Monday, October 13, 2008

Blue Ridge Parkway - Mt. Pisgah

Once again I find myself trying to come up with words to describe the joy and beauty we found today. We are incredibly fortunate to be able to enjoy a day like today has been!

Our plan was to drive up to the Blue Ridge Parkway by going the scenic route across Highway 64 and 276 through Pisgah National Forest. When looking at Google Earth, both Mark and I saw a couple of waterfalls that we wanted to find, so we thought that would be a good route to try. We got underway around 10 this morning. Today, the dogs got to come along, so they were happy furkids!

The first waterfall is Looking Glass Falls - wow! The falls are 60 feet high and are called Looking Glass because when the rock freezes and the sun glistens on it, it reflects light just like a looking glass. The stream is also called Looking Glass Creek.

Mark and Dortha at the observation deck in front of the falls:

The second "falls" is Slide Rock Recreation Area. This is a popular summer destination in this area because you can actually slide down the rock into an 8 foot deep pool at the bottom. In the picture below, there is a little structure on the right, that is where the lifeguard sits. You can't see in this picture, but on the left side of the rock is a pathway with a handrail leading back to the top of the rock.

From Highway 276 past the waterfalls, it was not much farther to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We headed north on the Parkway, back towards Asheville. We stopped at nearly every pull out to gaze at the amazing color - and this still isn't the peak of the change yet. Here's one view that was especially vivid, but the picture doesn't really capture the intensity:

Mark enjoyed helping control the "kids" while I took pictures:

Another incredible view down the side of a mountain:

We stopped for lunch at the Pisgah Inn, where there are windows across 2 sides of the restaurant. The building is perched on the edge of the ridge, with incredible views all around. There was quite a wait to get a table, but we were rewarded for our patience with a window table. We had beautiful vistas to enjoy as we ate lunch. Unfortunately, I didn't get any good pictures of the views through the windows.

After lunch we continued north on the Parkway, and of course, stopped at more pull outs. We took a short walk along a heavily wooded path and enjoyed the colors and the coolness:

Amazing brilliance!

On the way home, we stopped at a dish outlet store and did some shopping. Interesting how we still like to look at stuff, but we sure don't buy much!

What an incredible day. I don't know how these days keep getting any better; I keep saying it doesn't get any better than this - and then it does!


Sandra said...

Beautiful photos Ellie, glad you're having such a lovely time.

Leno said...

Sounds wonderful. Beautiful pictures, thank so much for sharing them. Hope to get to that area some day.

Janna and Mike said...

Maybe I'll get Michael there someday--the colors are so different in that part of the country compared to what we get out west. Glad to see photos of the "kids". Sunshine today and some of our snow melted!

Phyllis said...

Ellie - haven't been online with WW for a while but wanted to see where you are now. Headed closer in my direction I see. What a great time to be in the Blue Ridge area. ENJOY!


Lee Ann said...

Hi Jim & Ellie, your pics are wonderful...loved the waterfalls. Thanks so much for sharing your day with us. Brought back so many wonderful memories, can't believe it was just last year! We will definitely be riding along on your journey each and every day! Hugs, Lee Ann & Larry

Mike McFall said...

Nice pictures young lady !!! keep having fun!!!

Mike & Pat

Jim and Dee said...

WOW, it's gorgeous up in that area. We're not getting there this year as in the past, thanks for the pictures.

Maureen said...

Ellie and Jim,

Amazing pictures, wish I was on the road with you right now. Hope all is well, we miss you on WW board.
BTW,where did you get the map of places you have been on your main page? That is so cool. Take care,