Autumn Stillness

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Autumn brings many changes to the forest. Often the explosion of color and the accompanying crowds of people lined up to gawk at the spectacle is too much for me. This year in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was no exception. The traffic was heavy and every pull-out and parking area filled with cars, tour buses, and campers. But everyone has a right to enjoy the park. So I have found a secret for seclusion that works most of the time. Hike in about a mile, then you will lose the crowd. Today was no exception even with the heavy fog. On the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail at 7:30 am there was traffic. So after a few miles I pulled off at the Baskins Creek trailhead and started hiking. At first there were people following along, but at my speed everyone passes me. Soon the fog thickened and I was alone. I found peace at last. For over an hour not one person passed. Yes it was a quiet, peaceful morning as I made my images in silence.