We got to Tremont and started the hike about 9:30. If you haven't done this hike it is easy to find. Park your car at the Tremont visitor's center and there is a bulletin board if the visitor's center isn't open. It was a wonderful cool day for July. I have lived in East Tennessee all my life. My maternal grandparents both grew up and lived in what is now the park. I have always gone to the mountains but usually to see family. My aunt on my dad's side also lives in Gatlinburg and my Dad's parents retired there. I have visited all the familiar places all my life - Newfound Gap, Clingman's Dome, Cades Cove, Roaring Fork. I haven't ever really hiked much in the park. Mostly because I thought you had to be some super hiker and wilderness person unafraid of bears and snakes and being lost in the woods.
In the past year my photography has driven me to the mountains. I have been to new places like Greenbriar and the Chimney's wildflower trail and now Tremont. This hike had some hard climbing places but nothing dangerous. It was just a mile into the falls but it was a little slow going. It took us an hour to get to the falls.
Now the unexpected joy part. We had been walking for a while and wondering if we were getting close. We turned a corner and then headed downhill and then I heard them. The sound of rushing water is exciting. You knew there was going to be water coming over the falls if there was that much sound. I remember as they first came in view the joy, the big smile that came across my face. I had started this hike a little afraid, after all the lady at the visitor center said that someone yesterday saw a mama bear and 3 cubs on the trail. I didn't know what I would find so I just prayed that God would show me his wonderful world. And he did! The falls were beautiful. It was early and so there were only two people who were leaving when we got there and then the rest didn't come until we were ready to leave. It was like we were there by ourselves.
So most of my life living within 45 minute drive to the park and I have seen so little and have so much more to explore. Fear kept me only in the safe places. I never would have done this if God had not given me photography. It has brought so much joy to my life. Now I know He has so much more to show me and so many more pictures to give me.
I have told you about seeing God's in his world and and that leads me to seeing him in his Word. These two of my favorite verses came to mind.
Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (I pray that you let God restore your spirit and see the joy in his world, even in hard times.)
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life: in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right had are pleasures forevermore. (read with tears in my eyes for all the joy He has given me - Thank you, Jesus).
Below are some more pictures of this beautiful place. Click on the image to see the full picture.