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Just curious if any of you guys had suggestions for a trip thru the Smokies (if the Fed shutdown ends by then), other than the tourist meca's like Cades Cove, Tremont, etc.? I hear a lot of good things about the drive up to Gatlinburg. I'm heading up that way from South FL for about 5 days, beginning the 19th, thru the 24th. I like shooting things as personal as creeks but also larger, "grand vistas" that are classic Smoky images.
Carl, The Blue Ridge Parkway would be one suggestion. It has the grand vistas being on the ridge and the approach roads have the creeks. Personally, I avoid Smoky Mtn NP because it is just too crazy. There are many local roads as well as forest service roads that can provide very similar photo ops. Traffic here has already increased. It's like a tidal wave in how it builds after the Sept lull. I rode my bike up Wayah Bald yesterday and saw more car traffic than I had seen the last month combined. Hopefully, the gov't shutdown will get resolved very soon and people will travel to their traditional spots and I can avoid the crowds during the week. Weekends are busy everywhere.
edit. If you intend to stay on the Tenn. side maybe Gary can offer some help.