Archive for October, 2010

photo of the week:French Broad river

Posted in photo of the week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2010 by bayouphoto

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The East fork road runs alongside the French broad river. Take Hwy 176 south between Rosman and Brevard, NC then turn left on East Fork road. It comes out on Hwy 276 and you vam go left back to Brevard or right and go to the Dupont State forest by turning left on the cascade lake road.

Waterfalls

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2010 by bayouphoto

Due to physical limitations I was not able to see all the waterfalls I had planned. However the ones I did see were everything I wanted with the exception of Glenn falls and this was due to little water flow and physical abilities. Here are photos and descriptions of the ones I did see.

Bald river falls

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Bald river falls is in Eastern TN. Located on the river road off the Cherohala skyway. It is where Bald river dumps into the Tellico river. Viewing is right from the bridge with ample parking. It was rather crowded being a Sunday and in the fall. Well worth the sidetrip to see. Very easy access.

Small falls on tellico river

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Located down river from Bald river. If you continue south on the river road you will pass this small falls. You can then head east on North river road and intersect the Cherohala skyway in NC. The intersection is confusing. The road will go under the skyway then terminate at a “T” in the road. Take a right to enter the skyway.

Dry falls

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Dry falls is located in NC right on Hwy 64 between Franklin and Highlands. There is ample parking and a very handicap and wheelchair friendly observation deck. To really see the falls you must descend the steps and path. There is a rest area with a bench halfway down. it is possible to walk behind the falls and around to the other side. Due to vegetation it is not possible to see the entire falls now can you capture it without a mountain goat scramble to the bottom.

Glenn falls

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Located west of Highlands on Hwy 106 this falls had a very limited water flow at this time of the year. It also requires quite a hike down a switchback trail. I only made it too the top of the middle section. There was no way I could go to the bottom and then back up. It was not worth it at this time

Falls on French Broad river

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Located on Hwy 215 north of Cashiers, NC these falls are on the property of the Living Waters ministry. There is a small pull off just south of the buildings. Remember this is private property but they do allow visitors. There is an observation deck to the right of the red chalet house but the best view is by a short scramble down the river bank from the road pull off.

Hooker falls

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Hooker falls is in the Dupont state forest SE of Brevard, NC. Easy short hike along the river to the falls with a vault toilet along the way. Dupont state forest was the scene of filming for parts of the movie “The Last Of the Mohicans” mostly the river walk and waterfall scenes. I wanted to also go to Triple and High falls but they required a much more strenuous hike which I was not up to in a single day. If you want to see all three plus Bridal veil plan a whole day or maybe two.

Looking glass falls

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Looking glass falls is located on Hwy 276 between Brevard and the Blue ridge parkway. Parking is right by the road and there is a handicap/wheelchair viewing from the top. Of course the best view is from the bottom down a set of steps and a rock hopping out to the river. On weekends and October expect a crowd.

Tom’s branch falls

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Located in the Deep creek campground just north of Bryson City, NC. easy level path right out of the trailhead parking lot. It is where Tom’s branch dumps into Deep creek. The watrflow was not impressive but the setting was awesome. Nice wide well maintained compacted path with many benches to sit on. There are two other falls on the loop trai, Juney Wank and Indian creek. Once again they required a switchback hike I was not physically able to do.

Photo Friday: one a day

Posted in Photo Friday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by bayouphoto

The one photo from each day, of my trip, that moves me.

Saturday Oct. 16

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Chilowee overlook

Sunday Oct.17

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Hwy 64 in Tn.

Monday Oct. 18

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Falls on French Broad river

Tuesday Oct. 19

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Hooker Falls, Dupont state forest

Wednesday Oct. 20

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The graveyard fields, Blue Ridge parkway

Thursday Oct. 21

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Overlook on Newfound gap road GSMNP

Friday Oct. 22

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from the ride on the Great Smoky Mountain railway

Saturday Oct. 23

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Deep Creek GSMNP

Sunday Oct. 24

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Reflection in a lake, Robbinsville, NC

Tip Thursday: Things I learned

Posted in Tip Thursday with tags , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by bayouphoto

Things I learned on my photo trip to the Smoky Mountains.

Here are some tips and tidbits I learned while camping for 8 days.

It takes twice as long to set up and take down camp as you think.

Just because the map says it is only 12 miles to somewhere doesn’t mean it will take the same time to drive as flat land.

It gets darker faster and daylight slower in the mountains than at home.

Just because it has been dark for 3 hours does not mean it is time for bed.

32 degrees is a lot colder at 3000 feet than at sea level.

Air beds get very cold to sleep on without something between you and it.

A queen size leaky airbed is worse than a waterbed for two people to try and sleep on.

No matter how late always pitch your tent.

Always put on the rain fly.

Never, ever forget a bag of garbage in bear country. It will be the one time one visits your camp.

80% of the tourists are idiots.

Just because a skinny, in shape, 25 year old hiker says the trail is easy to moderate do not believe him.

Every waterfall requires a steep hike either uphill or down.

If the hike is downhill remember you have to come back up.

Just because it is October do not assume there will be no kids around.

The national park is VERY crowded during October.

Avoid Cades cove and Clingmans dome after 10 AM

If you are having a great day someone will screw it up

If you want to stay at Cades Cove or Catalocchie campground, in October, make reservations well ahead of time.

Cherokee, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are tourist traps.

Don’t drive into Cataloochie from the north along Hwy 32 unless you are in a small 4×4 and expect to take 3 hours to get there.

Joyce Kilmer Memorial forest requires an up mountain switchback trail to see anything worthwhile.It is not for fat old people with heart problems.

The Cherohala skyway and Blue ridge Parkway are very crowded on the weekends.

Hwy 276 and 215 along with Forest road 475 and 475B will offer you a more relaxed less crowded drive for fall colors.

Out of shape fat old people can not make all three waterfalls, in one day, at the Dupont state forest.

Biltmore house is just as expensive as it is grand.

I would recommend Chilowee campground in the Cherokee national forest, Davidson river camp just north of Brevard, NC,  Smokemont in the GSMNP, Deep Creek camp in Bryson City and Horse cove in the Joyce Kilmer forest.

Every creek up there is a photography treasure.

Know your physical limitations, We took a rest day after 4 days.

Take plenty of memory cards and a backup device

Cell phone coverage is very spotty

McDonalds is an excellent place for internet

NC wastes a lot of money on stupid, useless road signs. Dangerous curve after you have been through 30 in one mile, one lane bridge on a narrow dirt road, no passing where you can’t see around a mountain curve.

and finally 8 days is not nearly enough

Smoky Mountains HDR

Posted in HDR with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by bayouphoto

Some HDR photos from my recent photo vacation to TN/NC

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The canyon below Desoto falls, Al.

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Parkville lake at sunrise Cleveland, Tn

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Parkville lake

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Bald river falls, Tn.

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Small falls on Tellico river

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Lake between Franklin and Highland, NC

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Forest Heritage museum

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Old school house Reliance, Tn.

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Bridge over the Hiwassee river Reliance, Tn.

All photos were processed in Lightroom 3.2 and photomatix pro

Tech Tuesday: Invaluable hardware

Posted in Tech Tuesday with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2010 by bayouphoto

On my recent camping trip I used two pieces of hardware that I would have been hard pressed to do without.

The first was a Western Digital my passport 320 GB portable hard drive. The price of these has really come down. I got mine at Wal Mart for $59. Using it and my netbook running Lightroom 3.2 I was able to download and backup my photos, every day. This gave me great piece of mind. I took 757 photos in 8 days. It is small, compact and easy to use. It is USB powered so it runs off the computer without external power.

The other piece was also from Wal Mart. It was a Powerline 200 watt 12VDC to 110 VAC inverter. It simply plugged into the cigarette lighter socket and provided enough power to run a laptop, charge camera and cell phones and even run a small flourescent light. Not having electricity, every night, this also was invaluable.

Face it we live in an electronic age, even when camping. We are dependent on our electronic gadgets. These two devices will make life easier

Home

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , on October 25, 2010 by bayouphoto

We made it home last night around 9:30 PM. We cut the trip short as severe weather was moving in for the next few days and we didn’t want to be stuck in a tent. We had planned to visit a few more waterfalls and camp a few more days. I loved the campground at Horse cove. It is a national forest campground right across the road from the Joyce Kilmer Memorial forest. Nice place with flush toilets and a bubbling creek. I was disappointed with the Joyce Kilmer as the website and information does not say anything about the difficult up mountain hike on a steep switchback trail just to see anything. you must get all the way to the parking lot then start the trail to find out how difficult it is. It is not for the out of shape, fat, anyone with heart or breathing problems.

Later this week I will make a summary of the campgrounds, trails, sites and experiences from a disabled perspective.