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“The churches of Cades Cove–Smoky Mountains” photos by Michael Ahlrichs

photo by Michael Ahlrichs

Creative

“The churches of Cades Cove–Smoky Mountains” photos by Michael Ahlrichs

photo by Michael Ahlrichs

 

Time stands still here in this sleepy, isolated valley nestled in by the glorious Smoky Mountains. This is Cades Cove, a verdant landscape with panoramic views of the mountains in all directions.

I’m with my 20-year-old daughter, Emma. We traveled here to explore this scenic and historical area before she left to resume studies at Bryant University.

To witness all of Cades Cove you can leisurely travel on an eleven mile, single lane, one-way paved loop. You can travel by car, bike or foot. This valley has an abundance of wildlife. We were able see deer, turkeys, horses and black bears.

photo by Michael Ahlrichs

There is rich history here too, from preserved settlements to primitive churches. These historic churches drew me in. Their simple design lends to a feeling of harmony and serenity in the mountain setting. The interior natural light and wondering about the congregation that once worshiped within these simple walls had me lingering.

Traveling the loop is ideal in the morning when the sun is rising and begins to expose the “smoke” and the light and shadows are dramatic. So too is the evening as the sun is setting and the shadows are long, the colors majestic and a peace and stillness can be felt. Although only eleven miles, hours can be spent wandering the meadows, exploring the primitive structures and fully experiencing the beautiful vistas. 

photo by Michael Ahlrichs

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As an iPhone photographer, Michael Ahlrichs is intent on exploring and capturing the beauty that can be found wherever you look. Wanderlust has taken Michael to many locations, some ordinary, some not so, but he manages to discover the glory in the world. From the smallest details to the largest expanses, he shares the splendor around us all. Carmel, Indiana is his home but he's comfortable where his soul and heart are and where his feet take him. He can be reached at michael.ahlrichs@gmail.com

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