We attempted going to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains, yesterday.
We - also - attempted taking two four-legged family members with us.
( They can't leave the area of parked vehicles - but we figured they'd appreciate the ride! )
We should have waited until Dwayne's next round of days off.
We - also - should have hired a babysitter - for the kids.
It was a mess up there. I would be talking about all the vehicles having NO 4x4 to get through such terrain.
The green leaves? They would be Rhododendrons - an average of - at least - 12 feet high - and more.
They are huge - and so beautiful when they bloom in the summer.
This photo was shot at the Rest Area just outside the entrance to the 11-mile Loop called Cades Cove.
We took a break - to give the dogs a break - before turning around to head back.
We never made it through the Loop - again.
In fact - we never made it through the gate entrance. The Rangers had closed Cades Cove down.
( That snow piled on those fat branches - about 1-foot deep ! )
One can only imagine - but - there must have been one really terrible situation happen in the Cove. We've been through the Loop in even worse conditions - having to ask our 4x4 to give all she had by the time we got to the backside of the Loop.
This would be - another patch of those beautiful humongous Rhododendrons!
It amazes me - how many people - actually - stand underneath those gigantic - ice spears - to have their pictures taken!
I - for one - prefer not playing Roulette with possible Impalement. Some of those puppies are taller than Moi'!
That would be solid ice - a frozen waterfall.
This is what most of us call - " The Wye " - where you reach the far side of Townsend and must choose - right to go to Cades Cove - or - left to go a very scenic route to Pigeon Forge - Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By the time we made it to this point on our way back out - Park Rangers had closed the Entrance gate. That was approximately 4pm.
That would not be pollen you see there in the water.
That would be ice. And we found sheets of ice all along both sides on the banks of the Little River.
It was a really nice drive from Loudon. Enjoyed what we did manage to see. And I think all FOUR of us appreciated getting out of the house - and away from the rut - for a change!
Here's some video I shot with my digital camera.
I would have processed the portion shot at the gate - showing all the mass confusion from everyone turning around - but...
Dwayne became - well - upset - and - had no idea that I was recording - with sound turned on.
" That's okay, Honey! I'm sure you weren't alone. "
" No - really. I'm absolutely positive! "
" Love You, Dwayne! "