Smoky Mountains 2017 Day 1 – Husky Gap Trail

First day of an extended weekend trip to the Smokies.

Janet and I had done a very similar trip to this before in 2015, so it was relatively predictable.  Drove overnight Wednesday to get to Gatlinburg and then got a hotel on the outskirts of Smoky Mountain National Park to do some hiking and picture taking.  The 2017 version started a bit later than typical – we left Chicago at about 1AM or maybe a bit later.  Janet drove for a while and I think I took over somewhere just south of Louisville.  We got to the park visitor center around 11AM.

Our day 1 hike was up Little River Trail, continuing onto the Husky Gap Trail which was reportedly good for wildflowers.  There wasn’t a specific destination for this one, we decided to turn around where it meets up with Sugarland Mountain Trail, which made it about a 10 mile round trip.

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MSU Radiology Garden

Radiology Garden Fountain

This is a so-so picture of the fountain that is / was part of the garden outside the radiology building at MSU.  I think somewhere I have one that I like a bit more that was taken at night, but that’s irrelevant now.  For a few years when I was working out of the Engineering Research Building (which I think was renamed slightly since) I lived just over a mile away and walked to work most days through this garden.  It was very well maintained, though the location was a bit odd, keeping it mostly hidden from the campus.

The garden had a variety of flowers and I spent a few hours on multiple occasions in the garden taking pictures of them.  I think I’ve learned a thing or two since then (like maybe don’t take flower pictures at high noon on a sunny day) so looking back, I think they’re all kind of ‘learning’ shots.  But, I still have a bunch of them, so I’m declaring this flower week.  That said, I’m not sure how much back story I’ll have on any of the flowers since I don’t even know what some of them are called.

I’m not sure how long I had owned an SLR at the time, my guess would be six months or so.  I was in the process of learning the ins and outs of a camera / lens combo that didn’t do everything for you as well as discovering other nuances, like depth of field, which are not so pronounced with typical point and shoot cameras.

Picture taken with Canon Rebel XT, EF-S 18-55mm lens @ 47mm, f/5.6, 1/230 sec, ISO 400

Flowers Unknown

Flowers unknown

Guest post from The Jano:

Matt is under the weather so, I’m taking this opportunity to provide a “guest post”; a photo from a trip to Mackinac Island. This was my first time to the land of fudge where cars are not allowed. This trip also included a taste of the much talked about UP pasty or pastey or however it’s pronounced…some sort of strange meat pie accompanied with thick cut fries smothered in gravy. Oddly tasty. We brought our bikes along on the water ferry and did the bike-around-the-island thing and walked around a bit. This photo really has nothing to do with the island itself as it was taken near the Cut River Bridge, on M-2 in the UP, maybe half an hour West of Mackinac.

We thought it was a trillium initially however, it looks more like an apple blossom, maybe but, really not sure. As Matt said “the hint should have been the five petals”.  I like the lighting and the simplicity of the photo.

Picture taken with Fuji FinePix S5700, 6.3mm (40mm equivalent FOV), f/6.3, 1/400 sec shutter, ISO 64

San Francisco Day 7 – San Francisco

Another awkwardly titled post, but anyway…

Our second say in San Francisco we got lucky at snagged last minute tickets to Alcatraz for the morning.  We didn’t think it would have been a sold-out kind of tour, but it apparently is, and when we first looked tickets weren’t available, but upon a double or triple check they were.

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