Gary Jones Photos | Blog | GSMNP (Day 3)
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GSMNP (Day 3)

GSMNP (Day 3)

HIlltop Hideaway Cabin



We have finally arrived at our cabin in the Smoky Mountains! We drove almost a whole day to get here from our overnight stay in Brownsville, TN – although the drive should only be about a 6+ hour drive. The main reason it took longer is that someone missed a curve in the mountains and went off the highway and the equipment to pull it back on the highway shut down traffic. So, we got off the highway and stopped to eat for about an hour while the traffic cleared up on the highway. We arrived at our cabin late at night so we didn’t get to see much of what was going on around us. Today though, we woke up to bright sunny skies and the start of some really nice color in the trees. With the temperatures set to drop 20 degrees tomorrow and rain I think we will see the color really start to come in over the next few days!


Today will be a day of getting situated for the most part.  Prior to heading out we’ll be creating maps of locations we want to shoot from Google Maps and getting all of camera batteries along with all of our other devices charged up.  We have an auto GPS to get us to our intended hiking locations and then a trail GPS to help us find our way back should we get off the trail too far to find it again.  We set our vehicle as a waypoint in the trail GPS to establish a place to “go home” to should we lose the trail.  Both of our GPS units are Garmin devices, but there are a number of good ones out there  and getting one is really a matter of deciding what features are important to you.


spot sattelite tracker

Depending upon how far off the beaten path you get, you might also consider a SPOT Gen 3 Messenger which is a satellite-based GPS unit that is made for helping Search and Rescue teams find you in a true emergency.  It has features that allow you to send updates to designated people and in the case of a life or death situation or medical emergency there is the SOS button that is routed to the nearest Search and Rescue unit and gives them your location.  Something to consider if you want a little extra piece of mind.


I took a quick run into town this morning for some breakfast items – and it took forever to find my way back. Having come in at night I didn’t have any reference points to go by and it took a while to get home. There are a lot of winding, twisting roads here without any shoulders on the road so you have to watch what you are doing closely. The sights or mountains streams, old barns and homes are everywhere and we will be leaving shortly today to go out and shoot some images. I’ll post a few from today’s shoot when we get back.

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