Thursday, March 15, 2007

Smoky Mountain high (very high)

I'm not a fan of high places. Well, I love the view from a high place, it's just getting there that unnerves me. You're talking about someone here who can get woozy taking an escalator. Climb up on my roof to make some repairs? Fuggedaboutit! I love lighthouses and I've climbed a few light towers that allow visitors to do so, and every time, about halfway up, my brain starts arguing with itself:

"Hey, there's a window."

"Don't look! It'll show you how high you're getting!"

"Isn't that the point?"

"Let's just wait until you get to the top."

"Are you crazy? Don't you know you can lose your balance and fall to your death from the top?"

"Don't bother me with that now, if I let go of the stair rail, I'll tumble backwards and break my neck long before that happens!"

"Then why don't you just turn around and go back down?"

"And let those kids that ran up the stairs ahead of me show me up? Wait, I'll consider it. (Peers down the center column of the spiral stairway to the floor way, way below.) Naw, that might kill me, too. May as well keep going. I'll worry about the return trip later."

"Have it your way, chicken."

I took this photo while standing on a 50-foot observation tower on top of 6,600 foot-tall Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It took a drive along a scenic mountain road with plenty of safety rails and a half-mile walk up a wide paved trail and a spiral ramp with high, thick walls and to get to this vantage point. It was as if it were designed just for me.

No internal arguing this evening. Just plenty of time to set up and shoot.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2007 James Jordan.


Miss Trashahassee said...

You never disappoint! Beautiful colors.

Will Williams said...

love the layers in the mountains, great landscape

Sheila said...

Beautiful. I love the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you think heights are scary, try going on a night nature hike with no flashlights that worked good enough to see a blasted thing. We did that when we visited the park.

Anonymous said...

Lived in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg for a very long time. Now residing in Illinois. Thanks for sharing the beautiful memories of the Smokies.

James said...

miss t: saturated colors are definitely a part of my style. Glad you like!

wil, the smokies are known for those layers - the native american name for the area means "waves of mountains."

sheila, I didn't mention the drive back down from the summit in total darkness! I think I got a good idea how your flashlight hike felt!

dari - beautiful area down there. Other than the traffic on the main road, had a very enjoyable time (stayed in wears valley in a rented cabin).