Brilliant Fog at Newfound Gap by Phil Varney
Sunlight shines through the fog at Newfound Gap, at the crest of the Newfound Gap Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Conditions at such high elevation can be incredibly dynamic. I arrived here maybe 30 minutes before sunrise, around 7:00 AM, to stake out a location before the inevitable late rising crowds crept in. As is typical for this time of day, Newfound Gap was entirely shrouded in fog. First the sun rose, giving the fog a strange orange glow behind the tree. As the sun rose further, the fog began to break into shrouds hugging the mountain, though still with no view of the distant mountains. Eventually, the fog dissipated enough to provide for this neat phenomena of beams shining through the mist. The fog then cleared, only to be replaced a short time later by more fog rolling in from the TN side of the park. If you’re not happy with the conditions at one of these high elevation Appalachian views, just stick around – it’s liable to change, quickly!
I’ve had a great October filled with many weekends of camping! Unfortunately, I’ve had to rent lenses most weekends after the unfortunate 17 – 40mm incident on Black Balsam Knob. (I thankfully found a place in Atlanta that rents lenses for a weekend, $25 for a 17 – 40mm). Now I need to take the next few months to save up for some new equipment. I’m having trouble deciding between just sticking with another 17 – 40mm, or going with the new 16 – 35mm f.4. Tough choices!