The first day of our daughter's visit, she and I drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the East. I had my usual Nikon SLR with me and also my latest generation iPod. I took photographs with both cameras and I must admit I was quite surprised at the quality of the iPod photographs. So all of these pictures were taken with it. How easy it is to stick in one's pocket, pull it out and shoot. Makes me wish all the more that we had cell phone service at our house so I could have an iPhone. But we are in a tiny "no bar" reception area.
Our first stop was at Craggy Gardens, best known for the gorgeous rhododendrons blooming profusely in the early summer. At this elevation, most of the color was gone from the trees. But it was one of the most clear days we have seen in quite a while. And we were enjoying almost record-high temperatures.
Across the road from the visitor's center
We continued our drive, going higher and higher in elevation all the while.
The distant mountains were gorgeous
We arrived at Mt. Mitchell, highest point in NC
In fact, the highest point east of the Rockies
We stopped for lunch at the restaurant near the top of Mt. Mitchell. The food was good and our waiter was hilarious. He called us "doll babies" and if you could have seen him and his drag-queen mannerisms you wouldn't have minded it either. Daughter felt like a teenager among the old folks. Most unfortunately, I felt right at home.
Filled with a delicious lunch and enjoying the rockers in the warm sun.
The lady standing behind was breathing hard and leaning heavily on her cane.
But not one of those old farts was about to give up a seat.
Descending a few thousand feet in elevation, we found plenty of color. Gorgeous color. That's one of the best things about living in the mountains...a twenty mile drive makes a huge difference in the Autumn color.
We spent every driving on mountain roads. And the weather was perfect. I still sort of miss my old (ten years old in fact) car, but my new one really does love the mountains even more than the old one did. It has four turbo modes and goes effortlessly up the mountain inclines. The more I drive it, the better I like it.