Cades Cove 2023, Scenic Splendor

July 04, 2023  •  1 Comment

Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in late April is a welcome jump into Spring for this Pennsylvanian.  The leaves are 3-4 weeks ahead of us and usually the temperatures are 20 degrees higher.  On this April 2023 trip, we were given cooler temperatures, cloudy skies, and many periods of rain.  No worries though, we made the best of it.

From Cades Cove, there is a road called Rich Mountain Road that leads into Townsend.  It is a one-way dirt road that winds up and down surrounding mountains with several switchbacks.  This is one of the views down into Cades Cove.  The church you can see in the photo is the Missionary Baptist Church which sits along the Cades Cove Loop Road across from the Rich Mountain Road entrance.

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNPView from Rich Mountain road

 

Morning sunrises in Cades Cove are especially beautiful after a night of dampness when the fog settles in the valleys.

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

Soon, the sun will burn off the fog and clear the view.  But hopefully not too fast!

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

Of all the time I've spent in Cades Cove over the last six years, I finally stopped for a photo of the Carter Shields cabin. There are always people streaming in and out but not on this dark morning.

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNPCarter Shields cabin

 

This home was built in 1879 by Leason Gregg, the Gregg-Cable House was the first frame built house in Cades Cove. This, however, is not it's original location. It was originally located on Forge Creek Road, and Gregg operated a general store on the first floor. Becky Cable would later use the home as a boarding house. Following her death in 1940 at the age of 94, the house was moved to the Cable Mill area, where you can see it today next to the visitors center in Cades Cove.

So, it's not a rustic log cabin or anything really very interesting to look at. I'm telling you about it because it (at least the exterior) was used in the 1970 movie "A Walk In The Spring Rain" staring Ingrid Bergman, Anthony Quinn, and Fritz Weaver. It is a love story about a couple, the Merediths, who move to an isolated farm. Mrs. Meredith and their neighbor, Will Cade, become friends and anticipate becoming lovers. There are a lot of scenes shot in Cades Cove at locations which are still recognizable 53 years later.

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNPGregg-Cable House

 

The Cable Grist Mill mill flume is located next to the Gregg-Cable House at the Cable Mill Complex.

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

The Smoky Mountains are one of the largest rainforests in the world. On early mornings or rainy days, the millions of native plants and trees give off vapors causing the "smoky" appearance.

So, when in the Smokies... you need to photograph the "smoke"! Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

The mountains are shaping the clouds because they force the air to move over or around them.

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

Many people would be sad if they went on vacation and were gifted clouds and rain.  Not me!

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

Another view from along the Cades Cove Loop Road.

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

Over 1,500 Black Bear call the Smoky Mountains home and several can be found in Cades Cove.  In fact, that is why many people go to Cades Cove.  It's funny to me to see people photographing a Black Bear, 300 yards away, in a field with their cell phones and the bear turns out to be a small speck in the photo.  They share it on social media claiming "I saw a Black Bear in Cades Cove".

This photo is the opposite.  It is not a photo of a bear in the Smokies, it is a photo of the Smokies with a bear in it.

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

The next six photos were made on a rainy morning while walking along Hyatt Lane in Cades Cove.  Again, I couldn't resist the "smoke".

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

After a day of off and on rain, the thick, dark clouds began to move away allowing the setting sun to shine down.

Cades Cove, GSMNPCades Cove, GSMNP

 

That's a wrap on this photographic trip into the Cades Cove landscape.  Look for my other two blogs created from photos, videos, and stories from this April trip to the Smokies.  You'll get to see one solely on my Black Bear encounters including some once-in-a-lifetime video and the other is about other wildlife encounters and a wrap-up video you don't want to miss.

Thanks for looking,

Dan


Comments

Carey Brinckman(non-registered)
Dan, you are truly a talented individual! thank you for sharing this wonderful photo essay with us! We have never visited GSMNP but this little history lesson inspires us to do so!
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