>James and I thought that we would like to take a drive up into the mountains this weekend to see what this winter’s storms had done. The Blue Ridge Parkway was still closed because of ice and snow on the road so we drove over to Hendersonville then up Route 64 to Route 276 which goes up and over Mt. Pisgah through the forest. We had lunch in Hendersonville at the Carolina Diner before setting out. The Carolina Diner was built in the 1940’s and started its life as a drive-in. It’s been through a number of renovations since then but the current owners are still part of the original family and it has stayed true to the tradition of diners everywhere: the food is cooked on the premises, it’s fresh and delicious! So with a lunch of Fried Chicken and biscuits in our stomachs we set out for the mountain.
Upon entering the forest the first thing we noticed was that the streams were full and running fast. As we started up the mountain we came upon the “Looking Glass Fall“. You can’t see it in this picture of James at the fall, but the surrounding area was coated in ice from the mist that the fall throws off. It was eerily beautiful in the cold sunlight.
As we drove higher, we started to see more and more of the trees broken off at the top. As James commented, it almost looked like a war zone. In some cases some very large trees and branches had split giving testament to the heavy snowfalls of this winter. At the very top of the mountain we came across a phenomena that we had never seen before: The clouds passing over the tops of the mountain had painted the trees with a layer of heavy white frost, giving them the look of just having been snowed on. From here we could look down over the valleys below and see all the way to Tennessee!
As we started our descent down the other side, we stopped to take a picture of one of the many ice falls coming out of the rock walls lining the roadside. Getting lower, we noticed the burgeoning green of the rhododendrons and laurels which will flower later in the Spring and we made a special note to return to try one of the many hikes in the forest.
Our drive ended at the pleasant town of Waynesville. Waynesville is a short 20 minute drive from Asheville and i’s galleries, restaurants and shops making it worth a visit. Then it was back to the Carolina Bed & Breakfast for us, where we can dream of spring even while reading the reports of more snow on the way!