A Hike To Indian Flats Falls and a New Miniature Painting

tremont in the smokies
A trail sign along the Middle Prong trail in Tremont

The highlight of this past week for me, was a hike along with friends, Fred and Pat, to Indian Flats Falls in the nearby Tremont area, here in the Smokies. It was a gorgeous fall-like day when the four of us left early last Tuesday morning, heading for our destination, the Middle Prong Trailhead in the Tremont area. With packs mounted and walking sticks in hand, we started up the beautiful lush trail. The water in the stream adjacent to the trail was running full steam ahead, with all of the recent rainfall, creating a melodious and relaxing symphony of nature in the background! I noticed right away that there were incredible amounts of thick, lush piles of moss just begging to be “petted”. And so I did . . . several times over, while getting my friend Pat to also join in on this fun pastime of mine!

indian pipe in the smokies
A beautiful Indian Pipe along the trail
doll's eyes photo
The interesting wildflower,  Doll’s Eyes, which are actually berries.
middle prong trail
A fallen tree covered by beautiful orange Fungus

Middle Prong is dotted all along with beautiful cascades in the stream following alongside the trail, as well as numerous large rock formations and walls, and a few remaining artifacts from the days when this stunning area was unfortunately timbered. One such memory from a past era, is an old rusty car body, which I just had to “test drive” for a few minutes. And yes . . . I checked for snakes first! Walking along, we started hearing this high-pitched chirping noise and of course started looking up into the trees. We soon realized that alas it wasn’t a hawk or other type bird, but two precious baby otters! Oh Wow . . . I exclaimed as I saw these two adorable little critters sliding over rocks, climbing out onto the moss covered shore, and jumping back into the water before swimming a ways and then sliding over more rocks. Obviously they were having the time of their lives as they went along playing and frolicking the water! What a treat, I thought, as we had never seen baby otters in the Park before.

middle prong trail in the smoky mountain national park
My “new” old car I found along the way
middle prong trail in the smoky mountain national park
A stunning section in the stream along the trail
middle prong trail in the smoky mountain national park
Wes and I in front of a really cool rock formation!

Before long we had worked up an appetite, and decided it was lunchtime. So Fred suggested a small meadow-like clearing in the trail up ahead, which once served as the old C.C.C. camp many years ago. As we all sat there in a relaxed state, enjoying the amazing weather and beautiful location, I said this looks like a perfect place for a deer. Unbelievably, a few minutes later a beautiful doe walked through a small clearing nearby before going back into the deeper woods! This day just kept getting better I thought! With tummies full, we continued our journey to the falls. Sometime later we found the small cutoff, which leads to the falls, and made our way along the narrow trail. The falls were gorgeous and within seconds I was in the water, which was very, very cold!!! Nonetheless, being the water baby that I am, I could not resist, and so had to walk around in the pool at the base of the falls and play for a while. Unfortunately I had to play alone, as I couldn’t convince the other three wimps to get into the cold water. There were still several Rose Bay Rhododendrons blooming by the falls, which made for a nice photo opportunity. Having enjoyed the falls for quite sometime, we started our journey back. We reached the trailhead later that afternoon, having enjoyed a gorgeous day and waterfall, and making another wonderful memory!

middle prong trail in the smoky mountain national park
Me, Wes, Pat and Fred in front of Indian Flats Falls
middle prong trail in the smoky mountain national park
LOL . . . the effects of the COLD water are visible on my “trying to smile” face!!
middle prong trail in the smoky mountain national park
Indian Flats surrounded by Rhododendrons

Although we’ve spent a lot of time painting this past week, my “hillbilly hot tub” continues to be a source of joy and relaxation almost daily for me. Wes and I also have taken our daily walks and bike rides, doing so earlier in the morning, before it gets too warm or rain comes. We also enjoyed several fun evenings with friends this past week. Dominoes at our house one evening, with another celebrating our friend Darlene’s birthday, while eating at our favorite restaurant Lemon Grass, along with her husband Bill and friends Fred and Barb. Afterwards, we enjoyed Darlene’s delicious homemade coconut cake and ice cream at their house. Last evening we met our artist friend, Kit and his parents, at a local restaurant called Firefly Cafe here in Townsend. The food was delicious, the service very good, and it is nicely decorated inside. It was a real treat to meet Kit’s parents for the first time, as they are such sweet people and love to laugh, while telling great stories about vacations spent in Hawaii! After supper, they joined us at our place where we had ice cream on the screen porch, as we shared more stories and watched nightfall descend on us.

middle prong trail in the smoky mountain national park
Wes practices his Karate kid stance by a cascade
middle prong trail in the smoky mountain national park
Hugging a dear old friend!
middle prong trail in the smoky mountain national park
A spectacular collection of Shelf Fungus grows on an old log

Fresh off the easel ~ Wes finished a painting this past week of two chickens sharing a dust bath.  I finished a commission which I have been working on.  I’m currently painting on the landscape featuring a spectacular view in Yosemite Valley.

chicken painting
“Spa Sisters” by Wes

~ Opening this week: Our Solo Touring Exhibition, EXQUISITE MINIATURES!

Saturday, August 10, 2013 – Sunday, January 5, 2014

KENOSHA PUBLIC MUSEUM, 5400 First Avenue; Kenosha, WI, 53140
(262) 653-4140


A public reception will be held on Friday, the 18th of October from 6-8PM. (We will be leading a Gallery Walk that night to discuss our paintings in the exhibition) Also scheduled will be an adult painting workshop with us from 9AM to Noon on the 19th followed by a formal presentation by Wes on miniature art at @2PM. To register for the workshop please call Nancy Mathews at the museum at 262-653-4140.


To view all our upcoming exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html


 Have a loved one or a beloved pet you would like captured in miniature? Contact and commission us!

Don’t forget to “Sign Up” to receive an email each time I update the blog!

Until next time ~ Rachelle



3 thoughts on “A Hike To Indian Flats Falls and a New Miniature Painting

  1. Dear Rachelle and Wes,

    Your travel stories , with all the anecdotes, are a pleasure to read. We are always at home so to read of your escapades and see the photos that you share with us really makes our day.
    Please keep on writing them and exploring more and more. The time your take to share it all with us is really appreciated.

    Thank you

    Susan Smith
    PS Thank you,too, for all the help with advice one easels etc for the little ones I teach here at home. I draw and paint small pictures too.They are 2.5″ x 3.5″.

    1. Hi Susan,

      Oh, that makes me so happy to know how much you enjoy it!!! People that enjoy it so, like you, certainly make doing it worth while 🙂

      I enjoy sharing about our hikes an adventures as much as I do going on them! I hope to keep exploring and sharing for as long as I can! You are most certainly welcome for the advise about the easels. Happy painting on the small ones!


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