We are once again going back to 2008. This is our first Photo Safari Tour with the Van Os group. As we have mentioned before, we were scheduled to go to Antarctica in 2007, then Cemex decided to generously buy out Rinker Materials. This meant we needed to move back to the US from Australia, and the timing wasn’t right for a three week vacation. Fortunately, Van Os Photo Safaris didn’t stick us with the cost of the trip. They allowed us to trade for the equivalent value, which is how we ended up with this trip to the Smoky Mountains, Lou’s fall trip to Denali, and our trip to Spitsbergen in the Arctic.
20 April 2008
We joined up with the photo tour group at a nice hotel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I don’t recall a lot of details from this trip, except I do remember Lou had no underwear. In fact, Lou had no clothes because the airline lost his baggage (why is it always Lou’s stuff that gets lost?). We managed to make our first visit to a Bass Pro Shop, and get him enough clothes so he didn’t have to go naked in the woods.
This was also the first time we had ever participated in a Photo Tour of any kind. I had a little Panasonic camera that I played around with and ended up having lots of fun. I was really only there to accompany Lou, but this turned out to be the beginning of my interest in photography. Most of the photos in this report will be from Lou. He took these photos with his beloved Canon 1Ds DSLR – which unfortunately was stolen by baggage handlers on a later trip.
The first morning of the tour started before the crack of dawn. This was our introduction to Photo Tours with Len Rue, Jr. Len believes in getting up early, very early to go catch the light before and during sunrise. The photos that follow are Lou’s, taken from 5:30 to 6:30 am. And, we had to drive at least 30 minutes to get to this special spot.
Clicking on the images will bring up a larger version
And this next photo is one I snapped … Lou was either explaining something or waving a magic wand over the camera. You can see how dark it actually was this early in the morning when we started.
We will be back during the next few days with more from our tour of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (henceforth just the “Smoky Mountains”). It is another beautiful part of the country, and we would definitely like to return for an extended visit, instead of just a quick drive through.
NOTE: You can follow a specific trip – in this case, the Photo Tour of the Smoky Mountains National Park – by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page. It will take you to the next post about this trip, even if it wasn’t posted to the blog in chronological order.
Click HERE to see the rest of the day.