For a girl who grew up in Appalachia, I have a deep, unabashed love for the mountains. Now that I’m older and living far from them, they still beckon me to spend time with them, they whisper cherished memories of days gone by, and they plead with me never to forget them, for they once were home.
Having admitted these affections, you can imagine my excitement this fall when hubby and I finally traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have actually attempted to make this trip to view the foliage more than once in years past, but we always arrived too late in the season and the road has been closed due to ice. This year, our timing was right!
Winding roads, hairpin turns and all, we spent a remarkable two days at the end of October taking in the color and breathing in the cool, soul-satisfying mountain air.
And, although we didn’t get to explore all 469 miles of the Parkway that connects the Shenandoah National Park in the north to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the south section, we gazed at enough of these special blue-hued ranges to know that we long to return and spend more time here.
Or we were pleasantly surprised by a band strumming a familiar Bluegrass tune in in the Great Smokies (and yes, this guitarist does look an awful lot like Donald Sutherland, doesn’t he!…), the discoveries were seemingly endless.
Along the way, we found this old pioneer village to explore.
The colors were amazing in this formation, with the sun trying to burst through. Speaking of colors, the “blue” in Blue Ridge, comes from the isoprene being released into the atmosphere, contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color… I didn’t know that!!!
Time to call it a day for now, but the memories of this place will remain with us until we return. Before I go, here is my feeble attempt at a poem…sort of…
Sweet Mountain Memories
Some of us pine for the shoreline,
While others prefer pristine lakes,
A few of us are at home on the prairie,
As for me, I’ll dwell in the mountains every time!