Trips: Smoky Mountain Fall 2016 - Before The Fire

Fall was very late arriving to the Great Smoky Mountains thanks to unusually warm weather.  Peak color in some areas was several weeks late.  But the fall foliage was spectacular the air dry and crisp.  What I could not appreciate was that the incredible drought that has afflicted this region would just a few weeks later allow many of the areas depicted in these photographs or nearby to be subject to a raging wildfire that in barely a day would burn some 15,000 acres, destroy more than 700 buildings and take more than 10 lives, fueled by winds that reached nearly 80 mph.  

Roaring Fork Overlook, 2016

Autumn Overlook, 2016

Roaring Fork Overlook, 2016. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Saturated autumn colors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Autumn Forest

Saturated autumn colors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Fall colors surround Bug Ogle cabin along Roaring Fork.  The cabin was built in the 1880s is one of the earliest "saddlebag"...

Bud Ogle Cabin

Fall colors surround Bug Ogle cabin along Roaring Fork. The cabin was built in the 1880s is one of the earliest "saddlebag" homes, essentially two structures joined by a common chimney. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Autumn's gold reflects in a quiet waterway, Great Smoky Mountains 2016.

Autumn Reflections

Autumn's gold reflects in a quiet waterway, Great Smoky Mountains 2016. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Autumn leaves color the always enchanting Roaring Fork Motor Trail.

Autumn Drive, Roaring Fork

Autumn leaves color the always enchanting Roaring Fork Motor Trail. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A pine catches the maple leaves as they fall to the ground.

Pine Leaf Catcher

A pine catches the maple leaves as they fall to the ground. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Highway 441 twists and curves through the autumn forest.

Autumn Drive, Great Smoky Mountains, 2016

Highway 441 twists and curves through the autumn forest. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Few autumn drives can compare to a late October drive in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Autumn Drive II, GSMNP

Few autumn drives can compare to a late October drive in the Great Smoky Mountains. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Sparks Lane is beautiful in all seasons, especially this autumn morning in Cades Cove.

Sparks Lane, Autumn 2016

Sparks Lane is beautiful in all seasons, especially this autumn morning in Cades Cove. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Autumn Colors fade near this historic church in Cades Cove.

Autumn Church

Autumn Colors fade near this historic church in Cades Cove. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A nice place for a walk

Sparks Lane II, Autumn 2016

A nice place for a walk. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Autumn leaves cling to the large wheel that turns the mill from which flour has been ground for a generations in Cades Cove.

The Mill

Autumn leaves cling to the large wheel that turns the mill from which flour has been ground for a generations in Cades Cove. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A large black bear walks quietly across a carpet of fallen leaves.  Autumn is a time of year when bears feed almost around the...

Black Bear on an Autumn Carpet

A large black bear walks quietly across a carpet of fallen leaves. Autumn is a time of year when bears feed almost around the clock in preparation of the long winter ahead. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Autumn leaves and needles lie, scattered, along Cades Cove road.

Cades Cove Autumn Drive

Autumn leaves and needles lie, scattered, along Cades Cove road. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A large black bear and her cubs forage for nuts that have fallen from the oaks that thrive in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Autumn Bear

A large black bear and her cubs forage for nuts that have fallen from the oaks that thrive in the Great Smoky Mountains. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Two cubs shake before they compete in their tree climbing escapades.

Black Bear Partners

Two cubs shake before they compete in their tree climbing escapades. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Autumn reflects in the still waters of a pond remaining in this mountain stream.

Autumn Stream Reflections

Autumn reflects in the still waters of a pond remaining in this mountain stream. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Carlos Campbell Overlook offers a spectactular autumn view of Leconte Mountain, and an even better chance to visit with a friend...

A Place to Share with A Friend

Carlos Campbell Overlook offers a spectactular autumn view of Leconte Mountain, and an even better chance to visit with a friend. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A view of the popular Chimneys in autumn.  Sadly, not long after this a large fire started atop these Chimney tops that destroyed...

Autumn Overlook, 2016

A view of the popular Chimneys in autumn. Sadly, not long after this a large fire started atop these Chimney tops that destroyed countless acres, killed numerous people and threatened the nearby town of Gatlinburg. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A colorful autumn ridge in late October

Autumn Ridge, Great Smoky Mountains

A colorful autumn ridge in late October. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Infrequently visited and explored, the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains offers numerous waterfalls and stunning autumn...

Deep Creek Autumn View

Infrequently visited and explored, the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains offers numerous waterfalls and stunning autumn views. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

An autumn understory radiates in yellows and golds.

Autumn Understory, Great Smoky Mountains

An autumn understory radiates in yellows and golds. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Autumn greens and yellow reflect in a mountain stream.

Green Reflections

Autumn greens and yellow reflect in a mountain stream. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

An autumn canopy yawns over Highway 441 in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Above the Highway

An autumn canopy yawns over Highway 441 in the Great Smoky Mountains. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Autumn's colors can be appreciated in the tree tops, and in the waters in which they reflect.

Reflections 2016 I

Autumn's colors can be appreciated in the tree tops, and in the waters in which they reflect. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Autumn reflections in a quiet mountain stream.

Reflections II 2016

Autumn reflections in a quiet mountain stream. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Still waters colored by autumn's reflections.

Reflections III 2016

Still waters colored by autumn's reflections. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Golden greens reflect in the Little River.

Reflections IV, 2016

Golden greens reflect in the Little River. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Pastel reflections in the Little River

Reflectons V, 2016

Pastel reflections in the Little River. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.