This winter we suffered through heavy snows, two major ice storms and frequent high winds. We lost many trees in our community and on our property. But that did not prepare us for the horrific sights along the highway as we drove up the mountains to the Parkway.
We got on the Parkway at our usual spot near the Cold Mountain Overlook and started to head south. We traveled no further than the end of the overlook when we encountered this sign:
We turned north, knowing that the Parkway was closed beyond Mt. Pisgah because of an unstable slide.
As we drove we saw areas in which every single tree was topped. It was as if a giant had trampled through the mountains with a scythe, cutting off the tops of all the trees and knocking down many others.
I know that when the trees leaf out again the devastation will be hidden from sight. We could drive only three miles between the closed sections. Crews are working hard to clear all the fallen limbs and trees. Hopefully the Parkway will reopen soon. People will drive through and admire the majesty of the mountains. Few of them will know the extent of winter's damage. The mountains will know, and those of us who live here will know. The mountains will recover and stand as they have for so long.
Cold Mountain looked much the same from a distance although I know the trees there suffered mightily.