Blue Ridge Mountains - Roan Mountain SP, Sycamore Shoals SP, Grandfather Mtn., NC

Scenes from upper east TN and western NC - Sycamore Shoals, Roan Mountain SP, Grandfather Mountain October 8-10, 2006
Image Number Image (Click to Enlarge)CaptionImage Viewed
1 In October 2006 my husband and I took advantage of my fall break and we headed to the mountains of northeast Tennessee and western North Carolina. This spectacular view from the <strong>Blue Ridge Parkway</strong> could rival the fabulous colors of Ver...

In October 2006 my husband and I took advantage of my fall break and we headed to the mountains of northeast Tennessee and western North Carolina. This spectacular view from the Blue Ridge Parkway could rival the fabulous colors of Ver...

In October 2006 my husband and I took advantage of my fall break and we headed to the mountains of northeast Tennessee and western North Carolina. This spectacular view from the Blue Ridge Parkway could rival the fabulous colors of Vermont, Maine, or New Hampshire! This is looking back at Grandfather Mountain. We like to get off the beaten path, so at the beginning of the trip we got off I-40 at Newport and drove through the backroads of the TN and NC mountains. Warning to people prone to carsickness --- stay on the interstate! 3774
2 We made a very quick stop at <strong>Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park</strong> on our way through Elizabethton, TN. It is the site of the Watauga settlement, the first permanent settlement outside the 13 colonies. There is a reconstructed pentagon-s...

We made a very quick stop at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park on our way through Elizabethton, TN. It is the site of the Watauga settlement, the first permanent settlement outside the 13 colonies. There is a reconstructed pentagon-s...

We made a very quick stop at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park on our way through Elizabethton, TN. It is the site of the Watauga settlement, the first permanent settlement outside the 13 colonies. There is a reconstructed pentagon-shaped fort behind the visitor's center where reinactments take place. There are hiking trails at the park, but unfortunately, we didn't have time to check them out. 1623
3 One of the cabins in the pentagon-shaped fort at Sycamore Shoals.

One of the cabins in the pentagon-shaped fort at Sycamore Shoals.

One of the cabins in the pentagon-shaped fort at Sycamore Shoals. 1658
4 One side of the fort wall at Sycamore Shoals is built up for protection.

One side of the fort wall at Sycamore Shoals is built up for protection.

One side of the fort wall at Sycamore Shoals is built up for protection. 1553
5 We went to the <strong>Roan Mountain State Park</strong> Visitor Center to get a map and get oriented to the park, only to find out that it is closed on Monday and Tuesday. The park has camping and cabins.
<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...

We went to the Roan Mountain State Park Visitor Center to get a map and get oriented to the park, only to find out that it is closed on Monday and Tuesday. The park has camping and cabins.

We went to the Roan Mountain State Park Visitor Center to get a map and get oriented to the park, only to find out that it is closed on Monday and Tuesday. The park has camping and cabins. map... 2180
6 This <strong>Moonshine Still</strong> is on display in the Visitor Center Museum at Roan Mountain State Park. "Corn squeezins" (a.k.a. "moonshine") were a source of extra income for some mountain families. There are a few diehard mountain men who conti...

This Moonshine Still is on display in the Visitor Center Museum at Roan Mountain State Park. "Corn squeezins" (a.k.a. "moonshine") were a source of extra income for some mountain families. There are a few diehard mountain men who conti...

This Moonshine Still is on display in the Visitor Center Museum at Roan Mountain State Park. "Corn squeezins" (a.k.a. "moonshine") were a source of extra income for some mountain families. There are a few diehard mountain men who continue to distill the corn mash. A fellow named "Popcorn" was recently arrested in Cocke County, TN for making it! The museum also has other artifacts from the early mountain people. 1979
7 The Visitor Center has many interesting and informative displays on the plants, animals, and geology of the park. 
there are also displays on the early inhabitants of the area and how they lived.

The Visitor Center has many interesting and informative displays on the plants, animals, and geology of the park. there are also displays on the early inhabitants of the area and how they lived.

The Visitor Center has many interesting and informative displays on the plants, animals, and geology of the park. there are also displays on the early inhabitants of the area and how they lived. 1637
8 One of the rental Cabins at Roan Mountain State park. These 2 couples were enjoying the peaceful sounds of the crickets, katydids, and the nearby stream. Check out: https://www.state.tn.us/environment/parks/RoanMtn/ for more information on cabin rentals...

One of the rental Cabins at Roan Mountain State park. These 2 couples were enjoying the peaceful sounds of the crickets, katydids, and the nearby stream. Check out: https://www.state.tn.us/environment/parks/RoanMtn/ for more information on cabin rentals...

One of the rental Cabins at Roan Mountain State park. These 2 couples were enjoying the peaceful sounds of the crickets, katydids, and the nearby stream. Check out: https://www.state.tn.us/environment/parks/RoanMtn/ for more information on cabin rentals and rates. 2393
9 Even though we had been to Roan Mountain State Park in the past, we had never been able to visit the Miller homestead. It is open only certain days of the week and we never seemed to be there on the right days. During the Naturalists' Rally it was open...

Even though we had been to Roan Mountain State Park in the past, we had never been able to visit the Miller homestead. It is open only certain days of the week and we never seemed to be there on the right days. During the Naturalists' Rally it was open...

Even though we had been to Roan Mountain State Park in the past, we had never been able to visit the Miller homestead. It is open only certain days of the week and we never seemed to be there on the right days. During the Naturalists' Rally it was opened so the participants could do attend the butterfly hike. The fields full of goldenrod and milkweed was a perfect area for the butterflies. It is a very steep drive to get to the homestead on top of one of the mountains in the park. What a beautiful farm and home the Miller family had in the past century. 1523
10 Visiting the old Miller homestead house was like going back in time to my great-grandparents' home. There is no electricity in the house. I loved the old-fashioned flowers in the garden. The home is open at certain times during the week. The house is f...

Visiting the old Miller homestead house was like going back in time to my great-grandparents' home. There is no electricity in the house. I loved the old-fashioned flowers in the garden. The home is open at certain times during the week. The house is f...

Visiting the old Miller homestead house was like going back in time to my great-grandparents' home. There is no electricity in the house. I loved the old-fashioned flowers in the garden. The home is open at certain times during the week. The house is furnished with period furniture, old family photos and there are still old pages of newspapers and magazines on the bedroom walls and ceilings used as wallpaper. What a nice treat it was to take this trip down "Nostalgia Lane"! 1747
11 It was fascinating to see the upstairs bedrooms at the Miller homestead, the walls were papered in old newspapers and <em>Life</em> magazine pages. It was amazing that visitors were able to go into the rooms unimpeded by gates or ropes.

It was fascinating to see the upstairs bedrooms at the Miller homestead, the walls were papered in old newspapers and Life magazine pages. It was amazing that visitors were able to go into the rooms unimpeded by gates or ropes.

It was fascinating to see the upstairs bedrooms at the Miller homestead, the walls were papered in old newspapers and Life magazine pages. It was amazing that visitors were able to go into the rooms unimpeded by gates or ropes. 1464
12 The Miller homestead barn

The Miller homestead barn

The Miller homestead barn 1417
13 One of the roosters at the Miller homestead

One of the roosters at the Miller homestead

One of the roosters at the Miller homestead 1330
14 During the 2009 Roan Mountain Naturalists' Rally, the Miller Homestead area of the park was dedicated as a Monarch Butterfly Waystation. The keynote speaker of the rally was Dr. Lincoln Brower, a world-renowned specialist on Monarch butterflies. He got...

During the 2009 Roan Mountain Naturalists' Rally, the Miller Homestead area of the park was dedicated as a Monarch Butterfly Waystation. The keynote speaker of the rally was Dr. Lincoln Brower, a world-renowned specialist on Monarch butterflies. He got...

During the 2009 Roan Mountain Naturalists' Rally, the Miller Homestead area of the park was dedicated as a Monarch Butterfly Waystation. The keynote speaker of the rally was Dr. Lincoln Brower, a world-renowned specialist on Monarch butterflies. He got the honor of posting the sign on the kiosk. 1405
15 We were thrilled to see the spectacular <strong>Mountain Ash</strong> trees as we drove up the mountain. The trees produce a heavy crop of berries every 4 years, so we saw them at a good time.

We were thrilled to see the spectacular Mountain Ash trees as we drove up the mountain. The trees produce a heavy crop of berries every 4 years, so we saw them at a good time.

We were thrilled to see the spectacular Mountain Ash trees as we drove up the mountain. The trees produce a heavy crop of berries every 4 years, so we saw them at a good time. 1528
16 Mountain Ash berries
<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=111048428162997367442.0004429ba882ac4533c89&ll=36.217687,-82.298584&spn=2.282224,5.004272&z=8&om=1&iwloc=000442ae21c4e4fbe6bc8"> map...</a>

Mountain Ash berries map...

Mountain Ash berries map... 1980
17 <strong>Roan Mountain</strong> is on the Tennessee / North Carolina border. There is a parking area here which allows easy  access to the Appalachian Trail and day hikes.

Roan Mountain is on the Tennessee / North Carolina border. There is a parking area here which allows easy access to the Appalachian Trail and day hikes.

Roan Mountain is on the Tennessee / North Carolina border. There is a parking area here which allows easy access to the Appalachian Trail and day hikes. 1663
18 <strong>Carver's Gap</strong> is the low spot on the road between the mountains.

Carver's Gap is the low spot on the road between the mountains.

Carver's Gap is the low spot on the road between the mountains. 2276
19 We were fascinated to watch this man banding birds on Roan Mountain. He caught them in a mist net, measured them, banded them, then gently released them.

We were fascinated to watch this man banding birds on Roan Mountain. He caught them in a mist net, measured them, banded them, then gently released them.

We were fascinated to watch this man banding birds on Roan Mountain. He caught them in a mist net, measured them, banded them, then gently released them. 1535
20 This <strong>Tennessee Warbler</strong> was caught and banded on Roan Mountain. This tiny bird was migrating and was on its way to South America.

This Tennessee Warbler was caught and banded on Roan Mountain. This tiny bird was migrating and was on its way to South America.

This Tennessee Warbler was caught and banded on Roan Mountain. This tiny bird was migrating and was on its way to South America. 1553
21 The <strong>Appalachian Trail</strong> goes across Roan Mountain, it's <u>just 1803 more miles</u> to the end of the trail at Mt. Katahdin in Maine!

The Appalachian Trail goes across Roan Mountain, it's just 1803 more miles to the end of the trail at Mt. Katahdin in Maine!

The Appalachian Trail goes across Roan Mountain, it's just 1803 more miles to the end of the trail at Mt. Katahdin in Maine! 1509
22 <strong>Blueberries</strong> are common on Roan Mountain, the leaves turn a brilliant red in the fall. Watch out for bears when the berries are ripe, they like the delicious fruits too!

Blueberries are common on Roan Mountain, the leaves turn a brilliant red in the fall. Watch out for bears when the berries are ripe, they like the delicious fruits too!

Blueberries are common on Roan Mountain, the leaves turn a brilliant red in the fall. Watch out for bears when the berries are ripe, they like the delicious fruits too! 1659
23 That's <strong>gneiss</strong> (pronounced "nice")! The rocks of the high elevations on Roan Mountain are metamorphic rock called gneiss. The parent rock was granite which was compressed and heated to cause the change to the layered gneiss.

That's gneiss (pronounced "nice")! The rocks of the high elevations on Roan Mountain are metamorphic rock called gneiss. The parent rock was granite which was compressed and heated to cause the change to the layered gneiss.

That's gneiss (pronounced "nice")! The rocks of the high elevations on Roan Mountain are metamorphic rock called gneiss. The parent rock was granite which was compressed and heated to cause the change to the layered gneiss. 1889
24 My husband, Kenny, on the trail on Round Bald.

My husband, Kenny, on the trail on Round Bald.

My husband, Kenny, on the trail on Round Bald. 1500
25 Rhododendron Garden trail sign
Be sure to go as early in the day as possible to see the flowers. We got there at 9:00 a.m. and had very nice light for photography. As we were walking back to the car 2 hours later, a bus load of people carrying lawn ch...

Rhododendron Garden trail sign Be sure to go as early in the day as possible to see the flowers. We got there at 9:00 a.m. and had very nice light for photography. As we were walking back to the car 2 hours later, a bus load of people carrying lawn ch...

Rhododendron Garden trail sign Be sure to go as early in the day as possible to see the flowers. We got there at 9:00 a.m. and had very nice light for photography. As we were walking back to the car 2 hours later, a bus load of people carrying lawn chairs and picnic coolers disgorged into the parking lot! Whew, that was a narrow escape! :0 1477
26 Roan Mountain is located in the Pisgah National Forest on the North Carolina side and the Cherokee National Forest on the Tennessee side. The mountain is famous for its huge Rhododendron gardens. This wooden boardwalk overlooks a large stand of Catawba...

Roan Mountain is located in the Pisgah National Forest on the North Carolina side and the Cherokee National Forest on the Tennessee side. The mountain is famous for its huge Rhododendron gardens. This wooden boardwalk overlooks a large stand of Catawba...

Roan Mountain is located in the Pisgah National Forest on the North Carolina side and the Cherokee National Forest on the Tennessee side. The mountain is famous for its huge Rhododendron gardens. This wooden boardwalk overlooks a large stand of Catawba rhododendron bushes. They bloom in late June. The mountain has many rare and endemic wildflowers; I was excited to find 5 flowers that were new to me there (they pushed my life-list over the 2000 mark!). Next summer I'd like to go back up there to see the Rhododendrons, Gray's Lily, and Appalachian Avens. 2004
27 It had been 28 years since my husband and I had seen the Rhododendron gardens in bloom on Roan Mountain. What a fantastic experience it was in June 2007 to gaze over these spectacular blooms and listen to the drone of the wings of bumblebees as they vi...

It had been 28 years since my husband and I had seen the Rhododendron gardens in bloom on Roan Mountain. What a fantastic experience it was in June 2007 to gaze over these spectacular blooms and listen to the drone of the wings of bumblebees as they vi...

It had been 28 years since my husband and I had seen the Rhododendron gardens in bloom on Roan Mountain. What a fantastic experience it was in June 2007 to gaze over these spectacular blooms and listen to the drone of the wings of bumblebees as they visited the flowers! We were there on a gorgeous clear day. Sometimes the top of the mountain is socked in by clouds and you can't see a thing! map... 1766
28 <strong>Catawba Rhododendron; Catawba Rosebay</strong>
<em>Rhododendron catawbiense</em>  
Roan Mountain State Park
June 23, 2007
Of the 2 large-flowered Rhododendrons in Tennessee, this one is the most showy. These shrubs prefer the higher elevati...

Catawba Rhododendron; Catawba Rosebay Rhododendron catawbiense Roan Mountain State Park June 23, 2007 Of the 2 large-flowered Rhododendrons in Tennessee, this one is the most showy. These shrubs prefer the higher elevati...

Catawba Rhododendron; Catawba Rosebay Rhododendron catawbiense Roan Mountain State Park June 23, 2007 Of the 2 large-flowered Rhododendrons in Tennessee, this one is the most showy. These shrubs prefer the higher elevations above 5000', so it takes a significant hike or drive to the top of a mountain to enjoy them. Roan Mountain is famous for its fabulous Rhododendron Gardens that bloom in mid to late June. The day we were there they were slightly past their peak. The Rosebay Rhododendrons (Rhododendron maximum), strangely enough (with a name like that they should be pink!), have white or very pale pink flowers and bloom in the lower elevations of the Appalachian, Blue Ridge, and Cumberland Mountains. 1517
29 Rhododendrons are custom-made to accomodate large bees. The top petal has spots, called a "nectar guide" that shows the bees where to find the nectar. As they crawl over the flowers they get pollen on their bodies from the anthers. When they fly to the...

Rhododendrons are custom-made to accomodate large bees. The top petal has spots, called a "nectar guide" that shows the bees where to find the nectar. As they crawl over the flowers they get pollen on their bodies from the anthers. When they fly to the...

Rhododendrons are custom-made to accomodate large bees. The top petal has spots, called a "nectar guide" that shows the bees where to find the nectar. As they crawl over the flowers they get pollen on their bodies from the anthers. When they fly to the next flower they transfer the pollen to its pistil, pollinating the flower. 1802
30 A paved, fairly handicapped accessible path winds through the Rhododendron Gardens for all to enjoy.

A paved, fairly handicapped accessible path winds through the Rhododendron Gardens for all to enjoy.

A paved, fairly handicapped accessible path winds through the Rhododendron Gardens for all to enjoy. 1362
31 Not all of the trails go through grassy balds or rhododendron thickets, some go through stands of of firs, spruces, and hemlocks. Large ferns grow on the forest floor below adding a mystical beauty to the trails.

Not all of the trails go through grassy balds or rhododendron thickets, some go through stands of of firs, spruces, and hemlocks. Large ferns grow on the forest floor below adding a mystical beauty to the trails.

Not all of the trails go through grassy balds or rhododendron thickets, some go through stands of of firs, spruces, and hemlocks. Large ferns grow on the forest floor below adding a mystical beauty to the trails. 1484
32 <strong>Spruce trees</strong> have needles that go all the way around the twigs. I remember the difference between spruces and firs by thinking, "Firs are flat" and you can "spruce up" with a round feather duster! Yeah, I know it's weird, but it works! :)

Spruce trees have needles that go all the way around the twigs. I remember the difference between spruces and firs by thinking, "Firs are flat" and you can "spruce up" with a round feather duster! Yeah, I know it's weird, but it works! :)

Spruce trees have needles that go all the way around the twigs. I remember the difference between spruces and firs by thinking, "Firs are flat" and you can "spruce up" with a round feather duster! Yeah, I know it's weird, but it works! :) 1544
33 The musky sweet aroma of Fir trees perfumes the air in the highest elevations of the mountains. The plant life is very similar to being in the coniferous forests of Canada. Firs have "flat bottoms" to the boughs, the needles don't go all the way around...

The musky sweet aroma of Fir trees perfumes the air in the highest elevations of the mountains. The plant life is very similar to being in the coniferous forests of Canada. Firs have "flat bottoms" to the boughs, the needles don't go all the way around...

The musky sweet aroma of Fir trees perfumes the air in the highest elevations of the mountains. The plant life is very similar to being in the coniferous forests of Canada. Firs have "flat bottoms" to the boughs, the needles don't go all the way around the twigs. 1531
34 I was really surprised to find this Purple Columbine growing near the parking area at the Rhododendron Gardens since the native columbines are pale red with yellow bases. These must have been planted by some mis-guided, but well-meaning flower lover. I...

I was really surprised to find this Purple Columbine growing near the parking area at the Rhododendron Gardens since the native columbines are pale red with yellow bases. These must have been planted by some mis-guided, but well-meaning flower lover. I...

I was really surprised to find this Purple Columbine growing near the parking area at the Rhododendron Gardens since the native columbines are pale red with yellow bases. These must have been planted by some mis-guided, but well-meaning flower lover. It is not good to add non-native plants to places such as this, sometimes even the prettiest plants can become a pest! map... 1715
35 The lower balds are the home of the Flame Azalea gardens. These beautiful flowers come in yellow, orange, and a reddish orange. The mountains in the background of this photo are in North Carolina. The bald straddles the TN/NC state line.

The lower balds are the home of the Flame Azalea gardens. These beautiful flowers come in yellow, orange, and a reddish orange. The mountains in the background of this photo are in North Carolina. The bald straddles the TN/NC state line.

The lower balds are the home of the Flame Azalea gardens. These beautiful flowers come in yellow, orange, and a reddish orange. The mountains in the background of this photo are in North Carolina. The bald straddles the TN/NC state line. 1886
36 The <strong>Flame Azaleas</strong> bloom in mid-June on the balds at Roan Mountain. There are orange, yellow, and dark orange varieties. 
<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=111048428162997367442.0004429ba882ac4533c89&ll=3...

The Flame Azaleas bloom in mid-June on the balds at Roan Mountain. There are orange, yellow, and dark orange varieties.

The Flame Azaleas bloom in mid-June on the balds at Roan Mountain. There are orange, yellow, and dark orange varieties. map... 2559
37 I called these "Orange Dreamsicle" Flame Azaleas because the pale orange color reminded me of the orange ice cream on a stick that I used to enjoy as a child!

I called these "Orange Dreamsicle" Flame Azaleas because the pale orange color reminded me of the orange ice cream on a stick that I used to enjoy as a child!

I called these "Orange Dreamsicle" Flame Azaleas because the pale orange color reminded me of the orange ice cream on a stick that I used to enjoy as a child! 1619
38 <strong>Gray's Lily</strong>
<em>Lilium grayi</em> 
Roan Mountain State Park
June 23, 2007
Along with the Rhododendron show, these rare beautiful lilies are a close second favorite. They have a celebrity status among wildflower enthusiasts! :) Unli...

Gray's Lily Lilium grayi Roan Mountain State Park June 23, 2007 Along with the Rhododendron show, these rare beautiful lilies are a close second favorite. They have a celebrity status among wildflower enthusiasts! :) Unli...

Gray's Lily Lilium grayi Roan Mountain State Park June 23, 2007 Along with the Rhododendron show, these rare beautiful lilies are a close second favorite. They have a celebrity status among wildflower enthusiasts! :) Unlike the Turk's Cap and Canada lilies, the petals are straight, they are not reflexed (curled backward). The plants grow up to 4' in height, so they are not as tall as some of the other orange-flowered lilies. Some of the older plants had multiple flowers on them, where the younger ones had only one. This photograph took quite a scramble down some steep rocks to obtain, but it was worth a bit of huffing and puffing! map... 1988
39 Close-up of <strong>Gray's Lily</strong>
The spots go all the way to the end of the petals in this lily. At 2.5" long, Gray's Lily flowers are a bit smaller than the Turk's Cap and other orange lilies.

Close-up of Gray's Lily The spots go all the way to the end of the petals in this lily. At 2.5" long, Gray's Lily flowers are a bit smaller than the Turk's Cap and other orange lilies.

Close-up of Gray's Lily The spots go all the way to the end of the petals in this lily. At 2.5" long, Gray's Lily flowers are a bit smaller than the Turk's Cap and other orange lilies. 1527
40 There were lots of <strong>Wooly Bear Caterpillars</strong> (<em>Pyrrharctia isabella</em>) along the trail and on the roads. They always seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere! In October one of the towns in western NC has a Wooly Worm Festival to get...

There were lots of Wooly Bear Caterpillars (Pyrrharctia isabella) along the trail and on the roads. They always seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere! In October one of the towns in western NC has a Wooly Worm Festival to get...

There were lots of Wooly Bear Caterpillars (Pyrrharctia isabella) along the trail and on the roads. They always seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere! In October one of the towns in western NC has a Wooly Worm Festival to get the "winter forecast" from the black and brown critters. Wooly Bears become Isabella Tiger Moths after pupation. 1669
41 <strong>Roan Mountain Rattlesnake root</strong> (<em>Prenanthes roanensis</em>) is one of the endemic fall flowers that can be found on the mountain. 
<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=111048428162997367442.0004429ba882a...

Roan Mountain Rattlesnake root (Prenanthes roanensis) is one of the endemic fall flowers that can be found on the mountain.

Roan Mountain Rattlesnake root (Prenanthes roanensis) is one of the endemic fall flowers that can be found on the mountain. map... 2467
42 A group of young Hikers from a camp in North Carolina enjoy their lunch break on the Appalachian Trail. When I asked if anyone wanted me to use their camera to get a group photo, 4 of them rushed up! I was delighted to do it!

A group of young Hikers from a camp in North Carolina enjoy their lunch break on the Appalachian Trail. When I asked if anyone wanted me to use their camera to get a group photo, 4 of them rushed up! I was delighted to do it!

A group of young Hikers from a camp in North Carolina enjoy their lunch break on the Appalachian Trail. When I asked if anyone wanted me to use their camera to get a group photo, 4 of them rushed up! I was delighted to do it! 1607
43 The young lady in the peach-colored shirt had to have an emergency repair job on her hiking boots, nothing a little first aid tape and duct tape won't fix! Long hikes on rough rocks can take a toll on a pair of boots.

The young lady in the peach-colored shirt had to have an emergency repair job on her hiking boots, nothing a little first aid tape and duct tape won't fix! Long hikes on rough rocks can take a toll on a pair of boots.

The young lady in the peach-colored shirt had to have an emergency repair job on her hiking boots, nothing a little first aid tape and duct tape won't fix! Long hikes on rough rocks can take a toll on a pair of boots. 1569
44 The Appalachian Trail gets quite narrow and deep along parts of the balds near Roan Mountain. The rhododendrons here were at a lower elevation than the ones at the gardens and had already finished blooming.

The Appalachian Trail gets quite narrow and deep along parts of the balds near Roan Mountain. The rhododendrons here were at a lower elevation than the ones at the gardens and had already finished blooming.

The Appalachian Trail gets quite narrow and deep along parts of the balds near Roan Mountain. The rhododendrons here were at a lower elevation than the ones at the gardens and had already finished blooming. 1513
45 The result of thousands of hiking boots on this section of the Appalachian trail has resulted in considerable damage. The smooth, higher trail on the left is a newer one made by people trying to avoid the deeper, rocky older trail. In time, it too will...

The result of thousands of hiking boots on this section of the Appalachian trail has resulted in considerable damage. The smooth, higher trail on the left is a newer one made by people trying to avoid the deeper, rocky older trail. In time, it too will...

The result of thousands of hiking boots on this section of the Appalachian trail has resulted in considerable damage. The smooth, higher trail on the left is a newer one made by people trying to avoid the deeper, rocky older trail. In time, it too will become hard to walk on and a new trail we be trampled down. We saw areas where up to 3 older trails were visible. 1600
46 This profile of <strong>Grandfather Mountain</strong> makes it evident how it got its' name. This is the home of the Highland Scottish Festival.

This profile of Grandfather Mountain makes it evident how it got its' name. This is the home of the Highland Scottish Festival.

This profile of Grandfather Mountain makes it evident how it got its' name. This is the home of the Highland Scottish Festival. 1701
47 The approach to <strong>Grandfather Mountain</strong> is spectacular! This park is privately owned. The $14 / adult ($5 / children) admission fee covers the hiking permits, entrance to the nature center with many captive animals, and the "Mile High Swi...

The approach to Grandfather Mountain is spectacular! This park is privately owned. The $14 / adult ($5 / children) admission fee covers the hiking permits, entrance to the nature center with many captive animals, and the "Mile High Swi...

The approach to Grandfather Mountain is spectacular! This park is privately owned. The $14 / adult ($5 / children) admission fee covers the hiking permits, entrance to the nature center with many captive animals, and the "Mile High Swinging Bridge" at the top. 1538
48 The <strong>Split Rock</strong> is an interesting stop on the road going up Grandfather Mountain.

The Split Rock is an interesting stop on the road going up Grandfather Mountain.

The Split Rock is an interesting stop on the road going up Grandfather Mountain. 1700
49 This begging bear was one of 4 adults that were in the Nature Center. People can buy food to throw to the bears. In the next enclosure were 2 cubs that will be released to the wild. There were other animals at the center too, including deer, a panther,...

This begging bear was one of 4 adults that were in the Nature Center. People can buy food to throw to the bears. In the next enclosure were 2 cubs that will be released to the wild. There were other animals at the center too, including deer, a panther,...

This begging bear was one of 4 adults that were in the Nature Center. People can buy food to throw to the bears. In the next enclosure were 2 cubs that will be released to the wild. There were other animals at the center too, including deer, a panther, an otter (which we never saw), and an unreleasable bald eagle. 1629
50 A view from the nature center parking lot.

A view from the nature center parking lot.

A view from the nature center parking lot. 1522
51 This 0.4 mile trail from the lower parking lot leads to the base of the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain. It is rated moderate.

This 0.4 mile trail from the lower parking lot leads to the base of the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain. It is rated moderate.

This 0.4 mile trail from the lower parking lot leads to the base of the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain. It is rated moderate. 1383
52 This sign near the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain shows that it really is a mile high! We heard comments from some visitors that they were surprised it was a mile above sea level, they thought it was a mile above the <u>ground</u>! Now that wo...

This sign near the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain shows that it really is a mile high! We heard comments from some visitors that they were surprised it was a mile above sea level, they thought it was a mile above the ground! Now that wo...

This sign near the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain shows that it really is a mile high! We heard comments from some visitors that they were surprised it was a mile above sea level, they thought it was a mile above the ground! Now that would be quite a feat of engineering! :) I doubt many people would walk across that bridge! 1437
53 The view from below the swinging bridge.

The view from below the swinging bridge.

The view from below the swinging bridge. 1570
54 The Mile-high Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain provides spectacular views.

The Mile-high Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain provides spectacular views.

The Mile-high Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain provides spectacular views. 1723
55 A gorgeous view from the bridge on Grandfather Mountain.

A gorgeous view from the bridge on Grandfather Mountain.

A gorgeous view from the bridge on Grandfather Mountain. 1429
56 I photographed these Mountain Ash berries looking down from the swinging bridge.

I photographed these Mountain Ash berries looking down from the swinging bridge.

I photographed these Mountain Ash berries looking down from the swinging bridge. 1539
57 Another Appalachian Autumn shot. Grandfather Mountain is in the background.

Another Appalachian Autumn shot. Grandfather Mountain is in the background.

Another Appalachian Autumn shot. Grandfather Mountain is in the background. 1518
58 The <strong>Mast General Store Annex</strong> in Valle Crucis, NC was like going back in time to an old country store. The merchandise, however, is very up to date!

The Mast General Store Annex in Valle Crucis, NC was like going back in time to an old country store. The merchandise, however, is very up to date!

The Mast General Store Annex in Valle Crucis, NC was like going back in time to an old country store. The merchandise, however, is very up to date! 1642

Adsense