The shimmering pool

The shimmering pool

The shimmering pool

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.

Pothole at the pool

Pothole at the pool

The colors of the water kept shifting. Phantasmagorical shapes glimmered beneath the surface, below the scribblings of light.

This part of the pool had lighter colors

This part of the pool has lighter colors…

...than this part

…than this part

The rocks had been sculpted and polished.

The rocks had been sculpted and polished.

This large pothole emptied into the main pool.

This large pothole empties into the main pool.

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.

Looking across the valley of Big Creek.

Looking across the valley of Big Creek.

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