Cane Creek Cascades

According to the Scottish poet Robert Burns, “The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew, and leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy!” He didn’t actually say it that way, of course. He wrote it in Gaelic, but since Rosetta Stone doesn’t offer a language course in Gaelic (I’ve actually checked), Google’s English translation will have to do.

I thought about that Burns’ quote yesterday morning. My plan had been to get up, make breakfast for my family (a frequent Saturday tradition), and then spirit my wife away to the mountains for a day of sight-seeing and photography. But we awoke to plumbing problems at the house. Two hours later I had them mostly sorted out, but my wife was in the middle of housecleaning and held herself hostage until it was finished. Of course I did my best to talk her into leaving it be and running away with me, but she held fast. “You know, if you were to help me out we could leave faster,” she said. Sigh.

Another 45 minutes and we were in the 4Runner speeding off toward the mountains. Fall Creek Falls State Park was our destination. The park had been on my short list of places I needed to see since we’d moved to Tennessee last year. Fall Creek Falls has been described to me by more than one person as “the prettiest state park in Tennessee.” Yesterday was the first time in nearly a year that I’d been able to squeeze it in, and I needed it yesterday. Desperately.

My mom passed away a little over a month ago and tending to the aftermath of her loss had left me with a serious need for the mountains and a bit of quietude. Fortunately, Fall Creek Falls is only a couple of hours away, and by 3:00 we were there, the stress of the previous month already fading into the background. The rumors did not disappoint. Arguably the pinnacle of the Cumberland Plateau’s spectacular natural areas, Fall Creek Falls boasts more than 26,000 acres of lush streams, virgin hardwood forests, and waterfalls, including the tallest waterfall in Tennessee.

The image at the top is Cane Creek Cascades, not even tall enough to merit waterfall designation, but beautiful nonetheless.

All in all, it was a great first visit. As a landscape photographer, the first visit to a new location is often mostly a scouting trip, an effort to get the lay of the land, discover hidden treasures, and make plans for future visits. The mountains are beautiful any time of year, but fall is my favorite time, and after 8 years in Texas, I’m already planning to make this fall the most photographed autumn of my life. Fall Creek Falls State Park is definitely on the list of places I’ll visit this fall.

More to come . . . .