Rebirth in Great Smokey Mountains, Zoom-in Version

 

There is a wonderful five mile one-way roadway just east of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the foothills of Mount LeConte, the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, at 6,923 (2010 m.) The auto turn-outs allow access to old growth forests, streams, waterfalls, wildlife and more. Recently, Sandy Paws and I found unexpected tranquility, and almost complete silence, among the resurgence of forest life, ten months after devastating fires sorched the region.

A short walk from one of the turn-outs, leads to a small summit, elevation 2,900 feet (884 m) as shown photographically in the last picture above, and located on the topo renditions here.

Special thanks to Crow Canyon Journey and Jessica for zoom-in attributes, and Le Conte spelling respectively! M ūüôā

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M ūüôā

 

Rebirth in Great Smoky Mts. – Serenely Beautiful

DSC_0314    See updated version of this post (with Zoom In capability)  here

A wonderful five mile one-way roadway just east of Gatlinsburg, Tennessee, in the foothills of Mount LeConte, the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains, at 6,923′ (2010 m.) The turn-outs allow access to old growth forest, streams, waterfalls, wildlife and more. Recently, Sandy Paws and I found unexpected tranquility in the resurgence of forest life, ten months after¬†devastating¬†fires scorched the region.¬†

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A short walk from one of the turn-outs, leads to a small summit, elevation 2,900 feet (884 m) as shown photographically in the last picture above, and located on the topo renditions here.

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Thanks as usual for viewing, and click on for a closer look. Comments are always welcomed. M ūüôā

The Hudson River, Presidents, and Ghosts

A while back I pondered the source of the Hudson River, coursing 315 miles from the slopes of Mt. Marcy, (the highest peak in the Adirondacks of New York State,) to the southern tip of Manhattan. So I went there!

At 5,348 ft (1,629m) Mt. Marcy and other mountains of the High Peaks Region shed snow melt and rainwater via¬†thousands of trickling rivulets, forming creeks and streams that feed¬†Henderson Lake, 7.5 miles (12 km)¬†ESE of Marcy’s summit.
ABOVE: A portion of pristine Henderson Lake, of which its out-flow is considered the named start of the Hudson River. Folklore cites a small glacial pond, “Tear of the Clouds” (about 7 miles to the ENE, and higher up on the southern slopes of Mt. Marcy,) as the source of the river, spurring a debate based on “longest length,” vs. “highest elevation” as¬†relevent¬†to proper¬†naming.
¬†Immediately¬†coming out of Henderson Lake, this¬†stream¬†is officially the first water known as the “Hudson River,” seen from the first bridge. A¬†hiking trail¬†to the High Peaks starts here.¬†
Just south, the Mac Naughton Cottage, is one of a dozen or so abandoned buildings on the west bank of the “Hudson River.”

In¬†1827, a mining operation was begun here. Although certainly not a concern at the time, it¬†arguably affected the¬†downstream quality¬†of the¬†river. ¬†(Subsequent pollution sources, such as PCB’s far out-weighed the environmental impact¬†in later years but nonetheless, this operation was large, and spewed mountains of slag and tailings which are still prominent¬†today.) ¬†The initial venture closed in 1857 due to transportation costs and….mysterious impurities in the iron ore.¬†Many years later,¬†MacIntyre Mine as it became known, was obtained¬†by NL Industries, and before closing permanentaly in 1982 produced over 40¬†million tons of titanium ¬†…the strange impurity in the iron ore. ¬†See¬†here¬†for more information. 1982 would mark the end of mining¬†activity¬†leaving behind the Tahawus Ghost Town¬†.

Slightly over 300 miles to the south, the George Washington Bridge is the last span over the Hudson River, as seen in the header image. 

An interesting side note from this area is depicted on the nearby signage shown below. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was vacationing¬†at the above cottage in 1901. He was advised while hiking on Mt. Marcy, that the current President, William McKinley, had taken a turn for the worst after an assassination attempt the week before in Buffalo, several¬†hundred miles away.¬†Determined to get to the President’s bedside as soon as possible, Roosevelt¬†and a driver risked¬†treacherous¬†and frightening overnight conditions¬†on a horse drawn¬†buckboard to the nearest railroad connection in North Creek six¬†or seven¬†hours away. ¬†During this time, at 2:15 AM, President William McKinley succumbed, as¬†Roosevelt was still negotiating the dark, back country terrain. Contrary to the wording on the sign and elsewhere, he would be sworn in as the¬†26th President of the United States later that day in Buffalo.¬†

Note: At the time of my visit I shot these photographs on film.  Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M :-

1958 Thunderbird – This Guy’s First Car

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Seventeen came with the privilege to drive Р a legal license for  liberation, freedom, wondrous opportunities to explore with friends or a date, and a major lifestyle advantage. But it would take 20 months before I would actually buy my very own car, a  1958 Thunderbird.

Unfortunatly with this particular great looking coupe, I had quickly become owner of an aging, poorly maintined chasis with unsettling grinding sounds, clunks and bumps and  serious (expensive) mechanical failures deemed likely. Bought relativelty inexpensively  for $500, partly financed by my older brother, I parted unscathed with a slight profit a month later.

¬†But for those few springtime days of happily¬†cleaning and waxing …while¬†ambitious aspirations and fanciful daydreams played along with its radio, this beautiful¬†classic car was mine.

 I wish I had it today.     

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M ūüôā

Changing Seasons and Summer Memories

Eleven years ago this week, returning to New Jersey from a business trip to Rhode Island, I stopped by this charming little 19th century coastal community known as Watch Hill, RI. Among the shuttered and closed buildings was this Book and Tackle shop 

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At the time, I wrote of the¬†town’s story and the unique practice of the shop,¬†¬†its signage asking ¬†patrons to simply take what thay want… and leave a¬†payment under the door.

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Although more extensive, and unwanted development never occured, the Book and Tackle Shop, as seen to the left above, is now gone.

 

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The Seaside Merry-Go-Round stood empty, stripped of its carousel figurines and “summer glow and song.”

ūüôā Thanks to Gina for the framed gift. ūüôā

..As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M ūüôā

 

Martha’s Vineyard – Gay Head (Aquinnah) Lighthouse

This past week we visited Martha’s Vineyard, a quaint, picturesque island just off the southern coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts¬†

Overlooking the Gay Head Cliffs, the original lighthouse (circa 1799) was modified several times to LOWER the light as to render it more visible underneath frequent fog. The current brick version dates back to 1855 and was moved a short distance away from the eroding cliffs in 2015.
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Above: The view from atop the lighthouse.
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The beach at the base of the sacred cliff is open to hiking, but protected under modern land treaties of the original Wampanoug tribe, ancestors of whom date back over ten thousand years.

A few more photo highlights of our ~48 hour visit will be posted shortly.

Credits: Wikipedia, The National Park Service, and Wampanoug Tribe info panels.

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M ūüôā