It has been almost seven months since posting to this neglected blog. I'd like to think that's because I've been living the values of a simpler, less cluttered life - the very motivation for starting this blog. There is some truth to that given I have tried to limit my digital consumption a bit. However, that doesn't account for the dozens of partially-written posts and "essays" that are lingering around notebooks and hard drives. For some reason, I'm either too lazy or too uncertain of my current voice to ramble endlessly hoping for that one nugget of good writing that makes all of the mediocre indulgences worth one's while. With that said, I've been enjoying photography lately and thought I might like to regularly post a few photos and occasionally ramble briefly about them. So, below are a few pictures from a recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I have a strong (but long taken for granted) connection to this area, as my family owns a small, simple cabin within walking distance of the park. The cabin was built in the 1940s for my great grandfather. Once a quiet getaway, the cabin is now swallowed by the never-ceasing commercialization of the area. Despite this, the rush of the mountain creek behind it and the general beauty of the area make it worth stepping over and around the lusty merchants hocking novelty t-shirts, delicious chemical foods, and the blinking robotic mascots of third rate amusement venues. No matter, the mountains always linger, smirking at the spectacle and quietly waiting to one day cover it all again with the surrounding rhododendron, fir, and maple. The last few pictures are of an abandoned steam engine left by loggers. I had trouble finding it despite getting specific details of its location. This is because the machine is gradually becoming the landscape; deteriorating into the earth and covered with moss, dirt, and foliage. Even this powerful icon of the industrial revolution, a durable and rugged iron machine seemingly built to last forever, is no match for the patience of the mountain.
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