finding the grand sweeping views I love to photograph was much more challenging. So much so that I really had to push myself to change my photographic style and shoot more smaller scale, intimate scenes. In the Smokies, water abounds. Espcially around the Deep Creek area of the Park, that water became an often photographed feature.
Water is not the only thing that seems to be around every curve in the trail. Critters are everywhere, including the bears! Strangely enough, in all my hiking in Colorado, I’ve never had a face to face bear encounter. In the Smokies, I saw four bears in less than two hours! Two black bears were napping in trees, a giant one walked through a picnic area outside the Cades Cove visitor center, but the coolest experience of all was watching one little bear dig up and forage on underground bees’ nests! It was absolutely incredible to see bears living in their natural habitat, but now that I’ve moved to Wyoming and entered grizzly habitat, I hope I never see a bear in the wild ever again!