Sunday, June 29, 2014

Driving in Great Smoky Mountain National Park

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Driving in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is really a sight to see. There is water near all the roads and I stopped to get a few pictures one the way to Elkmont for these. Smoky Mountain have something magical about them that just inspire me. I would go and hike for a week there if given the opportunity. The river's babbling over rocks covered in a carpet of green moss and the rhododendrons and laurel hanging over grasping for a little bit of light. Coming to the park again in the future is a must for me, I enjoyed it more then the beach and I don't think it will ever change my opinion about it. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sunrise over the Smoky's

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Some great sunrises in the Smoky's but more then likely there will be cloud cover, mist or fog. Still is an interesting landscape.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Cades Cove in Smoky Mountains

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Cades Cove is a very interesting place in the Smoky Mountain National Park. It is an open flat area that is in the mountains, like a cove. An isolated valley if you will. It was settled by people long ago before the park and there is still homes and churches to see within the loop you can drive. It draws in 2 million people a year! It has a 11 mile loop road that is one way that circumnavigates the entire area. There are also hikes a long the road that you can park for. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Laurel Falls in Great Smoky Mountains

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Laurel Falls is along the road between Gatlinburg and Cades Cove which was where we were spending the first night camping. Called Laurel Falls because of the Laurel in the area, it adds beauty to the areas 80 foot waterfall. The trail is paved the entire way to the falls which helps anyone attend. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Roaring Fork Motor Trail in Gatlinburg TN

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The Roaring Fork Motor Trail is an awesome trail/road that goes through the mountains and over streams not to far from Gatlinburg Tennessee. If you want to get away from all the bustle of the town take a drive along this road and enjoy nature in it's shady humid misty glory. Loved this road but remember it is closed in the winter. It is a one way road that has trails along it that you can park and hike. We completed Grotto Falls which can get really popular anytime and might be hard to find parking close to the trail head. Towards the end of the road you will cross over and follow the Roaring Fork (river) that goes all the way to Gatlinburg. There are also old buildings of historical significance that are along the road to check out.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Grotto Falls in Smoky Mountains

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Grotto Falls is off of the Foaring Fork Motor Trail which is a one way road that is a very short drive from Gatlinburg, TN. Trust me it is worth the drive to take it and this hike is really easy and pleasing. It is maybe 3 miles round trip. The misty environment and hemlock forest is really magical and something that I wouldn't get the opportunity to see in Shenandoah National Park.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Cedar Run in Shenandoah National Park

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Cedar Run is another great trail to see some minor falls and running water over rocks in the mountains. I did it part of the Whiteoak Canyon to Cedar Run loop trail which is 8 or 9 miles round trip but worth it. I did a post not to long ago on Whiteoak Canyon. Enjoy the photos.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

White Oak Canyon in Shenandoah National Park

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White Oak Canyon is one of the most popular waterfall hikes in Shenandoah National Park. It is a great hike and I did it as a look with Cedar Run on the way back down the mountain, refer to this link for the trail. There are 6 waterfalls ranging from 23 feet to 86 feet. Also if you like cold water to take a dip hike in swim trunks as there are decent pools under the falls but it may be crowded. I also parked at the bottom outside of the park. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple - Sagano

Adashino Nenbutsu-ji is located in Sagano part of Kyoto which is a nice area to travel around in. Kukai is said to have founded the temple in 811 and then it was altered by Honen. It is in an area that is believed the people use toe abandon bodies to the elements. Now there is 8,000 Buddhist statues that are around the complex to honor the dead and during a ceremony they light candles on 1,000 of them.

I was surprised that there were that many statues. 

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Taizoin Zen Temple - Kyoto, Japan

This temple is the oldest inside of Myoshin-ji temple complex. Was founded in 1404 by Muinsoin but he original buildings got burned in the Onin Wars. Now the dry garden there, Motonobu-no-niwa, has large and smaller rocks with evergreen. That was the original garden and the newer one with azaleas and the stream running down the center seen below was built recently in 1963-66 (recently in terms of temples in Kyoto). I nice garden to see and I am surprised that the azaleas that are seen here and trimmed so perfect that it looks like small hills of grass.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Traveling in Sagno and Arashiyama

The Sagano and Arashiyama area of Kyoto is lovely to walk around at. There is a bunch of temples and the area is gorgeous with some farms land between houses. I took a few pictures while I was walking around that I can show as I traveled between the temples and shrines. 

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Kyoto Botanical Gardens

Kyoto Botanical Gardens is a nice gardens that are located near North Kyoto. I passed on this my first time visiting but I decided to go this past time since I was wanting something different to do. It is next to the Kamo River and started in 1924 but was disused by 1946. Started back up in 1961 and as of recently contains up to 12,000 species of plants and a large conservatory that is shaped like Ginkakuji and surrounding buildings. I have a separate post for the conservatory since there is a lot inside there too. 

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