Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

Just outside of Nashville, Tennessee is the beautiful city of Franklin. One end of the Natchez Trace Parkway is located here. The parkway covers 444 miles through Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi with a very scenic drive. One of the sights not to be missed is the 145′ tall bridge. Opened in 1994 it spans 1,572′ as it crosses over a highway connecting tree-lined roadways.

Once I settled on a view that I liked I setup my tripod to take some photos. With such a wide scene a standard lens was not doing the job of capturing the entire bridge in one shot. I decided to try out my 8mm fisheye lens. This was going to do the trick! The bridge itself is pretty much straight across, however the fisheye lens added in some distortion which bowed it out slightly. I thought it looked cool so I kept shooting from different perspectives until I found what I liked.

This image was shot in February on a very gray cloudy day. There wasn’t a lot going on color wise, so I went for black and white to bring out the textures.

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A low angle view of the double arch bridge in Franklin, Tennessee.

A low angle view of the double arch bridge in Franklin, Tennessee.


The Old Homestead

In the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, there is a place where time has stood still. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a 6 mile one way loop road that will take you on a journey through lush forest and flowing mountain streams. Along the way you will find 2 waterfalls, grist mills, log cabins, and other historic buildings. Your senses of sight and sound will become overloaded. Around every bend there is something to see and rushing water can always be heard. Nature is at peace here. Different types of wildflowers bloom throughout the seasons to add splashes of color here and there.

The subject of this photo is known as “Jim Bales Place.” This charming piece of property has been preserved for future generations to enjoy. It is just one of many stops to get out and stretch your legs and enjoy the surroundings.

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Abrams Falls

Today’s post is of an image I took last year in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Smokies have to be my favorite place to visit. Everywhere you look there is something to photograph! 🙂 If you are a nature lover this is like Heaven. With so many trails to hike on it takes some time to really see it all. And speaking of hiking, to get to this waterfall takes a 5 mile round-trip. But it is so worth it. To get here you first have to enter Cade’s Cove, which is an exciting adventure all by itself. But once you get close to the start of the trail, you just don’t want to turn back. The trail is next to the river in some parts and surrounded by lush forest. The day I chose to go, the fog was really thick. Of course that just made it more enchanting to walk through the woods. When I arrived at the falls, I was awestruck at the beauty before me. While it’s certainly not one of the tallest waterfalls around, it definitely can hold it’s own. The pool at the bottom leads your eyes right to it with the rocky textures all around. This is a place where you can spend a lot of time just enjoying what’s around you. I actually found it a little difficult to concentrate on taking pictures because I didn’t want to miss out on seeing all the beauty in nature that was there. But I was able to divide my time to enjoy the whole experience. This day reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Info from the web:

Abrams Falls
Although Abrams Falls is only 20 feet high, the large volume of water rushing over falls more than makes up for its lack of height. The long, deep pool at its base is very picturesque. The waterfall and creek are named for Cherokee Chief Abram or Abraham whose village once stood several miles downstream.

The trail to the falls traverses pine-oak forest on the ridges and hemlock and rhododendron forest along the creek. The hike is 5 miles round-trip and considered moderate in difficulty.

Cedar Bluff United Methodist Church

On my quest to find this bridge I came across this quaint church. I was driving out some beautiful country roads just outside of Sevierville, Tennessee and had to stop and take pictures. I am a sucker for architecture and I love churches! The setting of the hills and farmland really gets to me. This was shot in March and the trees were still bare as the temperature was still pretty cold.

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Bald River Falls

To get this shot required a long day of driving. I started out in Gatlinburg, Tennessee early in the morning and drove through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Townsend. From Townsend I picked up the Foothills Parkway to Chilhowee where this shot was taken on a previous day. Not far from here is the beginning of the exciting “Tail of the Dragon”.  Biker enthusiasts from all over travel to drive this spectacular winding road that covers 318 curves in 11 miles.  I ventured through here and it was an awesome drive in a car. Riding a bike through there one day is definitely on my bucket list!  At the end of the “Dragon” I traveled on to Fontana Dam in North Carolina and ended up in Robbinsville to drive across the beautifully scenic Cherohala Skyway, it was absolutely breathtaking.  Before reaching the end of the skyway I saw a sign for a waterfall. I decided to take that road and see what I would find. The road to get to the falls is an old service road that runs along the river with LOTS of photo opportunities along the way. When I finally arrived this is what I saw!

This spectacular waterfall is situated in the Cherokee National Forest. Cascading down over the rocks at about 100 feet the sound of the rushing water is something to behold in person.

I ended the day with an awesome bar-b-que sandwich at a little family restaurant called “Nut-n-Fancy” in Tellico Plains, Tennessee.  Then I came full circle back to Gatlinburg after a very long, not planned out day of exploring.  Started the morning just seeing where I ended up – My favorite kind of day!