Adventures With Family

Having Fun In The Smoky Mountains!

By Rachelle Siegrist

norris lake
Looking out over the lake by Norris Dam

Wes’ parents have been visiting us here in the Smokies for the past week, and we’ve enjoyed several adventures!  They arrived last Sunday evening in time for supper on the porch.  Monday we headed over to Knoxville to go to the zoo, and when we arrived, I realized I had forgot our good camera . . . oops!  “Not to worry” I said, lets go to Norris Dam State Park instead, and we’ll come back another day to the zoo.  So we did just that, deciding it was a great way to enjoy the gorgeous weather that day!

rachelle and wes siegrist at norris lake

The lake was beautiful and a cool breeze filled the air, as we visited different areas around the park, including an old mill and barn.  Of course I couldn’t resist getting in the water at every chance, at least up to my knees, and am anxious to camp there sometime soon and explore the area in our kayaks!

norris dam
Now that would be fun to slide down!

Blessed with another beautiful day on Tuesday, we decided to have a picnic by the water.  We enjoyed a lovely drive before finding the perfect lunch spot, with a wee bit of sun shining on me and the rest in the shade.  Afterwards, we talked with a nice couple who were fishing and who had the cutest little tan Chihuahua named Lucy.  She had light green polka dots all over her fur, and her owner told us right away we may not want to pet her, as she had found goose droppings and rolled in them, proudly decorating her fur with the perfectly round green splotches . . . Ha Ha!

flowers and lake

After lunch we took a leisurely stroll, stopping to admire flowers and watch birds.  We even saw a couple of Banded Water Snakes swimming just below the surface of the water!

rachelle siegrist
Jeanie and I admiring the flowers

Wes worked in the mornings, getting things done in time to spend the remainder of the day out and about.  We decided to try the zoo again, with all of us being sure to remember the camera that time!  It seemed every time we went anywhere during the week, we got behind a paving truck, stripe painter or something else in the Park.  While heading to the zoo we got to follow behind a trailer containing the Mayfield Dairy cow, which was really neat!

mayfield cow
The Mayfield Cow heads to the zoo

For me, the highlight at the Knoxville Zoo is getting to watch and listen to Georgie, the resident Gibbon sing!  He now has a big new beautiful enclosure, which has netted tunnels in the air, through which he can climb to different sections.  His favorite spot appeared to be the highest point, at which he could swing from the tree top and sing out loud and clear, broadcasting his beautiful opera voice throughout the park and surrounding area!

georgie gibbon knoxville zoo
“Wop…Wop…Wooooooo” sings Georgie!

The new Asian section and tiger enclosure is also very nice, and we were able to get some great reference photos of the tiger for future miniature paintings.

tiger at knoxvile zoo
“Oh . . . this will make a great miniature painting!”

We stayed until it was closing time, having enjoyed a great day at the zoo indeed!  One afternoon, we took a relaxing drive around nearby Cades Cove, and were delighted when we got to see a bear, standing up in the field!

bear in cades cove

This time we decided to hike by the stream for awhile, after walking around the grist mill and other historical buildings, finding a huge burl on a tree along the path.

rachelle siegrist hiking the smokies
George, Jeanie and me in Cades Cove


Another day, we packed a picnic lunch and headed over to Gatlinburg, to drive along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail.  It was another beautiful clear day, showcasing the mountain vistas that dotted the drive along the narrow winding road.

roaring fork drive in gatlinburg
Wes, Jeanie and George with fire damage near Gatlinburg behind them

We stopped to see some of the old historical cabins and barns located in the area, of which the little tub mill is always a favorite.

wes siegrist roaring fork drive
Wes and George with the trough leading to the historical Tub Mill

A gorgeous stream runs alongside the road throughout part of the drive, and affords great places to walk down and enjoy wading in the icy water, in several locations.  I thought this one particular spot to be really beautiful, as all the surrounding rocks were covered in lush green moss, and was so soft to the touch!  I spent some time there wading in the clear water and of course petting the moss!

stream in roaring fork motor trail gatlinburg

We said our goodbyes this morning, as Wes’ parents headed back to Indiana, deciding it had been a fun week, full of adventures!


~ See our miniature paintings in person this week at these three locations ~

13th Masterpieces in Miniature
May 2018: Picture This Gallery, Alberta, Canada

27th International Miniature Show
May 5 – June 2, 2018: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC

The Art of Miniature XXVI
May 6 – June 10, 2018: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

Learn How to Commission A Painting by Clicking Here

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

2 thoughts on “Adventures With Family

  1. What is this surrounding wonderful. My wish is to paint also. I want to go to the zoo this year, to make views of the wild animals , to paint them. I wish you much success and love . Thank you for your beautiful photos.

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