Luckily, I was able to witness the smoky mountains before the recent fires, which wiped out a significant portion of the forest. In the Smoky Mountains, not only did you have the picturesque scenery and surroundings creating a natural funhouse for photographers, but you would have received one hell of a package deal if you just so happened to be a photographer whom also enjoys a good explore through forgotten structures. That’s me, by the way (for anyone reading who is unfamiliar with what I do, other than talk about cats.)
Within these mountains, behind the trees, mossy rocks and wild foliage, formerly sat numerous abandoned homes and cabins. Before the fires, an entire resort had remained, facing the end of its life, fading to dirt and dust, only to remain as memories among the old dirt trails winding the mountains. In the mountains, cell phone service is non-existent. It was nice to get so far away from the hustle and bustle of normal life below us, adding to that feeling of “life after people.” Nobody cared to check their phones, we weren’t sucked into texting, email, internet or social media; we were all alone surrounded by this powerful presence of nature. We had everything we needed with us; the company of good friends and an amazing adventure. Humanity seemed to have been lost as we walked the quiet mountainside during sunrise. We must have wandered this never-ending collection of cracked cabins, strewn along a beautiful creek side for at least five hours, stopping to photograph a very different view shown by each one that we passed.