Tag: mountains

Twin Arches At Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

Twin Arches At Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

Nature, Photography April 17, 2019

Part One

I recently visited the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, which encompasses 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau – in both Kentucky and Tennessee – and boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs.

With many sights to see, I decided to hike the Twin Arches, described as “the most impressive rock arches in the eastern United States”. The North Arch has a clearance of 51 feet, a span of 93 feet and its top deck is 62 feet high, while the South Arch has a clearance of 70 feet, a span of 135 feet and its top deck is 103 feet high.

North Arch
South Arch

Here’s a video taken at the South Arch…

A sign at the park provided this description as to how these arches were formed:

Weaker layers of sandstone form the base of the nearly vertical walls of this narrow ridge. The weathering of these erosion-susceptible layers caused sections of the wall to fall away, forming shallow rock shelters on both sides of the ridge.

The collapse and shelter enlarging process continued until two “windows” in the narrow ridge were formed. This opening enlarged until it reached the stronger and more erosion-resistant sandstone layer of rim rock that caps the Twin Arches.

A cave was situated under one end of the South Arch, so I entered to discover that there was an exit at the back, albeit a narrow passage at approx. 18″ wide. Footprint-impressions in the sand from hikers provided some assurance that the cave was empty – no bats or bears. But, watch your step & don’t bump your head!

Here’s a short video as I entered the cave…

The top of the arches are one contiguous surface area, accessible by stairs, though the South Arch has additional areas visitors may ascend so as to attain the best view:

At the pinnacle, scenic views were truly spectacular on this fine day – unique walls of eroded sandstone, mountains and valleys lined with trees, and an interesting cap-rock area to walkabout. Here are a few examples:

Here’s a video of the surrounding environment –

Partial Map of Park

The only complaint I had while visiting the Twin Arches is Divide Road. As soon as you leave TN-154, you can expect to travel for nearly 5 miles along a gravel road which is narrow with frequent & deep potholes, many hidden by shadows from trees lining the road. So, to be safe, I drove this stretch at less than 10 m.p.h..

Keep in mind, however, that the most impressive sights to see at the Twin Arches are at ground level. So, stay tuned for Part Two

Frozen Head State Park

Frozen Head State Park

Nature, Photography April 4, 2019
Map of Frozen Head State Park

Frozen Head State Park is situated in the beautiful Cumberland Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. The mountainous terrain varies from an elevation of 1,340 feet to over 3,000 feet on 16 different mountain peaks, with 13,122 acres of relatively undisturbed forest containing some of the richest wildflower areas in the state (better viewed during summer months).

A short 45-minute drive from Knoxville, Tennessee, I recently visited the park to hike the Chimney Top Trail, a steep, rugged trail with giant sandstone caprock and natural vista. It’s a 3.5 mile trek to the top with a total gain in elevation of 3,460 feet, as hikers ascend two separate mountains along the trail. Total time: 6 hours.

Here’s part of the Frozen Head State Park map featuring the Chimney Top Trail:

Map of Frozen Head State Park

There were several points of interest along the hike, including the following:

The challenges to this hike were several. First, the distance: 3.5 miles each way. Second, the mind – that is, after hiking up a mountain for 50 minutes, it’s somewhat discouraging to then be faced with having to hike down the backside, losing gains in elevation, only to then be greeted by an even taller mountain. Lastly, the finish: towards the top, hikers encounter the trail’s only flat surface along a ridge; however, this is short-lived, as the final stretch is by far the most difficult.

During this final stretch, glimpses on the rocky top can be seen through the forest:

Hikers must climb the sandstone caprock using one of several pathways, in order to enjoy the wonderful view from the peak of Chimney Top Mountain – seen here:

This is a topographic computer simulation of Bird Mountain, as seen from the top of Chimney Top Mountain, provided in the park map:

Finally, I shot this panoramic video with my iPhone as I walked across the caprock:

Make sure you carry a walking stick, and…

Enjoy the Cumberland Mountains!

Above The Frost Line

Above The Frost Line

Nature, Photography March 23, 2019

This frost-covered mountain was photographed during a recent hike to Rainbow Falls on Mount Le Conte, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Despite it being Spring, and with Knoxville (1.5 hours away) temperatures forecast in the mid-50’s, higher elevations in the mountains remained freezing. My advice to hikers during this time of year is to pack extra clothes…and bring a pair of gloves!

At the 2.7 mile marker, this short video features the 80′ waterfalls –

Enjoy the great outdoors!

Metallic Sci Fi World

Metallic Sci Fi World

Science Fiction, Space January 25, 2019

Yesterday, I traveled back in time to a distant computer – an old PC located across the room – to create this science fiction digital artwork, featuring a metallic planet of mountains and cones, with a mysterious, glowing blue sphere. I used Bryce creative software in the design process, with the finished product now available in the following galleries:

Drop by for a visit when you’re in the neighborhood!

Mountain Sunset Tapestry

Mountain Sunset Tapestry

Nature, Products March 23, 2018

Based on a photograph, I used Adobe Photoshop and Filter Forge to craft this mountain sunset landscape. Featured here on a wall tapestry with hand sewn edges, it measures 57″ x 57″ of premium quality polyester – both lightweight and soft to the touch. The sublimation printing technique allows for bold and vivid colors that won’t fade, so you can enjoy it for years to come. Cold gentle machine wash, line dry. Do not bleach.

Abstract Mountain Lake Framed Print

Abstract Mountain Lake Framed Print

Abstract, Nature March 21, 2018

Based on a photograph, this abstract digital artwork of nature features a colorful mountain lake with trees and a golden sandbar. I’ve added it to my gallery at Fine Art America, where a variety of original prints are available – framed, canvas, art, metal, wood and acrylic. Stop by for a visit when you’re in this neck of the woods!

Mountain Lake In Autumn

Mountain Lake In Autumn

Nature, Photography March 20, 2018

Enjoy my artistic rendition of a mountain lake with autumnal forest colors and a blue sky. Based on a photograph, I used Adobe Photoshop and Filter Forge to create this image. A variety of prints and other items are available in my galleries at Fine Art America and Redbubble. Check it out…

Sci Fi Landscape iPhone Case

Sci Fi Landscape iPhone Case

Products, Science Fiction February 12, 2018

Printed in the USA, this Case-Mate Tough Xtreme iPhone 6/6s Case is military-spec tested to protect against wind/rain, shock/drop, sand/dust, and vibration. It provides an impact resistant PolyCore exterior with shock-absorbing DouFlex liner, and has a built-in screen protector to prevent screen scratches and cracking. With a protective covering on all ports, controls & sensors, and a textured exterior for added grip, it’s the perfect case for your daily activities or wilderness adventures!

Unidentified Flying Objects

Unidentified Flying Objects

Science Fiction, Space January 14, 2018

Above a frozen sea of an alien world strewn with peaked mountains, two mysterious blue orbs remain locked in space, hovering motionless. Visiting this alien world takes a little imagination, and your first stop to my gallery at Society 6 is a step in the right direction. Many out of this world items are available for purchase as gifts and/or apparel, for family, friends or for yourself. Enjoy!

River In The Forest

River In The Forest

Nature, Photography December 30, 2017

Enjoy my digital impressionist rendition of a river running through a rocky forest landscape. Based on a photograph. Whether you’re interested in wall art, home decor, bags, stationary, cases & skins or apparel, you’ll discover a plethora of interesting items in my galleries at Fine Art America, Society 6 and Redbubble. Thanks for stopping by!

Arctic Desert

Arctic Desert

Nature, Photography November 15, 2017

Photographed from a high-altitude drone at 11,000 feet…oh, wait. I mean, from my balcony after a snow storm, whereafter I bumped up the texture and added color. Nevertheless, this photograph would look nice on a wall in your home during every season of the year! Stop by my gallery at Fine Art America for more…

Green Valley Landscape Poster

Green Valley Sci Fi Landscape Poster

Products, Science Fiction October 22, 2017

Enjoy this science fiction landscape poster on a wall in your home! It’s available in three sizes, with custom framing options. Gallery quality Giclée print on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. Custom trimmed with 2″ border for framing.