|Less color at lower elevations and clouds on the peaks.|
A cold front had just come through and the warm balmy weather had turned cool and breezy with more fall in the air. I wanted to see some of the colors at the higher elevations since they were supposed to be peak. I armed myself with camera, extra batteries, warm clothing, water and snacks and set off. I can access the parkway in the next town over, just about 15 minutes drive. The colors were spotty and visibility was great.
|Rock walls along the parkway where they blasted to make the road.|
The Blue Ridge Parkway follows the ridge line from Virginia to the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. As the road began to climb up the ridges the temperature went from mild 60's to mid 40s and you could see the clouds catching on the mountain tops which meant less visibility at the higher peaks. The views were still impressive and I pulled over almost at every overlook. Lots of other folks were out leaf peeping too.
|One of many tunnels blasted through the mountains.|
The fog got denser and denser as I got closer to Mount Mitchell - the highest peak east of the Rockies. I don't have any pics of the fog - I was busy trying to see and stay on the road. Driving in fog was not part of my plan that day.
At the entrance to Mount Mitchell, I stopped to take pictures but you could not see the top of the mountain - not worth the long drive up for socked in fog. Craggy Gardens was the same way - complete fog.
Located in a 1,855-acre North Carolina State Park, Mount Mitchell (elevation 6,684 feet) is the highest point east of the Rockies.
Because of the altitude, many of the plants and animals are like those native to alpine environments of Canada. Mt. Mitchell is part of the Black Mountain range, formed more than a billion years ago. Six peaks in the small range are among the ten highest in the eastern United States.
I did get out for a short walk at Crabtree Falls but didn't have time for the 45 minute walk down to the falls itself - some other day perhaps.
I got off the parkway at Route 80 and the road dropped down several thousand feet quickly to end up outside Old Fort. This is Lake Tahoma and this used to be a casino jutting out into the lake. Lovely rock building but it has been empty for years now - too bad. It would be wonderful spot to dine!
Many thanks to the hosts of Mellow Yellow Monday, Ruby Tuesday, Watery Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday. Please do visit the other posts on each of these great memes.