I'm going to post a few photographs over the next few days of some spectacularly beautiful places I've visited in the past few years in my hikes, mainly in the Southern Appalachians. Just unique instants in time when Nature put together all of the ingredients to present me with a scene of beauty that stopped me in my tracks.
I took this shot on the Rainbow Falls Trail on Mount LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was March 05, 2005. When I'd started the hike in Gatlinburg Tennessee earlier that morning, the temperatures at 1200 feet were in the 50s. By the time I got near the 6,593-foot summit of LeConte, it was below freezing and the mountain was buried beneath the 17-inch snowfall that came down the night before. And the clouds were still dropping mild flurries as I hiked along. Mount LeConte is one of the most amazing mountains in the eastern USA, and I never tire of exploring its slopes.
This is LeConte Lodge, as seen from the trail leading to Myrtle Point near the summit of the mountain. Taken on the same trip as I was hiking up to the exposed rocks of Myrtle Point. I've long wanted to spend a night at the hike-in lodge, but have never been able to land a reservation. I hope to finally do so this year.