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Old 08-26-2007, 11:45 PM
Gerry Romer's Avatar
Gerry Romer Gerry Romer is offline
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Default Church

Some time ago we got into a discussion on this board about how places in the park can sometimes feel like going to church. I had mentioned in that thread that there was a special spot for me on the West Prong that felt like a cathedral. Well, I decided to go back to that church today. It was not a pretty picture.

There's this one spot that has a very special feeling early in the morning when the light is streaming in through the trees in front of you, coming in from the East. Here's my cathedral today...


Last time I fished here, I had to wade very slowly around the boulder that's just left of center in the photo. The water was almost waist deep. And that tiny little waterfall in the very center of the pic is where the dogs that were running loose jumped in to play while I was casting into the base of the falls.


On my way to church, I stopped just before the tunnel and snapped a few pics...










What is it about tunnels anyway? Why do people feel it necessary to honk their horns when passing thru tunnels?? Scared the s*#t out of me a couple of times while I was scrambling around the backside of the tunnel to snap these. If it gives you such a huge kick, why not just sit home in the garage with the door closed and honk away?!

Anyway, I continued up the road and stopped to hike up the primitive trail toward campsite 18. Before I headed up I crossed the road to take a pic of the stream as it comes out from under the road and heads down to link up with Laurel Creek.

See if you can find the West Prong in this picture...



Give up?? The above pic was taken from the North end of the bridge over the West Prong, right hand side of the road heading toward Cades Cove. Look just to the right of center... see that little whitewater trickle? That's the famed West Prong.



Anyone who's hiked in a few yards should recognize this beam... maybe not since you usually only see a few inches of it...





There used to be a pretty swift channel thru here...




That's about what's left of the West Prong.

After a visit to my cathedral, I headed up Tremont. I thought I'd see if I could find the Cascades. I couldn't. Walked right past them.

Met a nice couple from Michigan who had spent the past week hiking all over the park - literally! They had purchased a guide book for Smoky Mountain Waterfall trails and rattled off a laundry list of all the falls they had seen so far. They were sitting on a wooden log bench debating whether or not to take any pictures. They said they were looking for Lynn Camp Prong and I told them they were on it. Then they asked me if there was a waterfall on the trail and I had to tell them that they were a couple miles away from Indian Flats falls. I pointed to the bare rocks of the cascades and told them that we used to have a "Falls" right where they were looking. That little trickle down the left-hand side of the rocks used to be a full-blown waterfall. As we talked about the scarcity of water and the extended drought conditions and the toll it was taking... it started to rain. We stood there in the rain for about 20 minutes - getting soaked!

Once I get 'em organized and edited down to ten shots, I'll post some pics of Tremont. There's some scary skinny water there. I was especially blown away by the lack of water at Spruce Flats. You can now walk from the roadside, directly across the stream to the falls on the other side, without getting your boots wet. And this has always been a great spot for high sticking.

More to come.

Gerry
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:31 PM
Kodak Kodak is offline
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Default Great, but sad pictures!

Gary:

Thanks for the pics. My son is coming from FL in 10 days to fly fish. I will make sure he sees this.

Jim
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:12 PM
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For now, I would advise scouting the NC side of the park. Based on what some posters have been saying recently, it sounds like he'd do better over there.

I still hope to have some pics of Tremont up this evening.

Gerry
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:34 PM
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doghaircaddis doghaircaddis is offline
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Wow! It's been a while since I've seen those streams. I can't believe that.
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:48 PM
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Gerry,

Thanks for the pics. I have often thought of the outdoors as my church, whether it be the Smokies or a Key's flat at sunrise or sunset. It is amazing how familiar those pictures are yet at the same time totally unrecognizable. Look forward to pictures of Middle Prong, having spent many days on that strech of water in the past.

Drew
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