Return to the Blue Ridge Parkway

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Return to the Blue Ridge Parkway

Post by dbhguru » Sun May 21, 2017 10:11 am


Monica and I just returned from a pilgrimage down the Blue Ridge Parkway - all 469 miles. Monica had wanted to take the complete trip, as oppose to doing in sections, as we usually do. So we left Massachusetts on May 8th and returned on May 19th. I measured a few trees along the way including a white pine in Linville Gorge that I'd measured back in 1993 or 1994, can't remember which. This trip was mostly about reconnecting to places, Experiencing the Parkway's vistas, moods, and history, and of course, the great southern Appalachian forest.

To take photos, I mostly used my iPhone camera and it did yeoman service. Here's a scene from our accommodations in the Pisgah Inn looking southeastward across the remainder of the vast Blue Ridge province.
PisgahInnVista copy.jpg
The elevation of where I took the image lies at about 4,910 feet. The ridges in the image to the right are the buildup of the Pisgah Ledge with lots of peaks over 5,000 feet. The more distant views in the center are into the Georgia and may a little of the South Carolina appalachians, lower but nonetheless worthy mountains. At where we were, spring was still getting established and on the higher peaks of the adjoining Great Balsams, spring had not yet quite sprung.From any of the vistas, we could look down on the advance of spring up the mountainsides. The vivid greens in the distant valleys is often created by the abundance of tuliptrees. This species more than any other brightens the color of the southern Appalachians.

However, due to the altitude and exposure to the elements, there are places along the Parkway that are much more northern than southern in their vegetation. Here is a scene from Grandfather Mountain, taken at 5,282 feet. The summit is 5,946. The scene could just as well be from New Foundland with the alpine-like sand myrtle, spruce, and fir. More on Grandfather in a future post.
Grandfather-Taste Of New Foundland-2 copy.jpg
I'll close this first post with an image of Fraser magnolia blossoms. We hit the jackpot on this species.
Fraser Magnolia copy.jpg
Oh yes, one more thing. We bought a CD produced by Aperture Films Ltd. about the Parkway. With supplemental material you get an hour of viewing. I give the video a solid F. No, I give it an F minus. Explanation to come.

Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Return to the Blue Ridge Parkway

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue May 23, 2017 9:51 am

Bob- Sounds like you guys had a pleasant trip. Larry

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