For the last dozen years my wife and I have been pursuing a quest to visit much of the US National Park system. So far we have been to 34 of the 63 parks. I'm sure that to no one's surprise, our travel plans for last year got scrubbed. Instead of flying out west, we decided to travel elsewhere by car instead. One place we visited was Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a new one for us.
I found a book about where to photograph in the park. I always try to use a resource like that when I am researching a trip. We planned to stay seven days, four on the south side of the park in Cherokee, NC, and three in Gatlinburg, TN. We had a list of waterfalls, mountain views, and original buildings from settler days to visit from both locations.
One of the places on the North Carolina side was Mingus Mill, which used a water wheel to turn a stone and grind grain. We went there in the morning since the location was heavily wooded and we hoped to avoid harsh mid-day sun. When we arrived, there were two other photographers there with tripods. A long sluice collects water from the nearby stream and carries it to the wheel. We all wanted to shoot along the sluice and I had to wait my turn. The water channel made a nice leading line to the mill. We were there in October, so we also had some nice color from the surrounding trees.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor