Scenes from the Great Smoky Mountains

I did a spontaneous 650 mile / 1040 kilometer - 10+ hour solo road trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I left Orlando at 7:30 in the evening of Thursday and got there around 7:00 in the morning of Friday. That consisted of three gas stops and breaks and being pulled over twice by the cops! I was exhausted when I got there. Thankfully (for this particular case anyway), it was really cloudy that morning so there was no sunrise to witness, so I slept for about an hour in my car before starting my day exploring and taking photos.

I spent most of the first day going around Cades Cove Loop which was an 11 mile road inside a valley with the mountains all over. I saw a ton of deer and bucks here and it was pretty much foggy the entire time. The adrenaline and excitement from the beauty of it all made me forget the need for sleep and food until about 2:30 in the afternoon. Stopped by the hotel to check in and leave my stuff there, grabbed a quick bite, decided to skip the nap, and headed out again to take photos! I drove the the mountain road called Newfound Gap and spent the sunset to early evening there taking long exposures of the valley below! Headed back to the hotel and all I could think of was sleep! It was an awesome first day!

Photographed by: Paolo Nacpil