Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail - Gatlinburg, TN

Roaring Fork Motor Trail

This is one of my personal favorite shots. I had read about the Roaring Fork Motor Trail near Gatlinburg, TN in a travel book. One whole paragraph was dedicated to it. Intrigued, I did my research and found little more information. Definitely the kind of place I was looking for so I planned a whole trip around it.

I drive a fairly large SUV, with a manual shift, mostly in Florida. When I pulled up to the entrance I suddenly realized that was going to be a problem. The motor trail is a one way goat path of steep hills and wicked sharp turns punctuated by poorly placed trees and ridiculous drop offs. Oh, and it was raining. Trees scraped my car in the first five feet. They did say "narrow" in the tour book.

I was so alone on this trek, I thought several times I may have been on an abandoned road heading for a great fall. At least twice I had to exit the vehicle at the top of a hill to see if the road broke left or right. From the drivers seat it just disappeared entirely into the mist.

But then there was the scenery. I would have walked this road to enjoy this beauty. There are plenty of pull outs but as I saw 4-5 cars the whole two hour trip, I could have stopped anywhere. The only thing I neglected was a picnic lunch.

So about this picture. I always wanted a shot like this. There are several possibilities along the roadway but this one was the most accessible for a flat lander. Even so it was a step climb to the creek. To add just a bit more stupidity and danger to the shot, I stood on a rock in the rushing water, in the rain, to take it.

The lovely picturesque moss on those rocks is slipperier than ice and even with my hiking boots, I managed a hard and muddy fall. I kept the camera safe by taking the brunt of the impact on my hip.  As luck would have it, one of the few passing motorist witnessed the incident and offered assistance. "No Thanks", I said through the tears. "I'm fine".

I will take better shots than this in the future but without the painful back story I hope.

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