Since the countdown has begun on the removal of the Madison Milton Bridge I thought I might share another image of the structure. I shot this one foggy morning last summer, deciding just to emphasize a part of the span that crosses the Ohio River. This bridge has offered me many beautiful artistic views , just not when I am crossing over it, and has actually created a lot of sales for me as well. It looks like the spring of 2011 will be the end of the line for this old beauty, it has served the area well and kept movement between Indiana and Kentucky running relatively smoothly for the last 80 years.
I have been very busy lately with basketball(which is drawing near an end) and I have also went back to work full-time as well. I have spent the last ten years as a stay at home dad but as my son begins his trek towards his teen age years I decided it is time to make plans for the future. If that is not enough I have also went together with another photographer friend and we are starting a photo business here in Madison, we have rented a building downtown and are now in the process of getting it setup, I will bring you more details on that in the coming weeks.
So hopefully I can squeeze in some time for this blog now and then and keep up with whats going on with everyone that stops by, take care and hope you have a great day !!
Click on image for best view.
While on vacation in the Smokys we found another great out-of-the-way trail to hike and that was the Chastain Creek Trail. The trail gets its start at the Smokemount campground on the North Carolina side of the Park. The trail actually starts with the Bradley Fork trail and after you travel about 1.2 miles you will come across a side trail which is the Chastain Creek trail, the trail is actually very easy to hike with very little elevation change which is rare in the Mountains.
The hike is very pleasant with most of it being an old roadbed that follows the Bradley Fork of the Oconaluftee River, you pass thru beautiful stands of Yellow Birch and lush moss and fern covered understory, you also share the trail with horses as well so you best mind where you put your feet. You soon arrive at the trail for Chastain Creek which veers to the right, the trail is well marked so you shouldn’t pass it.
After you enter the trail you will hike another mile before you come to an impressive slide in the creek, Chastain Cascade, it is wide spot in the creek where the water slides down a large rock formation for about 40 feet. We hiked it in the Fall which made for beautiful color and also we made the trek in a rainstorm which added to the beauty of the cascade. After taking a few images we made our way back down the trail only to be greeted with another sight I have not see before.
When you hike in the Smokys it is not uncommon to come across many wild animals, I have seen everything form whitetail deer to black bears and turkeys, I have also come across innumerable species of birds and even viewed many of the large number of salamanders which call the park home. But after we had hiked about a half a mile we came across something that I had not experienced before… Wild Boars !!
The rain had softened the sounds of us moving down the trail so when we happened across the boars neither them or us were aware of each others existence, so as you can imagine both species were startled by the encounter. Luckily for us the boar thought we were much more of a threat to them so they quickly vacated the area leaving us a little shaken by their presence, I have seen many bear in the park but these guys just seemed a little more intimidating to me than the average bear.
But no harm was done and of course my camera was in its backpack, were it usually is when I come across an unusual animal sighting. So if you are in the mood for a nice hike in the park give this trail a try you are sure to see a beautiful cascade and if you are lucky you just might come across a pig or two while you are out.
I hope everyone had a great Holiday season and that your life is getting a little bit back to normal, wish mine would, I just wanted to check in a let you know I am still kicking and post an image from my trip to The Great Smoky Mountains from last Fall.
Fall in the Smokys can be a magical time and this trip was no exception, the leaf color was not the best I had ever seen but was still beautiful just the same, but it was the creeks and waterfalls that were running way above normal which led to such a beautiful trip. The last few years the water levels had been low but lots of spring and summer rains help bring the water levels back up to their usual lovely flow.
One afternoon my family and I took a wonderful hike to Spruce Flat Falls in the Tremont section of the Park. The trail begins at The Great Smoky Mountain Institute and winds its way back thru the valley overlooking The Middle Prong of the of the Little River, the trail offers beautiful views of the heavily forested mountainsides and is an awe-inspiring trip. In the fall the leaves carpet the landscape with a vivid color palette and the spring adds the beautiful pastel colors of the Mountain Laurel and Azaleas.
The prize at the end of the hike is the wonderful waterfall known as Spruce Flat Falls, this waterfall has four sections that add up to nearly 125 feet, the image I am posting is of the biggest drop which is about 50 feet. It is a wonderful journey to the falls and on a long hot summer hike their may not be many better destinations in the park then here. The hike is not very rugged and most if not all people who try can get too it, and an added bonus is it is not overcrowded as are many of the other attractions in the park.
So the next time you make a trip to the Park why not get out of the car and make the hike to the Falls you will be glad you did !!