CHARI’S BLOG 7/1/2010
For the second day of the mid-year outing for CNPA on June 12, 2010 we struggled to wake up at 3:45 AM. Yes, I said AM. We stumbled our way to the coffee pot, gathered up our gear and ate egg sandwiches en route to meet our group at 5AM.Roan Mountain lies in the Pisgah National Forest on the North Carolina and Tennessee border about 1 1/2 hours from Asheville. In fact, the state border runs right through the park. Our plans were to arrive just before sunrise to catch the “golden hour” at Roan Gardens http://www.roanmountain.com/gardens.htm. The gardens are a woodsy area at the foot of the mountain with nice paths following a figure 8 pattern. This is peak season for the area and if you don’t get there early it’s very crowded. We weren’t the first ones there by a long shot! Early morning fog hung heavy but gradually gave way to sunshine. We stayed about an hour then regrouped to start up the mountain to our lunch meeting spot at Jane Bald. The term Bald is a southern expression for a rocky mountain outcrop with isolated bushes and trees. The Forest Service keeps these maintained to prevent forest overgrowth. Sometimes they use machinery and at other times herds of goats. Part of the Appalachian Trail goes through here. For more information about the park or hiking this area see http://www.tn.gov/environment/parks/RoanMtn/ .
I’ve not been hiking much in the past 3-4 years and I can really feel it when going uphill. Downhill and flat are no problem but uphill “kicks my butt”. Steve’s very patient and we take a lot of photo breaks as an excuse! I’m also realizing that a smaller tripod and a good photo pack for the many add on goodies we’ve acquired are on the top of my “I want” list. As the day progressed, clouds moved in and a light rain fell. I know the pictures would be better with nice blue sky but it is what it is. I’ve resisted the temptation to ‘fix’ it in Photoshop. Some folks who’d been here before thought this year was disappointing. Well if this is a poor year, I can’t wait to come back and see a good year! So sit back and enjoy the beauty from the comfort of your computer.
OK, so who is Maxwell, you ask? Maxwell Moose started traveling with us last year at Rocky Mountain National Park. We take him along and hope to do a book of our travels for our twin grandbabies. They may not see Ogee and Opa that often but we want them to know where we are and what we are doing. As we were staging this shot, Maxwell kept doing headers off the cliff. Then we had to try to hid the tag which is in a very unfortunate spot. Steve says it looks like he had toilet paper stuck you know where! I think scissors are in his future. Two months from today we leave for our 10 week retirement trip! The trailer AC is being fixed as I write this. Our latest ‘learning to fly’ item for trailer life is finding out how to spot for leak problems AFTER buying the trailer. Oh well, it’s just money . . .