Monday, October 25, 2010

Blue Ridge Parkway, 42/365

This above photo is for Wednesday's Black & White Challenge.  Click to see other entries.

"Tucked Away"
"Craggy Mountains - Just Before the Hike"
"Craggy Mountains - Blue Ridge Pkwy, NC"
"Craggy Tree in Craggy Gardens"
"The Trickster"
"The Tilted Path"
"On Top of a Craggy Rock"
"A Scene from Sleepy Hollow?"
"Golden Beauty"
"Enjoying the View"
"The other side of Craggy Mountains - Nearing Sunset"
My oldest two girls and I visited the Blue Ridge Mountains this past weekend  They were spectacular with their golds, reds & oranges...and still quite a bit of green!  June & July is prime time for the pink & purple rhododendrons.

Asheville, NC  is 24 miles south of Craggy Gardens.  "Craggy" has great views from the east and west and we missed the sunrise this trip.  The Great Craggy Mountains are an area of exposed rock surfaces and high peaks that provide breathtaking views of the distant southern Appalachian ridges. 

I think we might have hiked part of the "bald" area but by the time we got back to the visitor center to ask, it was closed.  In the second photo above, you can see a whole area with no leaves - quite in contrast to the green, colorful side.  This was fun to hike.

We tried to make it to Douglas Falls.  We hiked quite a bit of the trail, but it was 4 miles (one way) and I made the decision to turn around before dark... we were told we might see bears and other wild animals and I preferred a bit of light.  We did hike half of it, through a mixed hardwood forest which winds past a series of cascades and two virgin hemlock groves before reaching the 70-foot Douglas Creek Falls.  I am told it is a  rewarding, 4-mile hike (8 mile roundtrip).  My daughters are all for getting up early on the next trip as they are eager to make it next time to the falls.

As I hiked these trails, I found it was necessary to really watch my footing.  The fallen leaves provided a very slippery "carpet" upon the jagged, and often times, wobbly  rocks.  Tree roots are hidden amongst ground coverage and we all tripped numerous times.

The following day we visited the magnificent St. Lawrence Basilica in Asheville, NC.  They encouraged photos and I took full advantage.  I will post about that tomorrow.   We also enjoyed shopping in the quaint historic downtown area and a two hour historic trolley ride.  I will post about that as well.  So, please come back!

I would also like to help promote my son's blog "Songs for a New Millennium".   He is passionate about poetry and I invite you to take a look! 

The very last post is also my entry for the "Sunday Creative".  Word for the week: dynamic


Carol Blackburn said...

You must be in great shape to walk those crooked paths and climb those steep ones, too. So nice that you had fun with your girls. Great pics, thanks for sharing.

Margaret said...

Carol - LOL. With how loud I was breathing (and the numerous resting breaks... aka photography breaks!) I was not afraid of scaring any bears. They could here me a mile away! I said I sounded like a freight train.

Rosie Grey said...

Thanks for showing us around that beautiful area! Such a picture perfect autumn!

Justine said...

these pictures are lovely, they show such a beautiful place to visit, I did wonder about walking with bears etc!

Pitterle Postings said...

I love these pictures. I will have to make an effort to get there in the next several years. It is on the other side of the states for us. I love the colors and the view. Breathtaking!

Margaret said...

Asheville is obviously a tourist destination, but there are so many quaint towns along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Life seems to slow down and there is something religious about the views and nature. It touches the soul and reinvigorates.

Vicki Lane said...

You were in God's country! I've lived here since '75 and there is always something beautiful to see. And Asheville is just the right size for a city, in my opinion!

Ruth said...

The colors combined in photo #3, and the composition, are incredibly beautiful.

Ginnie said...

Your girls are lucky to share this with you, Margaret. And I feel lucky to follow my sister, Ruth, with this comment. :)