Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m. dinner followed by a power point on Trees, an Audio/visual of Great Smoky Mountains National park and the equipment basics for the week.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby of the Lambuth Inn to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in Room 104. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This program is staffed with a Group Leader, a resident expert and a photography instructor. Travel will be via chartered motorcoach unless noted otherwise. We expect most of our transfers to be less than approximately one hour. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time” and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: In the dining room overlooking scenic Lake Junaluska, we will enjoy an extensive buffet with two entrees, vegetables, salad bar, soup of the day, desserts, coffee, tea, water, and lemonade. Vending machines are available for soft drink purchases.
Evening: We will meet our resident expert and instructors, who will provide an introduction to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains. Then, our professional photography instructor will outline the program ahead and whet our creative appetite with some photographic examples of what you might see and capture yourself this week.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Dress in layers for possible chilly and damp conditions during our afternoon field trip in the Valley; you might want to bring an extra pair of shoes and socks.
Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, choose what you like from the hearty breakfast buffet with hot and cold choices such as eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, cereal, seasonal fruits, orange juice, coffee, tea, water. Other beverages available for purchase.
Morning: For the first class of the day, our resident expert and instructor will present history and stories of the Cataloochee Valley. We’ll also learn about an elk preservation project conducted in the Smoky Mountains. Huge numbers of Eastern elk once ranged throughout North America including the Smokies but were eventually hunted to extinction. In 2001, a project began to introduce another species of elk, imported from Canada, to take their place in the Cataloochee Valley. Next, our photography instructor will discuss how to photograph stationary buildings and moving elk. Techniques discussed will include leading lines, perspective and depth, dominant facias, contextual environment, and symmetry when photographing the old farmhouse, church and schoolhouse we’ll see in the Valley. Techniques for photographing wildlife, primarily elk, will include hand-holding versus tripods and gimbals, evaluating/adjusting fluidity, distance, and subject.
Lunch: In the hotel dining room, choose what you like from the delightful lunch buffet that includes soup and salad bar, coffee, tea, water. Other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: With our instructors, we’ll board our chartered motorcoach and head out on a field trip to the Cataloochee Valley, nestled among some of the most rugged mountains in the southeastern U.S. Surrounded by 6,000 foot peaks, this isolated valley was one of the largest and most prosperous settlements in what is now Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some 1,200 people lived here in 1910. A variety of historic buildings have been preserved, including two churches, a school, and several homes and outbuildings. This is the best place in the park to see historic frame buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and afford us excellent photo opportunities. Returning to Junaluska, we’ll have some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.
Dinner: Lambuth Inn buffet.
Evening: We’ll meet with our photography instructor for a presentation on the technique of sunrise photography including focal lengths, silhouettes, rule of thirds, and bracketing. Our resident expert will provide background on the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Get a good night's rest. We’ll be up very early tomorrow to capture the sunrise!
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Dress in layers for chilly and possible damp conditions in the valley. We’ll depart with our instructors before sunrise to Purchase Knob, located at 5,086 foot elevation, where we’ll learn on-the-ground techniques for using early morning light in photography of buildings, wilderness and vistas. Salamanders are an especially abundant and diverse group in the Great Smokies, with around thirty species, and it’s possible you will spot more than one to photograph!
Breakfast: From Purchase Knob, we'll ride halfway back to Junaluska via Maggie Valley and have breakfast at a popular pancake house.
Morning: We visit the Oconaluftee Visitors Center, meet with a Park Ranger, & view an introductory film, then wander & photograph the Mountain Farm Museum. Original structures, including the Davis House, a typical log house of pre-blight chestnut, were re-located here in the 1950s.
Lunch: box lunch on bus
Afternoon: For our next field trip, we’ll depart for Newfound Gap via scenic Soco Road. In southern Appalachian vernacular, a gap is a low point in a mountain ridge. A trip over the Newfound Gap Road, the lowest pass through the Great Smoky Mountains, has often been compared to a drive from Georgia to Maine in terms of the variety of forest ecosystems one experiences. We'll ride about 3,000 feet into the mountainous landscape, through fragrant woodlands that include pine-oak, evergreen spruce, and cove hardwoods. We'll stop at all the vista turnouts with ample time to take advantage of the photo-ops along the way, while our resident expert teaches us en route about the founders of the park, geology of the region and other points of interest.
Dinner: On our way back to Junaluska, we’ll stop at a popular local restaurant featuring great Southern home cooking from hand-carved roast beef and fried chicken to a wide selection of vegetables and homemade desserts. Coffee, tea, water. Other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. You might like to relax in a rocking chair on the porch at the Lambuth Inn, cozy up in one of the parlors, or sort through the photographs you've taken thus far in preparation for the slide show at the weeks’ end.
Activity note: "Seeing Like a Lens" techniques lecture. On bus talk on Horace Kephart, Deep Creek Photo Hike. Trail to waterfall is 0.8 miles roundtrip; moderate in difficulty. Uneven terrain, possibility of getting feet wet.
Breakfast: Lambuth Inn buffet.
Morning: Our photography instructor will share experienced insights into photography techniques and composition such as lighting, monochrome, highlights and shadows, exposure, low-key and high-key effects. Then we’ll set out on a field trip to Bryson City. En route, our resident expert will share more history of the Great Smoky Mountains and the men who helped to create the park, like Horace Kephart and George Masa. The beautiful Tuckasegee River flows through Bryson City. Plenty of historical buildings and nature to see here! After leaving Bryson City proper we will travel a short distance to the Little Tennessee River for a picnic lunch.
Lunch: We'll have box lunches picnic-style along the shores of the Little Tennessee River.
Afternoon: Next we're off to the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky National Park to photograph its celebrated streams and waterfalls. Juney Whank Falls is divided into an upper and lower section. We can view both from the footbridge that crosses Juney Whank Branch at the falls. Together they drop 90 feet from top to bottom. On the way, we’ll photograph the elegant, 60-foot high Tom Branch Falls on the far side of Deep Creek.
Dinner: Back at Junaluska, we'll enjoy a special plated farewell dinner in the private Saville Room off the main dining room. Other beverages available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.
Evening: We will enjoy an evening program with the Friends of the Smokies, who volunteer and raise funds and awareness to aid in the preservation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our photography instructor will leave you with a little bit of homework: to select what you think are your best three photographs this week in USB format. Prepare for check out and departure tomorrow.
Activity note: A Power Point group critique & discussion, followed by a photo sharing session, will wrap up this week's activities. Hotel check out by 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast: Lambuth Inn buffet.
Morning: We’ll wrap up with a two-part session. First, our resident expert will discuss the future of the Great Smoky Mountains. Then, our photography instructor will give a presentation created from everyone's three best shots of the week for all of us to enjoy.
Lunch: Lambuth Inn buffet. Those departing early can pick up a box lunch. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!