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Tag Archives: Stu Haluski
Chris North, Stu Haluski, and I had another great weekend with our semi-regular travel photography road trip (“Photgraphers’ Road Trip” or PhRT). This time we decided to come up to Mitchell County/Spruce Pine, North Carolina to experience some real winter and snow. My father and his wife live in the area, and he kept me current and well advised on the record setting snows and low temperatures the area was getting in the 09-10 winter.
We left North Georgia Friday afternoon for our drive up Hwy. 23. This is a beautiful drive, even in the dead of winter. Our normal routine is to stop along the route to take pictures, but this time we headed directly to North Carolina (we had a dinner date with my dad and Sharron to make). We arrrived at the Pine Valley Motel and checked into our room with no problems.
About Pine Valley Motel – I require three things from a motel: clean, comfortable, safe. The other things are gravy. There is no gravy at the Pine Valley Motel. It is an old place. Our room was more like a small apartment than a motel room, but it is clean. It is comfortable, and it is safe. It is also convenient to where we wanted to go.
After checking in we met my dad and his lovely wife, Sharron, at the Mountain View Restaurant and Motel for a fantastic supper. It was huge surprise to get big city gourmet quality food at a small mountain town motel, but the food was fantastic. The best part was the Key Lime pie. Absolutely the best Key Lime Pie I’ve ever had. My dad had figured out a route for us for Saturday, so we went over the maps and enjoyed a fine dinner.
Saturday morning we woke early and headed out the door. We had a quick, small, but satisfying breakfast at DT’s Blue Ridge Cafe in Spruce Pine, NC, and talked with one of the local about places to go and things to photograph. Of course, we started our photography right there in downtown (and I use “downtown” loosely) Spruce Pine.
We hit the road for a trip up to Carvers Gap at the top of Roan Mountain where we were fully embedded into winter. The temperature was somewhere between 9 and 15, the snow was more than 3 feet deep in some places, and the winds were blowing at 25-40 mph. It was to the bone cold! Thankfully, my LL Bean gloves and jacket, as well as my $3 Target hoodie, kept me warm enough to get some fun winter shots. On the way down the mountain to the Tennessee side, we did get stuck in some deep snow, but some digging with a 99 cent ice scraper, and some pushing by my friends got us unstuck and gingerly underway down the mountain.
We drove through Ski Beech mountain, but decided to keep going. No stop there. Instead we headed to Linville Falls. We braved a half mile trail of ice – really, the whole trail was ice covered – and enjoyed a half hour of photographing one of the most visited waterfalls in western North Carolina. Even on this cold, overcast, and windy day there were more than a dozen other visitors who joined us on the trail.
We headed back to Spruce Pine to gloat over our days’ work, then headed up to Little Switzerland, NC for a great supper at my dad’s house. We now sit comfortably in our motel room, blogging, editing, and watching the Olympics. Tomorrow we will meander our way home, and end another Photographers’ Road Trip.
Why haven’t I posted anything?? Photographically the last 2 months have been fulfilling, but I haven’t said anything about any of my shoots here. I should have been, because there is much to post about!
I spent 3 days photographing roller derby action at the Southern Fried Smackdown in Atlanta. I shot over 2000 frames of action, met some really nice folks, and made some great connections for future events.
I did another shoot with my beautiful friend Heather, then a weekend road trip to the Great Smoky Mountains with two other photographers, Brian Garret and Stu Haluski. None of us are usually nature/landscape photographers, so the trip was very helpful to break us out of our comfort zones and try something different. We met nature photographer Richard Mack who gave us tips for shooting sunsets
on Clingman’s Dome. Richard even gave us a mention on his blog. (pssst…check out the video of me and the boys driving the Tail Of the Dragon)
I wrapped up October with my last unpaid “portfolio shoot” for the year with the oh-so-lovely Amy Frena who contacted me to do a shoot. I was recommended by a friend of hers who I shot more than five years ago. Keep an eye on my YouTube page for a video from the shoot.
The rest of the year will be used for personal projects and family time. I am also FINALLY putting the final touches on my new website design and getting involved in “social media” – including Facebook and Twitter.
That pretty much covers it for now.