Sunday, July 10, 2005

Land of Wonder

This photo was taken shortly after sunrise in Wears Valley, adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains. The photo immediately below depicts what I saw directly behind me after I had taken this photo. I found myself literally surrounded by the beauty of God's creation.

U.S. Highway 321 rolls through 15 miles of valley from Townsend to Pigeon Forge. Along the way lie farms, country churches, cemeteries, a few gift and craft shops, eateries and lots of great scenic views of the Wonderland Ridge, minus about 30,000 people, which is the average number per day that visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Highway 321 provides a much less traveled route into the park.

For more than a century, enterprising individuals have tried to figure out ways to make a buck from this magnificent scenic area. A resort area was built near Gatlinburg at the turn of the 20th century and named Wonderland as a way of drawing folks in from the cities. The ridge running from Gatlinburg through Wears Valley became known as Wonderland Ridge. The mountain in the photo above is Wonderland Mountain.

Given what I saw and photographed here, the name Wonderland works just fine for me.

More photos from Wears Valley and the Smokies will be posted daily over the next couple of weeks.

Click on photo for an enlarged view. Copyright 2005 James Jordan

Playing tricks

Optical Illusions, Etc. features various visual illusions. Recently, one of my photos supplied some visual and mental trickery. Check out what Optical Illusions, Etc. had to say about it. Posted by Picasa


Just Wandering said...

I hiked the Appalachian Trail through the Smokies...beautiful! That's a great picture, I saw a lot of stuff like that later on the trail in Virginia.

Lauren said...

These photos are absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing them! I love the purple sky in the photo below this one! :)

Suzanne said...

Gorgeous photograph. It's almost surreal!