Signaling Spring

Looking up the walk from the Signal Point Overlook to the parking lot

Looking up the walk from the Signal Point Overlook to the parking lot

Ahh, spring.  Winter teased us with warm spells followed by cold spells that seemed to get colder just when we thought it was almost over.  I found myself counting on those surprise warm spells about when they stopped coming.  While it’s premature to assume the cold weather is over, it sure was nice to have a sunny day in the 70’s on a Saturday for a change!

We decided we’d try something new and go to Snoopers Rock.  Reportedly, Snoopers Rock has the best view of the Tennessee River Gorge from Signal Mountain and it’s a short walk from the trailhead parking lot.  These were both pluses–my husband’s joints are suffering and he still isn’t up for more than a mile or two.

Revisiting Signal Point during the worst time of day from a lighting perspective called for Hipstamatic's Tintype kit

Revisiting Signal Point during the worst time of day from a lighting perspective called for Hipstamatic’s Tintype kit

Since Snoopers Rock is in the same park as Signal Point, we started driving towards Signal Point while I found directions on my iPhone.  We soon discovered we had passed the turn to Snoopers Rock.  Since we had most of the day, we decided to keep going, grab some lunch and make a detour up to Signal Point before heading on to Snoopers Rock.

Slightly different version of the same scene as above--I can't decide if I like it better or not

Slightly different version of the same scene as above–I can’t decide if I like it better or not

I switched apps to the Urbanspoon to see what food was available nearby.  We discovered the Southern Star Take-Out Cafe was right down the road.  I’ve heard of the Southern Star cafe–it’s supposed to have very good down-home fare.  The “Take-Out” is a second location that has foods designed to go.  We decided to give it a try.

We grabbed a couple cups of stew, a Waldorf salad, some sort of pea salad, and some of the sweetest sweet tea (even though we mixed it with unsweetened tea) we’ve ever tasted.

Leaning over the overlook rock wall, swatting flies, and shooting with the iPhone, I was happy I didn't drop my phone

Leaning over the overlook rock wall, swatting flies, and shooting with the iPhone, I was happy I didn’t drop my phone

At Signal Point, we sat in the car, overlooking the park, with the windows down eating our lunch.  The wind blew through the windows keeping us cool.  I smiled to myself as I ate, thinking how nice it was to need the breeze to keep from getting too warm.

Once our bellies were full (the food was yummy), we walked the 50 yards or so from the parking lot to the overlook.  I, of course, whipped out my iPhone, switched to Hipstamatic, set the “film” to D-Type Tintype style in black-and-white, and planned to take my time getting some images of the gorge.

In this shot of the steps up the hill, the steps in the foreground disappeared in the blur created by Hipstamatic

In this shot of the steps up the hill, the steps in the foreground disappeared in the blur created by Hipstamatic

This was about the time we discovered we weren’t the only ones enjoying the spring weather.  I’ve not been able to identify them, but they were something between a fly and a gnat and they were swarming everywhere.  They stuck to my clothes, in my hair, to my sunglasses, and even to my iPhone.  Tisen turned in circles chasing them and was quickly ready to go.

Pat and Tisen moved up to the gazebo in the hope of getting away from the bugs, but they were everywhere.  I ended up rushing my shots after all.  Tisen looked relieved when we headed back up the hill to the parking lot.

The Hipstamatic "lens" created a very shallow depth of field--only Pat remains in focus

The Hipstamatic “lens” created a very shallow depth of field–only Pat remains in focus (with his hair blowing in the wind)

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