Last week I got to share some pretty sweet views with some pretty sweet people(including my wife!).
We only got to spend a couple nights in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and I really feel like we made the most of it!
We started off by having a sweet dinner in Bryson City, then heading up to Clingmans Dome to check out the stars.
The fog up on the tower would completely shroud us in darkness for a few moments, only to brighten up a short while later. Here I caught beginning of a meteor. This was a good night for me in seeing meteors(I saw some HUGE ones!), but only capture this guy. Obligatory selfie of the wife and I. A three second shutter speed, and a really REALLY dim light to brighten us up. The Nikon 20mm 1.8G can really see in the dark!
As soon as the sun came up, I bounced! I got back to the hotel, ate some pretty horrible breakfast, and the wife and I headed up to Gatlinburg to grab a few things before the hike. I unfortunately left some of my clothes at home on the couch, and could make do with everything except the underwear I packed! We headed to the NOC and $30 later I was good to go!
The hike we picked was the Trillium Gap trail. It is 6.7 miles to the Mt. Leconte Lodge. The cool thing about hiking to Mt. Leconte is not having to pack any tent or sleeping gear! Somehow, my wife still made my pack heavy though... crazy how that works.
Some of the higher elevations had patches of nice color.
These badass llamas are responsible for supplying the lodge. Once at the lodge, we didn't have much time to chill before dinner. We got checked into our room, thought about how we should never have hiked almost 7 miles up a mountain while also thinking about how AWESOME dinner was gonna taste!
My camera isn't "travel friendly" (d750+28-300VR), so I didn't bring it into the dining hall. But you just gotta believe me, it was great food. Mashed potatoes, roast beef, some gross peach thing, green beans, and a cookie!
After dinner, my wife and I, joined by many lodge guests, went up to the Clifftops to watch the sunset. It is only a .2 mile walk up to the top and well worth it!
Like all other Smoky Mountain scenes, the fog would roll in and out, temporarily taking away our view, only to give it back again. Below, a couple of really cool guys enjoy some wine as the fog comes in.
After hanging out and shooting the breeze with some other folks in the lodge office, I let Ashley go to sleep while I milled about the lodge taking photos. There was quite a bit of fog, but some stars still shined through. The lodge on the right was where Ashley and I slept. You can see a big wave of fog coming in on the right. At these really high ISOs, only a little bit of light from a flashlight makes it look like a UFO has landed! The next morning we headed out for Myrtle Point to watch the sunrise. It is a little farther than clifftops at about 2 miles round trip. The wind was HOWLING, which made it difficult to include much foreground because of all the moving foliage. After taking the below photo, I shot pretty much everything else in the telephoto range.