To The Summit of Rocky Top and Back

The air was crisp and clear as we started our several mile ascent up the winding, rocky path leading to our destination, Spence Field. It was a beautiful morning and we had the path to ourselves most of the way up, meeting only three people as we traversed through the woods. One friendly gentleman shared with us about the amazing view from Rocky Top, which was almost another mile past Spence Field. We thanked him kindly and went on our way. Trilliums, Rue Anemone, and Spring Beauties along with hundreds of tiny, little, wild Violets in shades of yellow, purple and white, greeted us from either side of the shaded path as we walked along. As we got a bit higher the Trout Lilies were present and several had blossomed, quietly showing off their small, yellow lilies that hang upside down, inviting the passerby to get down on one’s knees to its level to enjoy a closer look at the intricate little bloom. We crossed several small streams as we weaved our way back and forth following the path and eventually found ourselves arriving at Spence Field.

Wes and I enjoy the view from Spence Field.
Wes and I enjoying the view from Spence Field.

By that time we arrived, we were both starving and were quite ready to enjoy our signature peanut butter and raisin sandwiches, which we did from a lovely and secluded spot in the middle of a small grass field. The view was quite picturesque as we sat basking in the warmth of the sun, while eating, talking and laughing. Just a few minutes after this wonderful break had begun we heard a loud rustling in the woods and leaves below. Wes jumped quickly to his feet to see if indeed it was what we thought it was . . . a bear! But as soon as he stood up he could see that it was two Tom Turkeys! So he quickly and quietly sat back down and we sat there watching them as they made their way up a small incline affording us quite a nice view of them slowly and meticulously making their way through the edge of the woods. Their iridescent feathers gleamed in the bright sun showing off their brilliant rainbow assorted colors. We both thought this was quite a special visit during our enjoyable little picnic, and it seemed as a delightful treat!

Me feeling on top of the world on Rocky Top.
Me feeling on top of the world on Rocky Top.

Feeling quite refreshed and refueled, we made our way along a very narrow, steep path along the Appalachian Trail heading toward Rocky Top. We quickly came to two more small grassy fields, in  one of which we sat and tried to absorb the amazing view it afforded. Reluctantly leaving our beautiful, comfortable spot in the rolling grass, we once again started climbing the path now more narrow then ever as it went up and then opened into a small meadow in the woods in which the entire ground was covered in thousands of little Spring Beauty blooms, lending itself to a magical and fairy tale appearance. The scene was breathtaking as we walked through the middle of it leading into an area where the path was lined on either side in bright green grass, looking almost as if someone had purposely planted it in such a manner. As we came to the end of this magical area,  it opened up to Rocky Top. After being there one can certainly see how it got its name as there are rocks of all sizes everywhere. From there you felt as if you were on top of the world as you looked around at the stunning 36o degree view! It had been a tough climb but was indeed worth it! Although the hike down was beautiful, it took a bit of a toll of our knees as we ended our 12 mile journey. We ended a perfect day with a delicious meal at our Pizza Hut here in Townsend.

A divinely sweet smelling little wild flower bloom on Rocky Top.
A divine sweet smelling little wild flower bloom on Rocky Top.

This past Saturday we went into Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, to enjoy a walk around the loop road, free of cars. It was the grand reopening of the newly paved road in the cove, and to celebrate they allowed walkers and bikers to come and enjoy the cove without cars the entire morning until noon. It was a beautiful morning and amazingly quiet and peaceful as we walked our way around. Getting a bit of a late start due to the uncertain weather forecast, we walked to Hyatt lane where we went across and back. Many Turkey and deer were sighted and with the ever changing cloud formations in the sky and the moving show of shadows and light areas on the mountains were spectacular. We took several photos and are sure that there is a miniature in the future from them. The new road and nice stone work at stream crossings is a great improvement and were much needed and simply look wonderful!

Blue Bells blooming alongside the new road in Cades Cove.
Blue Bells blooming alongside the new road in Cades Cove.

Throughout the week much painting was done as well as Wes continuing to work on the SAA website and our website. This past Thursday evening we enjoyed a wonderful jazz concert at the new beautiful Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville.
I’m also delighted to announce that we have yet another brand new solo museum exhibition! It will be at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, MI. Our exhibition will be in the fall of 2011. More information about it is located on our website.

"Marina Reflections" by Rachelle, measures   3 3/4 X 2 3/4 inches.
"Marina Reflections" by Rachelle, measures 3 3/4 X 2 3/4 inches.

Currently on our easels:  I’m painting on a miniature of a beautiful Egret lit nicely by the sun, standing on a interesting pile of ropes on a boat with part of an older marina in the background. It’s been most delightful to paint on it thus far. Wes just finished his miniature painting “Morning Reflections” which was painted from a photo taken in beautiful Oxford, MD while we were there this past year.

"Morning Reflections" by Wes, measures 2 1/2 X 3 1/2 inches.
"Morning Reflections" by Wes, measures 2 1/2 X 3 1/2 inches.

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful spring!

Until next time ~ Rachelle 🙂


8 thoughts on “To The Summit of Rocky Top and Back

  1. Doug Fletcher

    Rachelle and Wes-

    I just read on the web that John Schoenherr
    passed away on the 8th- I didn’t see that
    on the SOAA website. What a great talent.


    1. Hi Jim,
      Thank you! Sorry it’s been slow. Wes has been swamped and he hasn’t let me get up from my easel! Hopefully it will pick up soon. I know life will settle down for us after the next week.
      Hugs 🙂

  2. Joan

    Do you know the name of that ‘sweet smelling wildflower’ on Rocky Top? It’s called Trailing Arbutus, or more commonly Mayflower. They also grow wild here in Massachusetts…our state flower btw.
    Lovely photo!

    1. Hi Joan,
      Yes I do as I looked it up in my wildflower book after posting the photo of it on my blog, but never updated the blog with the correct name. Aren’t they a beautiful and sweet little flower and they smell like heaven! What a great one to have as your state flower 🙂 Glad you like the photo.

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