Biking Cades Cove in Early Fall
By Rachelle Siegrist
With bikes loaded into our van, we left early this past Wednesday morning, and drove the short distance to nearby Cades Cove, located inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The morning was cool and beautiful, as we mounted our bikes and started our journey around the 11-mile loop road, winding its way through the cove. The horses were the first to greet us, happily grazing on tender green grass, and seeing them is always a highlight for me! There was a gorgeous black one that came running up into the herd, looking quite stunning with the early warm light dancing off of his shiny back!
Before long we were riding between vast fields of Goldenrods, making the entire cove floor appear yellow as far as the eye could see! It was truly a glorious sight, with thousands of yellow flowers bathed in the warmth of the early morning sun, set against the backdrop of cloud shrouded mountains behind!
It seemed that every turn in the road brought yet another magnificent view! All was going wonderfully until I noticed Wes had stopped up ahead and was searching for something alongside the road. As I approached he said “My pedal fell off!” I replied “Oh my . . . that’s not good!” Thankfully the nut was found, but without the right tool, it was impossible to put it back on correctly. So Wes suggested that I should go ahead and ride around the entire loop, as I would most likely catch him on the other side. So off I went, while poor Wes started walking his bike across the gravel road that cuts through the cove, to the road on the other side. The views were spectacular for both of us, going on our different paths.
No vehicles being allowed into the cove before 10 AM Wednesday and Saturday mornings, offers a sense of peace and tranquility, that is nigh impossible to find at other busier times in the cove. The animals seem to know the difference and are more at ease and relaxed, so you can really take time to simply enjoy watching them, while also enjoying the quiet stillness. The old historical cabins are usually empty as well, creating a perfect opportunity for photographing them.
The Tipton House was particularly beautiful that morning, and I arrived there at just the right time, to catch a ray of sun streaming down through the thick forested canopy, illuminating sections of the old porch roof, as if a spotlight were hitting it. Riding along while scanning the road for fallen hickory and walnuts to avoid hitting, I glanced up in time to see a flock of turkeys gathered by the road. I quickly stopped and quietly watched as the one group patiently waited for the others to cross the road . . . to get to the other side of course! Little peeping noises could be heard as they discussed the happenings of the morning, and for a moment it seemed like the world was ours!
A bit farther up the road, I came to the Carter Shields’ cabin, which sat nestled in the woods, looking rather peaceful and content, and quite photogenic surrounded by the early stages of fall color. Since I had not caught up to Wes by this point, I figured he either had a problem or had somehow managed to beat me back to the van.
Reaching the parked van, I couldn’t see him, but finally saw that his bike was inside. Just then he walked over with a smirk on his face stating he couldn’t believe I had been beaten by a one pedal rider, claiming some nice little boy had pulled him with a rope tied to his tricycle! I have to admit I couldn’t believe it either, exclaiming that I had ridden further and stopped to take photos . . . for him of course.
~ ————— Ω ————— ~
~ The latest paintings off of the Siegrists’ Easels ~
We finished a miniature painting of a Tom Turkey, which we photographed in Cades Cove this past year. It’s part of our Tandem Treasures series, miniatures that we paint on together, and will be sold during an event at the upcoming Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival. Currently Wes is painting a oak tree lined road which we photographed during our recent visit to a plantation while in Albany, GA in August. I’m currently painting on my landscape of a fisherman on the Flint River in Albany, GA.
~ ————— Ω ————— ~
Take a minute to watch an intro video from Wes on YouTube
TexArt: A Workshop for Professional Artists
May 22-27, 2016: Schreiner University Campus, Kerrville, TX ~ Wes is honored to be one of the instructors at this unique artist workshop. For the very first time the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation and the Society of Animal Artists are combining their efforts to create one of the most coveted workshops ever! Participating artists can train in all of the traditional mediums of oils, acrylics and watercolor. They can also try their hand at sculpture as well as the very intricate skills involved in scratchboard. But in addition, … there are a couple very unique specialties offered in this workshop that set it apart from all others. Artists will have the opportunity to learn how to paint very, very big paintings… as well as very, very small miniatures. The instructors in this workshop are all award winning members of the Society of Animal Artists and include: John Banovich – Painting Huge, Wes Siegrist – Painting Miniatures, Sally Maxwell – Scratchboard, James Coe – Oils, Jan Martin McGuire – Acrylics, David Rankin – Watercolors, Dan Chen – 3Dimensional Canvases, and David Turner – Sculpture. All in all, this workshop for the professional artist will be a noteworthy evolution of workshops for artists in America. Click here to see why this is going to be such an amazing workshop: http://texart-we.com/workshop
~ ————— Ω ————— ~
Until next time . . .