|We think this might be our fifth visit but it is the first time it occurred to me to use my tripod for a family photo.|
|They also loved a silly string fight in the woods.|
...while I enjoyed taking my usual long-exposure creek photographs right outside our cabin.
Along with this random inspiration:
|This will be a symbol among you. In the future your children may ask, "What do these stones mean to you?" - Joshua 4:6|
My primary photographic objective for this retreat, however, was to shoot the sunset over the mountains. I had researched a couple locations online that looked amazing and drove to both, only to discover they were closed for the season.
Refusing to give up, I drove into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the entrance in Cherokee, NC. When we started it was 4:40 pm and I had no idea where I was going. I was simply hoping and praying we would find a west facing scenic overlook sometime before the 5:34 pm sunset.
At 5:04 pm, just beyond mile marker 18, my prayers were answered when we happened on an overlook somewhere near 5,000 ft that was directly facing west with Clingman's Dome on the horizon.
I could not believe the view. And, I knew from the look of the clouds we were in for a real treat. These shots are the photographic highlight of the trip!
God has blessed me beyond measure, with a beautiful family and an incredible vocation, and I am so grateful. Here's to all that 2016 has in store for us - and to next year's winter retreat!