Yesterday I explored a part of the Smokies I hadn’t visited before, between the main stateline ridge that the Appalachian Trail runs along and the vast stream valley of Big Creek. As I followed the Camel Gap trail, I came to a pool on Big Creek that is one of the most beautiful stream pools I have ever seen.
The colors of the water kept shifting. Phantasmagorical shapes glimmered beneath the surface, below the scribblings of light.
This time of year, much of the color has drained out of the forest. Perhaps most of the color migrates into the streams.
For a description of the whole 16-mile hike, go to “Camel Gap loop” on my Endless Streams and Forests blog.