Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sunrise, Sunset

Today’s Plan: View Sunrise over Gatlinburg.

This seemed like an interesting idea—except for the need to be awake by 5:30 a.m. We had found an overlook on the Gatlinburg by-pass into the Smokies in the course of our earlier trips to Cades Cove, so we were off to watch darkness change to light from this vantage point.

There were several travelers/commuters on the by-pass, but only a couple stopped--I'm not sure if they were there for the sunrise or to see who was out with a camera staring at the mountains.

Clouds seemed to form within seconds of the sun rising behind the Smokies and presented us with a relatively orderly row of "greeters."

Beginning in 1937, when Gatlinburg artisans decided to stay home and invite the tourists out to see them, the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community members have played an important role in the life of the Smokies.

The Community consists of over 100 craftsmen/women located about three miles from downtown Gatlinburg around an eight-mile loop in the Glades. Some of the shops are relatively isolated, but there are also groups of several artists in walkable sections. Some of the interesting artwork shows up in the parking areas, such as this patriotic bear climbing on the multi-colored van.

Some of the shops are small and combine the work area with the sales area. One such example is David Ogle's Broom Shop. This "double broom" was certainly unique, but I wonder if it would cut the work in half?

At the other end of the size continuum is Dale Teague's Concrete Statuary Designs. Looking over the array of garden statues, we were reminded of the terracotta army of the first Qin Dynasty ruler Shihuangdi.

And then there is A Troll in the Park. We are intrigued with craft shops with a story behind their products and Erik Arensbak had one. When his parents came to the U.S. from Denmark in 1949, they brought with them scores of adventurous stories involving Scandinavian Trolls. But, the kids, upon hearing these tales, raised the question: "What do Trolls really look like?"

Erik's father rose to the challenge. He made a Troll out of natural materials, and friends and neighbors wanted ones of their own. Soon the whole family was making Trolls, and now (over 40 years later) the Arensbaks have compiled an illutrated Field Guide of Trolls. The Guide has relatively clear descriptions of 32 Trolls and the names of 24 (newly discovered?) Trolls. From the Troll Wizards, Gardner Trolls, and Birdnester Trolls to Troll Nurses (right), there seems to be a Troll for every home.

Yes, we did--The Trail Guide Troll.

Sunset at the campground.

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