While my inner GPS appears to be damaged in the greater context of geographical space, it has nonetheless lead me to discover new places in both familiar and new settings. Navigating in this world with utmost spite and disregard to the little blue arrow on my smart phone gives me the opportunity to see the ordinary, every day sights from an unexpected perspective. I approach photography and writing with that same sense of discovery, bringing a unique point of view to all my encounters. And in case you are wondering, yes, I always reach my destination – but never the same way twice.
This was to be one of many such encounters as Barry and I wandered through Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Inching forward at 10 miles an hour along the 11-mile conveyor belt loop circumnavigating the broad valley, you are guaranteed to see wildlife if you peer beyond the bumper-to-bumper line of cars.
The rivers and tributaries of the Carolinas were the powerhouses behind the once thriving textile industry; they were also the means to accessing fresh water that kept the illicit liquor supplies flowing through these hills.
It might have been the rousing vodka soaked night of dancing on the sticky floor, or it could have been the spirit of Hank Williams sitting in a dark corner in the back of the bar below faded autographed snapshots of county legends.