Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.
--Greg Child (b.1957) Australian-born rock climber, mountaineer, author and filmmaker.
I continue to comb through my autumn excursions for photos to share. These are from a rainy trip to Grayson Highlands State Park in Southwest Virginia in October. The clouds and rain got worse the longer I hiked, so by time I made it to the wild ponies, whatever good light I had was gone.
Seems I always pick extreme days to visit Grayson. I've been there when it's pouring rain, freezing cold and blazing hot. But whatever the weather, I'm always in awe of this place. With so many trails to hike, jagged peaks to climb and magnificent vistas to enjoy, there's beauty and wonder in every direction. It's one of the most memorable places found along the 2,180 mile Appalachian Trail. While it's off the beaten path for most of us, it's well worth the journey.
Click here to visit the website, which includes driving directions and a detailed trail map. The Friends of Grayson Highlands webpage includes current weather information and a webcam. Another helpful resource is the Sherpa Guide.
Click here to see my previous Grayson photos and posts.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Sunday, November 23, 2014
--Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian Philosopher.
The photo on the left shows an old boat ramp entering the western end of lake near Hampton, TN. It makes me wonder where the roads used to be before the lake was completed by the TVA in 1948. Who knows, maybe this was an old road bed that led to the old town of Butler? I haven't seen any old, 'pre-Watauga Lake' road maps of the area. There is a nice Butler museum in the new town of Butler, TN which is worth checking out if you're ever out that way (open seasonally). It tells the interesting history of the town and the people displaced by the lake.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
I ventured out to Red Fork Falls a couple weeks back and climbed down this series of beautiful waterfalls on Unaka Mountain further than I usually do. Thought I'd share images of the six distinctive waterfalls to be found at Red Fork.
1. This is the first waterfall you'll find at Red Fork. It's small, probably only 5 feet tall. Often I have found swirling watering in this area -- didn't quite work this time around, but under the right conditions, this creates a unique effect.
2. The main waterfall you see in the photo at the top of this post is actually the second one you'll encounter. At 60' this is quite impressive and powerful. In times of high water flow, you'll find the water forming a 'rooster tail' as it rushes out over the cascade.
3. This cascading corkscrew is such an amazing feature. It's found immediately below the main waterfall. Like a water slide, the water rushes through a narrow, twisting formation on its way to the next small waterfall.
4. Continue climbing down the path and you next come to this stunning waterfall. After the main waterfall, I consider this to be the next most beautiful one. It's worth climbing down to see!
5. Further down you come to this small split waterfall.
For directions and a description of this short, but difficult (and dangerous) hike, click here. This isn't a hike for the kids or to take the dog on. There's a lot of climbing. It's also extremely slippery at the top of the main falls, so don't approach the edge. People have been seriously injured here. Below the main fall is also crazy slippery. But watch your step, take your time and you'll enjoy exploring Red Fork.
Before venturing out, please read my warnings, safety tips and disclaimers.
Monday, November 10, 2014
--C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) author and theologian.
A gorgeous weekend...great to see the colors staying around so long this fall. :)
Saturday, November 8, 2014
First the hour, then the day,
Small the daily loss appears,
Yet soon it amounts to years.
--Ronald Tierney (b.1944) author.
Time got away from me and I didn't get these photos posted until now of last week's "sneak peak" at winter. Glad to have warmer weather this weekend! These scenes are of Unaka Mountain in Unicoi County, TN.
Monday, November 3, 2014
When autumn leaves start to fall.
--Jacques Prévert (1900-1977) French poet and screenwriter.
Above: Buffalo Mountain as seen from Mountain Home (VA Center) in Johnson City, TN.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.
--Bill Morgan, Jr.
Above: Unaka Mountain covered in autumn snow. I'm glad winter hasn't decided to dig in its heels quite yet... There's still the beautiful late autumn colors to enjoy. But I have to admit, I love the contrast of seasons on display this weekend. :)
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Monday, October 27, 2014
To yourself be true,
And, whatever your lot may be,
Paddle your own canoe.
--Sarah Bolton (1814-1893) American poet.
Above: Taken last weekend, here's Price Lake found along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with Grandfather Mountain in the background.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Above: A scene found along the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Blowing Rock, NC.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
--Jack London (1876-1916) American short-story Writer and Novelist.
Above: Early morning shot of Grandfather Mountain from MacRae Meadows.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
--Hal Borland (1900-1978) American author and journalist.
Above: The Linn Cove Viaduct as seen from Rt. 221 below. The colors were at peak in the area in and around Grandfather Mountain this week. This weekend the leaves were a little past peak in the highest elevations where many trees had already lost their leaves. But as you can see from the shot above, there are still places that could be described as 'peak color.' I've always loved the winding Rt. 221 connecting Blowing Rock to Linville.
To the left, leaves swirl at the base of a small waterfall found beside the road.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
--Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet.
Above: Even a dark, stormy day could not dull the vibrant, autumn colors of Grayson Highlands. More information and directions here.