REVISIT: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

“A man can stand almost any hardship by day, and be none the worse for it, provided he gets a comfortable nights rest; but without sound sleep he will soon go to pieces, no matter how gritty he may be.”

-Horace Kephart

Now is as good of a time as ever to hit the archives. The world is at a standstill putting everything wanderlust folks like myself enjoy doing on hold for the good of humanity. The sooner and more responsible we all act the sooner we all get to hit the road again venturing to far off places and exotic lands. But in the meantime, it’s a blessing in disguise to go back and reflect on all the places we’ve been, people we’ve met along the way, and using some of this time to prepare and plan our future expeditions. Not to mention, a time to reflect on all that we actually have, where the little things we realize really aren’t so little, but greater than we may have imagined.

For the following 30 days (or whatever length of time we have until traveling is deemed okay again) I am going to revisit previous adventures. During these revisits I may or may not utilize newer and updated post-processing skills acquired over the past 5 years of landscape photography.

For your information, if you have not heard of Horace Kephart as quoted above, I highly suggest you grab a copy of ‘Camping and Woodcraft’. To start, other than being the director of the Saint Louis Mercantile Library, he had a strong hand as an advocator in establishing Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So, on that note, today, we are headed into the Great Smoky Mountains!

The Great Smoky Mountains are truly magical. It wasn’t until 3 years ago that I had spent time there since being a VERY young child and establishing proper memories there. We were headed to South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island for a family vacation and the Smokies were the perfect midpoint pitstop for an overnight en route from Duluth, Minnesota.

This first visit since before I could remember made a lasting impression as the park showed off during our entire visit. Upon arrival, the moodiness of the low-lying mist and clouds added to the dramatic vistas that one would expect to see in this mountainous region and why it is so aptly named.

Camping at one mile high made for excellent sleeping weather even in July. It felt more like northern Minnesota at that altitude and even looked the part with the various conifers blanketing the mountaintops. I immediately fell in love with this park and have continued revisiting on semi-recurring bases. Returning for backcountry backpacking trips along sections of the Appalachian Trail and more overnights to and from South Carolina.

Eventually we will all be able to return to these places we love. And I hope this whole virus deal makes us grow closer to humans and less time on our social media apps. We’re pretty well conditioned to this social distancing lifestyle if you think about it. I, for one, have been practicing this with my time spent in the outdoors. Though, because of this, for some reason I want to be nearer those who enjoy the outdoors also.

I’m ready to go on another grand adventure. For the next 30 days when I am not working on marketing my photography business, I will be anxiously working on my truck projects to get things tightened and buttoned up for the next big shoot.

So as I we go through the next 30 days, I’ll be taking you on journeys into the past to lands you may or may not have been. We’ll go all over North America until this blows over and the adventures continue. So for now, enjoy these images I have re-processed from a Smokies adventure three years ago.

Do you have any travel plans for whenever this virus ends? What are you doing in the meantime to prepare for future travels? If you are a photographer, what and where are you photographing that may be different than what you normally shoot? Let me know in the comments below!

To add: use code “spring20” to save 20% on your purchase from my website.

Stay safe out there all.

—Jake

2 thoughts on “REVISIT: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  1. Put the “smoke” in Smoky Mountain! Awesome selection of photos which really bring out the spirit and subtlety of these grand summits. Bravo!

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