Blue Ridge Parkway North End

Blue Ridge with Fog in the Valley

 CHARI’S BLOG 6/30/10

I have just a few minutes to start a new thread before running off to work. Only 59 days to go until I retire!

This past year we significantly upgraded our camera gear and joined the Carolinas Nature Photographers Association. We’ve enjoyed 2 day trips with the Charlotte group but this was our first association wide event. About 100 folks attended a weekend in Asheville, NC 6/10-12/10 with day trips for groups of  about 20. We had chosen the Blue Ridge North for our first one.

We arrived in Asheville with our travel trailer and stayed at Wilson’s RV Park. This put us within 10 minutes of the event hotel. It was a bit confusing getting to the park as the entrance is not obvious when exiting the interstate. After turning around at a local park and with some help from a nice local man, we pulled into a well managed park and chose our site along the French Broad River. There is a nice greenway that runs both ways thru the park. The only problem is noise from the I 26 but we were tired both nights and slept like babies. We plan to return to the Ashevill area again for some kayaking and will stay here. Perhaps we can get the Outdoor Center next door to shuttle us up river and float down. The current is steady and it looks like there would be minimal paddling and more steering involved. Here’s the site for Wilson’s RV Park, http://www.wilsonsrvpark.com/ .

Our group met at the hotel about 8A and set off for the Blue Ridge Parkway headed North to see the classic early morning views of fog in the Blue Ridge valleys.

Hazy Lazy Morning

Then we went to a few more overlooks for similar views. Craggy Gardens  was next. A 3/4 mile well marked path leads you up the hill. It’s amazing how long it takes a camera nut like me to get to the top! A quick thanks to Singh for this shot of us.

Steve and Chari at Craggy Gardens

I’m new to my macro lens and spent 30+ minutes just working on close-ups of some blueberries and bluets in the dew. Steve thought he’d lost me and went down the hill and back up again! I think when he saw the results, he understood. We both think this is going to be ‘my thing’ while Steve leans toward grand landscapes and stitched panoramas. Our new banner photo at the top of each page is one of his panoramas.

Blueberry Blossom with Dew

Blackberry Blossom and Friend

Solo Bluet with Dewdrop

 At the top we came to Craggy Gardens with great rhododendrons and flame azaleas in bloom. The best spot for me was at the end of the path called Craggy Pinnacle.

Flame Azalea Macro

 I must have been humming “Lucy in the Skies” when I shot this as the tune runs through my head as I say the caption.

Rhody in the Sky with Branches

Grass Seed Head

Wild Alyssum (I think)

View from Craggy Pinnacle

There’s a Visitor’s Center at the parking lot where we stopped and bought a lapel pin to add to our collection. That’s when I found out this is the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway. For more information about the anniversary and events go to http://blueridgeparkway75.org/ .

On the way back to the car, another member had spotted a butterfly drying it’s wings. Before you knew it there were a dozen cameras snapping away. Here’s my best shot…

Butterfly Drying It's Wings

The blue skies of morning gave way to thick clouds and by the time we hit Mount Mitchell State Park a storm was developing. Steve and I decided to do the Nature Trail. When we got close to the end, the heavens opened. A wet end but a great day. We look forward to returning in other seasons.

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About vagabondpress

Recently retired and "hitting the road". Hobbies include travel, nature photography, kayaking, hiking, good food and good friends.
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